It’s a hate-love relationship unlike any I’ve seen at Texas.
To his credit, Diggs shows up to field questions from us every Monday win, lose or blowout. And he does so with the brutal honesty of a judge.
On this Monday he used his gavel to hammer home several points, many of which we’ve heard this season.
The most reoccurring one: He is sick of losing.
“Eight games down the road you would expect guys to get it by now,” he said. “Obviously that’s not happening so, I don’t know. We are doing the best we can around here. We just have to get everyone on board.”
Texas is 3-5 after a 23-0 embarrassing defeat at Kansas State over the weekend and is in real danger of not going to a bowl game for the first time since 2010 when the Longhorns slumped to a 5-7 record.
If you include that season and add every game played up to this point UT is 33-26.
That record is one of the main reasons why Charlie Strong was brought in to replace Mack Brown. A cultural change was needed at Texas and Strong is doing what he can to fix what was wrong. See: Nine players dismissed from program.
Diggs has remained one of Strong’s biggest supporters and is adamant that he and his coaching staff will get things turned around here.
"No doubt if guys would believe in him and do what they're supposed to do," Diggs said. "I have nothing but faith in Coach Strong. I've always said he's a great person, a great coach. He's just got to get guys to believe in all the coaches and believe in what they're doing."
But it’s going to take everyone buying in to do so, and that doesn’t seem to be the case right now. Still.
"I think most of the group has bought in," Diggs said. "You just got to get everybody on board. Slow process I guess. Guys have different personalities. Guys think they're stars. It's not high school anymore."
Diggs has seen transformation work before at Texas.
He had a front row seat for the change in winning ways Mack Brown brought to UT beginning in 1998. His brother Quentin Jammer was a sophomore at the time.
Texas went 4-7 in Jammer’s first season in 1997 - John Mackovic’s last - and went 11-2 his senior season defeating Washington 47-43 in the Holiday Bowl.
Diggs was asked what his brother’s thoughts were on what was taking place at his alma mater and he responded, “Stuff that’s not good for the media.”
And understandably so.
The fact that there seems to still be disconnect in the locker room between those like Diggs, Jordan Hicks, Malcolm Brown, Malcom Brown, Jaxon Shipley, John Harris, Johnathan Gray, etc., who would do anything to win, and then those that wouldn’t is a real problem.
Diggs has been put under the spotlight too many times to be baited into throwing his teammates under the bus. That’s not his M.O. Not what he’s about.
But he will give it to you straight.
While his time at UT is running out he’s preaching patience to a fan base yearning for a Texas of old.
“It’s a process. [Strong] got here in January,” he said. “What, it’s October. Give the man some time. This place wasn’t the best when it got here.”
As for the here and now, it’s all about getting to a bowl game for Diggs and these seniors.
“It’s very important,” he said. “The reason I came back to school, plain and simple.”
But Diggs is hell-bent on finding a way to get to a bowl because the fallout of not getting to one wouldn’t be pretty.
“It just wouldn’t kill us, it would kill the program,” he said. “[Getting to a bowl game] is the bare minimum. No one should settle for that.”
With limited other possibilities out there though, maybe for the exception of playing spoiler to a team like TCU, who still has hopes of making the College Football Playoff, getting to a bowl game is one of the few goals still left within reach.
That task will continue in Lubbock the day after Halloween of all places.
“I hope they come out throwing their tortillas,” Diggs said. “That’ll be fun. Hopefully it gets some guys riled up.”
*****Longhorns 2015 QB commitment Zach Gentry's junior highlights
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