I have been a Longhorns fan for my entire life. Growing up I didn’t have a choice, I was told to sit down and watch the Longhorns or go outside so my dad could watch in peace. So naturally, I sat down and fell in love with the game of football. Through the years I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing Big 12 championships and National Championships. I’ve also had the displeasure of seeing some of the worst Texas teams in the modern era ever. It has been a wild ride with top of the world highs and bottom of the ocean lows. This year will be the first year that I’ve been truly excited for the upcoming season since the 2009 season with Colt McCoy and company. With all that being said here are four reasons why I’m extremely excited for this upcoming season.
1. Sam Ehlinger
It seems we have finally found a quarterback that can lead us to the promise land. Texas has struggled to find a quarterback since McCoy left for the NFL. Ehlinger had his struggles in his freshman season and it really made me question whether or not he was going to be able to handle the starting role. He shut down any doubts I had early on last season. He is about as tough as a quarterback as I’ve seen play my whole life. He has no issue with lowering his head to get that extra yard and he takes care of the ball only having five interceptions all season. He exactly the type of guy we needed to bring us out of the near decade of mediocrity. Its going to feel great not having to worry about that position this year. Ehlinger is coming into the season as a Heisman candidate caliber player and I am pumped to see what he can do this year.
2. The Secondary
Texas has on of the deepest and most talented secondaries in the entire country coming back this season. Caden Sterns leads the year for the young talented group who had flashes last year of being an elite group. They also had to take their lumps along the way. Head coach Tom Herman has seemed to make the secondary a focal point in recruiting and I think me are going to really see that this season. To be competitive in the Big 12 you cant just let those offenses toss the ball all around the field and I believe we will have one of best defenses in the Big 12 hands down if not the best.
3. Incoming Freshman and Transfer Talent
Texas had yet another great recruiting year finishing in the top 5 again. Recruiting has never been the issue with Texas, its been developing players once they are on campus. Coach Herman seems to be doing that. For the longest time I stopped watching the recruits coming in just because it seemed like they never turned into the players they were hyped to be. With players being developed better now I cant help myself to get hyped up over guys like Jordan Whittingham, Bru McCoy, and Jake Smith who should lock own the skill positions for the foreseeable future. A stable full of four star offensive line man and defensive front seven guys. The future is starting to look bright for the Longhorns.
4. The Fan Base
I am truly excited for the fan base this year. This will be the first season in a long time that Texas has a legitimate hope for a playoff appearance. Granted we would be a dark horse and considered a longshot to make it but with a Big 12 championship we have a shot. It’s also good for the whole college football world for a team like Texas to be on the up and up. The sport of college football is always better when the “blue blood” programs are competing. Texas has some big games this season with teams like LSU, Oklahoma ( possibly twice ), and of course Oklahoma St. which has been a major thorn in the side over the past several years. We should know where we stand from a playoff standpoint after week six.
Those are the things I’m really excited about this season. If you agree or disagree and want to call me crazy shoot me a message on twitter @KHookem. I always welcome feedback and any difference of opinion.