Texas coach Tom Herman was the first coach up as the second and final day of the Big 12’s Media Days got under way in Frisco. Here are some notable comments from Herman, who will join four of his players in a breakout session this afternoon.
On quarterback Shane Buechele’s performance at the Manning Passing Academy this summer:
I don’t get a lot of confidence in quarterbacks in shorts and t-shirts, that’s pretty difficult for me to grasp, other than kind of looking at a kid’s mechanics. The game of quarterback is played so much here and here that what you do in a controlled environment like that, in shorts and t-shirts, is not really indicative of how successful of a quarterback you’re going to be on Saturdays.
With that being said, Shane has done a marvelous job of coming in this summer and really trying to be more of a leader. Last year, he was a true freshman that was just trying to keep his head above water. This year, we’ve challenged him. It’s difficult for him because A, he still sees himself as kind of the young kid. He’s a true sophomore. But B, he’s very humble, very mild-manned kind of guy and we’ve challenged him, we’ve taught him, we’ve explained things to him that for him to take the next step in his growth, one of those things is going to have to be to continue to lead the culture of the team.
On the depth chart behind Buechele and Sam Ehlinger:
You asked about the depth behind Shane and Sam, there isn’t any. We have a walk-on in Josh Covey, and that’s not to slight Josh Covey. Josh is a good player and definitely turned some eyes in spring practice. But we’ll have a package for Jerrod Heard too each week if a bomb blows up and Shane and Sam both can’t finish a game, Jerrod would probably be the guy to go finish the game and then we’d go figure things out the next week. That’s kind of where we’re at.
On no Texas teams finishing among the 25 teams in the 2016 season’s final AP poll:
Houston didn’t finish in the top 25? They didn’t? I thought we did. I guess not. I don’t think there’s any inherent challenges being a university in the state of Texas. I think the doors to out-of-state recruiting have been opened a little bit, and I kick myself every day because at Ohio State, I think we had a little bit of something to do with that when I came down here and signed J.T. Barrett and Dontre Wilson and Demetrius Knox and Mike Mitchell, I think that was a little bit different than what had been done in the past here in the state of Texas.
When Texas is down, other schools smell blood in the water a little bit. When we get Texas back, I can’t imagine a scenario where you’d ever see not one team from the state of Texas in the top 25, especially as well as some of the non-Power Five schools are playing in our state.
On his analysis of why Texas has struggled in recent years:
I don’t know. I know that it went through a tremendous storm, if you will, from Coach Brown’s departure to now. We’re talking about a Hall of Fame coach leaving, a Hall of Fame athletic director leaving, a president leaving, a new president coming in, a new AD getting hired, that AD leaving, a new interim AD leaving, the next head coach leaving and not having success. I think there was a lot of non-continuity, if that’s a word. There just wasn’t any stability from the top down.
Other than that, I haven’t really spent a whole lot of time thinking about it. What’s done is done, the past is in the past. Our job is to make sure that whatever happened doesn’t happen. That’s probably the biggest thing, when I do spend a couple seconds thinking about it, is just the enormous turnover in positions of leadership in a short amount of time.
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