Here's my Part II is on the Top 5 players I had the privilege of competing alongside. I think it’s quite the appropriate topic for me to finish on: my teammates. I owe them so much; together we made memories that will last a lifetime.
As promised last week, this is the beginning of a two-part series on the top ten players I competed against and/or alongside. Originally, the thought was to fit all this information into one post. I didn’t have the room, plus, I wanted to share a personal anecdote behind why each athlete was selected.
I tuned in to ESPNU this weekend excited to see multiple hours of The Opening coverage. I even made a podcast about how to watch the “campetition,” that’s how eager I was for football fans at large to seize the opportunity. It’s not often in the dead of the summer something resembling actual football appears on television. If nothing else, an event like this whets the appetite for August and early September.
Earlier this week I was given the role of “commissioner” at the Colt McCoy Football Pro Camp. For those of you that don’t know, Colt comes back to host a two-day camp for elementary and middle school kids every summer in Austin.
What an inspiring story. You’d hardly believe it if you watched it happen in a movie: the NBA’s best player purposefully goes home to a horrible team; he takes said team to the NBA Finals in his first year, only to lose and then force a rematch in the Finals his second year; he beats the best regular season team in NBA history in an epic game 7 (on the road), and that after being down 3-1.
Last week long-time Texas commit Sam Ehlinger competed in the Elite 11 finals. The Elite 11 is the original and premier high school quarterback competition in the country. When I was a recruit, becoming an Elite 11 quarterback was like being inducted into the high school football hall of fame (as if one existed). Being invited and performing well solidified legendary status for yourself, in my mind, similar to Paul Bunyan and John Henry. It was almost like there’d always be someone somewhere talking about how great you once were — immortalized in American folklore forever.
For better or worse, the results of this week’s meetings among the presidents and athletic directors of the Big 12 are in: nay on a conference network; nay on conference expansion. Those with a close eye on this deal knew that to be the likely outcome all along (regardless of what they may have privately hoped simply for the fun of it, if nothing else).
When I was getting recruited out of high school Texas’ football facilities were head of the class. That’s why schools like Texas Tech, Arkansas, and Oklahoma State were always quick to talk about their facilities in recruiting. They wanted to emphasize how similar they were to the deep pocketed program down in Austin, without mentioning it’s name. Texas was always the unspoken elephant in the room. That was also more than 10 years ago (which makes me sound older than I feel).
AUSTIN -- I can still remember the thick spiral bound workout guides handed out to us by our strength staff. It would have a newly designed cover with that year’s seniors on the front (Coach Madden was always on point with things like that) and it would be just before spring semester exams. All team workouts would be over with until June. This yearly ritual always signified a milestone in the college football calendar for me. I recall thinking every single time it happened, “Wow… Spring is really over.”
If you’re surprised, angry, or depressed by the amount of money Texas football’s assistant coaches make — don’t be. Most of us don’t make our living atop Fortune 500 companies, so a salary upwards of $400,000 is the kind of thing dreams are made of. In fact, making that much money annually puts someone near (or in) the top 1%. It’s understandable a football coach earning that much, or considerably more, will illicit a myriad of different responses.