Tom Herman hasn’t won a game or coached a snap at Texas, but already the Longhorns have a top-five 2018 recruiting class.
How is that possible?
“(That’s a) testimony to our staff,” Herman said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “We’re 6-0 against Top 25 teams, 3-0 against Top 10 teams and 2-0 against Top 3 teams – and that was with the University of Houston’s roster and resources. So I think the kids understand, one, that this is one of the top-25 public educations in the country, it’s the No. 1 city in America to live in, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and we’ve got resources and a fan base that (have) won championships before and have the resources and want-to and support to do it again. So I think the University of Texas checks all the boxes when you’re a kid and looking at what’s important in terms of quality of education, place to live, and competing for championships. I think the kids are seeing that vision.”
Texas has finished with a losing record in four of the last seven seasons, including three straight. The Longhorns went 16-21 under Charlie Strong, who was fired in November.
It’ll be interesting to see how fans react if Herman stumbles out of the gate.
“The last three years have literally been the worst three-year stretch in the 100-year history of our football program,” Herman said. “So I think when you put it in that perspective, these kids that we’re recruiting right now, they’ve seen four losing Texas football seasons and only two winning Texas football seasons since they were 11 years old. So I think there is a little dose of reality for our fans to say, ‘Okay, this is where we are. We’ve hired the right guy and put the right mechanisms in place to pull us out of this stretch, but, as with anything, it’s not going to happen overnight.’”
Unless it does.
“We went 13-1 in our first year at Houston,” Herman said, “but as we all know, that’s the exception and not the norm. So I think our fans have been hit in the face with a big dose of reality of where we’re at as a program – and that’s certainly not to be negative in terms of what the future can hold. It’s just a matter of tempering our expectations in the immediate future knowing that there’s a plan in place to get this thing back to where Coach Brown had it: 10 straight years of 10 wins or more. That’s almost unheard of. This place can, and has, done it before – and we’ll do it again.”
Texas opens the season with home games against Maryland, which went 6-7 last season, and San Jose State, which went 4-8.
Herman, 42, was asked for his expectations for the 2017 season.
“I’m trying to make sure that we have a great work-out tomorrow morning at 6 a.m.,” Herman said. “And I know that sounds like coach-speak, but I don’t know what kind of offense Maryland runs or defense they run. I don’t even know the order of our schedule in the Big 12. There’s no amount of room to worry about the big picture. The biggest mantra we have in our program is 1-0. That’s not just taking each game one game at a time; that’s literally a second-by-second, minute-by-minute, day-by-day competition against your own best self and quite frankly against human nature and the laziness that comes with human nature. We’ll let the season play itself out. Our job is to prepare for the season every second of every day.”