Texas Head Football coach gathered outside of Gregory Gym to give away free pizza and meet students as they get ready and prepare for finals on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. Elijah Rivera a student at the University of Texas poses with the New Head Coach Tom Herman before grabbing a slice of Gattis pizza on Friday. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Football

Golden: Tom Herman’s new hire makes sense due to quarterback mentorship success

Posted December 14th, 2016

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In this week’s Golden’s Nuggets, Cedric touches on a couple big Bevo-related items: Here are his takes:

On Tom Herman’s new coaching hire this week:

Tom Herman announced Monday that he will add Rutgers offensive coordinator Drew Mehringer to his Longhorns coaching staff. It’s an interesting hire since Rutgers was one of the worst offenses in all of college football this past season. The Scarlet Knights averaged 15.7 points per game and scored 14 points or fewer in six of their 12 games while finishing 2-10. In four of those contests, Rutgers didn’t score.

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The hire makes more sense when you check Mehringer’s coaching history since Herman has mentored the Rice grad at four other stops. After Mehringer left Herman’s Houston staff for Rutgers in 2015, Herman told Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel that Mehringer was “the brightest young coach in America.”

While his role at Texas hasn’t been announced, Mehringer likely will work with Longhorns quarterbacks in some fashion, whether he’s tutoring incumbent Shane Buechele, incoming freshman Sam Ehlinger or maybe former starter Jerrod Heard, a converted receiver who has the type of athleticism shown by such former Herman pupils as J.T. Barrett and Greg Ward Jr.

On the Longhorns’ chances at the NCAA volleyball championships:

Texas-tough and battled-tested are apt descriptions of the Longhorns volleyball team.

Many of you had the same thought as I did last Friday when the Horns struggled late against BYU: Texas is staying home for the winter.

Texas was thisclose to losing out on its Final Four dream before staving off fifth-set match points to turn back BYU in an Austin regional semifinal, keeping the season alive. Being so near to the edge of the cliff can work one of two ways: it can create doubt or it can galvanize a team and create a belief in greater things to come.

“It just helps us rely on each other a lot more,” said senior setter Chloe Collins, “just knowing we depend on each other. We can build off that and that’s what has led us to being so great now and peaking at the right time.”

The belief has to be there now and it had better be with top-ranked Nebraska waiting at the Final Four.

Longhorns coach Jerritt Elliott is a part of a large texting group that includes friends back in California and some talked about UCLA point guard Tyus Edney’s coast-to-coast, buzzer-beating drive that beat Missouri in the 1995 NCAAs, a victory that kept the No. 1 seeded Bruins from being bumped in the second round. Given a second chance at life, the Bruins went on to win the national championship.

“These are the kinds of things that can be a catalyst for you,” Elliott said. “The most impressive thing about the win over BYU was how they responded the next night (in a three-set sweep of Creighton). … Coming back and competing the way that we did and playing at a high level was what made me really proud as a coach.”

A fifth straight Final Four appearance lends credence to the notion that Elliott is currently heading the most productive team sport on campus, and when I say team sport, that means I’m not talking about track and field or swimming, individual-based sports that also have produced very well.

Elliott’s crew believes from top to bottom that it’s far superior to the group that was blown out by top-ranked Nebraska in a 1 vs. 2 showdown at the VERT Challenge in Oregon at the start of the season.

We’ll see how far they have come very soon.

For the rest of Cedric’s Nuggets, including his thoughts on Charlie Strong’s new contract at USF and Chuck F’n Strong, click here.

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