It’s good to be humble. Like when asked what it takes to be the starting running back at Texas, Daniel Young said, “It’s all up to the coaches.”
Well, to a point, yes. But it’s OK to want things, too.
“Of course, you want it to be you,” the sophomore said, “and that’s where the competition part comes in to help you work better.”
Texas coach Tom Herman divvied his seven scholarship running backs into three tiers. Young, graduate transfer Tre Watson and freshman Keaontay Ingram made the first cut. Those three are likely to get the most playing time in the season opener against Maryland.
The Longhorns struggled in the running game last season, and quarterback Sam Ehlinger ended up being the team’s leading rusher with 385 yards. Historically, that’s not a recipe for success. “Of course not. You never really want that to be,” Young said.
Two years ago, D’Onta Foreman had a 2,000-yard season and won the Doak Walker Award. Then last season, UT averaged a pedestrian 139.6 rushing yards per game, which ranked seventh in the Big 12.
“I can say the running backs, we might not’ve done our part,” Young said. “As a team, maybe we just didn’t click yet. But that’s really all in the past. I don’t really think about last year, really. That’s so far behind me. I’m just worried about getting better now.”
Young was second on the team in rushing with 373 yards and scored three touchdowns.
Watson, who is bouncing back from torn knee ligaments, had 1,380 yards in four seasons at California. He played in only two games last season before getting hurt. Ingram had back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons at Class 4A Carthage before joining UT this summer.
“Both of those guys bring a lot of great attributes,” Young said. “I feel like they’re a great addition to the running back room.”
Fitzgerald leaving team: Texas announced Thursday that defensive lineman Andrew Fitzgerald has opted to leave the team but will remain enrolled in school.
The Flower Mound Marcus product was part of the 2016 recruiting class. He redshirted in 2016 and did not see game action as a redshirt freshman last season.
“My chapter here as a part of the UT football program has come to a close,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “It was an experience I will remember forever. I am so grateful for all the blessings and opportunities the Lord has given me to grow and learn from while I’ve been here.
“My family has been with me and encouraged me along this journey,” he continued. “I want to thank all the staff who are a part of this program for all they have done for me spiritually, academically and athletically.
Fitzgerald thanked former coach Charlie Strong for giving him the opportunity to sign with UT and the current coaches.
“To my teammates who I worked day in and day out with,” Fitzgerald said, “I wish y’all the best this season and have nothing but good memories and love for y’all.”
Longhorn City Limits: Legendary guitarist Jimmie Vaughan will be the inaugural performer for the pre-game concert series dubbed Longhorn City Limits prior to the Tulsa game on Sept. 8.
The Nightowls, a 10-piece band that mixes gospel and blues, will be the opener at 3:30 p.m. Vaughan is scheduled to hit the stage on the LBJ Lawn at approximately 5 p.m. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The pre-game concerts are free to the public, although school officials anticipate the area to be full of football fans. It’s part of the athletic department’s drive to rev up the gameday atmosphere at Royal-Memorial Stadium.
Stubb’s barbecue and other concession stands will be available outside the stadium along with pre-game priced $5 beer and wine spritzers and $6 premium beer.
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.