The offseason can be a slog. The recruitniks eat more often for good reason, it’s always recruiting season. With that in mind, I wanted to address ‘RevolUTion 18’ and Texas Football’s general outlook. You now know, this class will be special. How special remains to be seen, as only time will tell and spell success. Imagine the current signees, Justin Watkins, Byron Hobbs, Casey Thompson, Cameron Rising, Ron Tatum, Cameron Dicker, Caden Sterns, Keontay Ingram, DeMarvion Overshown, Ayodele Adeoye, Reese Moore, and BJ Foster. That is a stellar group and it’s only the beginning. After a scrappy 2017 effort, Tom Herman hit the ground running for 2018. His insistent use of social media, graphic design, publicizing capital projects, and leveraging the news cycle has all fit together in a highly ‘aligned’ manner. Yours truly anticipated this movement coming into Tom Herman’s tenure and I must say, even my lofty expectations have been exceeded. You may know, I’m still not over the new lockers. Again, it’s important to note, this is all just beginning. What will success do for Texas Football going forward? It’s a scary thought, for our rivals anyway.
Tom Herman’s efforts all ‘align’ to create a singularity of influence. That is, to create an even greater ‘graviational pull’ to Texas that not even Mack Brown could achieve. That’s a big deal and what it’s going to take to bring down the likes of Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, and Dabo Swinney. I mention those three for good reason. They have reset the standard for competing at the highest level of college football and maintaining consistency. Then, there’s Oklahoma. I don’t care what you say about Bob, dude’s run at OU is amazing. As of now, Herman is circling the wagons on the Sooners program, ironic isn’t it. What seemed a dead-heat is now a definitive edge, recruiting-wise. It’s up to Tom to pace the field and keep the pedal to the metal now. You know it’s bad when Bob is stealing post-Briles scandal Baylor recruits. You know why? Well, because Texas has been there, guilty! The important takeaway, Herman is a step ahead of Bob and how long that lasts will determine quite a bit, let alone the finished product each program places on the field. Even at the height of Mack Brown’s tenure, it remained difficult to defeat the Sooners, sometimes suffering routes with great talent on the field. ‘Mr. February’ had trouble getting over that hump. No challenge is easy. Let this first season serve as a litmus test, as Herman will lead the most talented group of players the Texas program has seen for a long time.
You’ve seen this group play hard, they’ve taken some lumps. Remember Kansas! Surely you’re reminded of this time and again by your ‘frienemies’. That was a tough one, for sure. That said, it’s also important to remember just how close such a young group was. They did what they did with predominantly sophomore and freshman leadership, crazy! Sure, 5-7 sucks yet, the young guys weren’t routed, they battled and came up short a few too many times. It’s that simple. Looking ahead, maturity may be the added necessary ingredient. No longer will they all be the youngest guys on the field. Maturity has to make you wonder what’s possible. To that end, we wait and see.
To think, I wrote the above before news broke of Bob Stoops’ retirement. Up next is Lincoln Riley. I wrote about Riley for OU Brainiacs when he was hired. At the time I was let down about him not coming to Texas. He’s a great coach and only time will tell if his tenure makes Herman’s job easier or harder. It’ll be interesting how recruiting dynamics change in the near and long term, let alone the upcoming seasons. I think it’s great that two young coaches, more in tune with today’s trends, are receiving chances to coach at two of the most prestigious programs in the country. Who is geared for early success is debatable, though you’d expect many to argue it’s Riley, mainly because of OU’s recent success. We shall see about this interesting development and how Riley chooses to develop his program, especially its staff. What think you?