One nice thing about the 2017 schedule is that Texas will be well positioned to go on a late run and push for bowl eligibility, eight wins, the conference championship, or whatever goal is still on the table after nine games. You can never say never (obviously) but late home dates with Kansas and Texas Tech are rather promising for a pair of easy wins late.
Two years ago, Eric and Ian both drafted a 22 man squad from the Longhorn roster to see who could build the best offense and defense. Last year, Eric and I squared off, with the quarterback decision dictating much of the rest of the draft. My Resident Chefs take on Nahlin's Norsemen once again this year. I had the first pick last season, so Eric gets the first pick this year.
A while back I brought the realism in describing the stark reality of the last few years, but today I'm bringing the optimism. Actually, it's also realism, but a different kind. The realism of understanding that we humans are pattern-seeking animals who tend to imbue temporary trends with permanence. We have a tendency to project the ephemeral forward confidently without considering that many of the factors that underpin our assumptions have changed.
So far this cycle, Texas has loaded up with some of the best skill players in the country. Today, they added the state's top lineman to the fold. Frisco Wakeland's 4-star OL Rafiti Ghirmai verbally pledged to Texas today. The 6-foot-5, 290-pounder is the versatile type interior lineman who can play both guard and tackle. He chose UT over LSU, Alabama, UCLA, and Florida.
The Longhorns returned to practice on Monday, this time with a scout team in place. Tom Herman touched on the importance of a quality scout team, as well as the current state of the competitions for quarterback and right tackle.
Herman took the time to address both of camp's biggest battles, quarterback and right tackle. He also spoke about players staying in the facility during camp, and why the defense continues to impress him.
In the disappointment that was the 2016 Longhorns football season, there were a handful of reliable players on the team who rarely failed to execute. Likely the most consistent of those players was junior punter Michael Dickson
A few questions arose this week with regards to personnel that we'll get answered as best we can. We'll also talk about a few players who haven't been mentioned much but who still have a chance to see the field. Though the team is tired, its confidence is building.
Overall Texas is losing big bodies at a much greater clip than the little guys. Since Spring, Texas has lost Jordan Elliott, Marcel Southall, Elijah Rodriguez, and Jean Delance to injury or transfer. The big losses of course, being Elliott and a hard-charging E-Rod. Texas can't afford many more losses in the trenches and some of the younger guys are going to need to step up. Let's take stock of where we're at.