The Longhorns wrapped up the shorts n’ shells portion of camp today, and Coach Herman shared his post-practice thoughts with a media gaggle who were tastefully arranged behind ropes with nary a hand straying towards a Tweeterplexer.
Herman was effusive about Collin Johnson’s superfreak skill set. The sophomore wideout’s blend of size, speed, quick feet and absurd body control in the air are admittedly tough to miss, but they’ll be even tougher to stop this season as Johnson continues to grow his rapport with Shane Buechele. It sounds like he’s also responding well to the staff’s challenge to play with more of a physical edge. Johnson will set the ceiling for the 2017 offense.
Reggie Hemphill suffered what appeared to be a migraine headache and missed practice. It’s the first time Hemphill has suffered this kind of malady, so the hope is that he’ll be back in action shortly.
Freshman tight end Cade Brewer earned some praise for his fluidity and ball skills, but Herman also cautioned that development will take time.
Has Herman been reading the latest edition of Thinking Texas Football? It sounded like it as he talked about Charles Omenihu and his role and the de facto fourth starter on the Longhorn D-line. Omenihu was one of Yancy McKnight’s numerous success stories this offseason, and it sounds like his functional strength gains and improved body composition are making him much tougher to handle on the interior. He’s a good bet for 50 snaps a game as a super sub who can play the 4i in Texas’ 3DL looks and also handle the strongside end spot when the Longhorns line up four guys with their hands on the ground.
Making Nice(ish) With The Media
Yesterday’s edict that media members refrain from Tweeting in the middle of the coach’s informal post-practice session drew squawks from national anti-Texas clickbaiter Dan Wolken, caused the head of one pay site to erupt in histrionics whilst adorning the act of quote transcription in the cloak of Edward R. Murrow, and no doubt drew something idiotic from Kurt Bohls that I can’t be bothered to look up. Everyone else involved just took it in stride and kept doing their jobs, but Herman still felt compelled to clarify today that he respects the media and how they do their jobs. He probably doesn’t, but it was a nice sentiment nonetheless.
Putting the Pads On
The fact that the above story was a story at all should make everyone sing Hallelujah that we’re finally about to get padded up and down to real football business. Herman thinks that full-pad, full-contact practice will energize the team (not that energy has been lacking so far,) but that the mental challenge of pushing through soreness and fatigue as camp grinds on will serve as a real test. The team will scrimmage in full pads on Saturday, and in addition to physicality Herman hopes to see assignment errors cleaned up on both sides of the ball - no surprise there.
Hittin’ is almost here and the season isn’t far behind - have you gotten in game shape with the ultimate Longhorn season preview?