Strong Vows 'Never Again' At B12 Media Days

Charlie Strong hit Big 12 Media Days like a jail-break blitz - from the QB position to Bret Bielema and the meetings Strong had with roughly 35 players about how they need to step it up. And, of course, the latest on senior WR/rapper Daje Johnson.

Charlie Strong left Daje Johnson speechless about whether Johnson was still on the football team or a rapper. (More on that in a second.)

And here are his thoughts on a few other topics:

Junior QB Tyrone Swoopes will be taking first-team reps with the offense when fall camp begins on Aug. 7. But whether Swoopes or redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard starts at Notre Dame on Sept. 5, the other will play in that game.

"I don't want to play musical chairs with the quarterback position, but I want to give each of them a chance to go compete there (in South Bend)."

A losing season can never happen again. Neither can a game like the 31-7 beating by Arkansas in the Advocare Texas Bowl in which UT amassed just 59 yards of offense.

"This day couldn't come any sooner," Strong said Tuesday in Dallas, "just because of the way we were embarrassed on the field. I told the coaches, 'That can never happen again.'"

The coaching has to be better in 2015. ... "We have to do a better job of coaching. Last year, I didn't think we did a good job of coaching."

Strong gave players the quote from Arkansas coach Bret Bielema at SEC Media Days that beating Texas in the Texas Bowl was "borderline erotic."

"Usually, when you come into a program with as much pride and tradition as this one, you would think it just burns you when you lose a game, and you just can't live with yourself. That's just the way I've always been.

"It should just eat you up. That hamburger shouldn't taste that good after you lose a game. But for some of these guys, they ate two or three, so that hamburger tasted very good.

"We had become a program where it was a destination and guys were just happy to be here. When That Arkansas loss - I grind them out with that. They're probably tired of me talking about that all the time. But I want them to feel it. I want that to burn them and hear what was said about them."

Strong said of Bielema's comment: "They're posted everywhere. Just walk into our locker room. When you get beat like that, guys can make those comments."

DT Desmond Jackson (foot), WR Rodrick Bernard (knee), LB Dalton Santos (ankle) and OL Patrick Vahe (shoulder) are all on pace to be ready for fall camp.

The freshmen who have yet to enroll have until the close of enrollment in early September to get qualified. (HD has reported OL Ronnie Major and TE Devo Clarington are expected to make it and that WR Gilbert Johnson probably won't. Du'Vonta Lampkin will be released from his LOI when fall enrollment closes.)

Annabel Stephan and Chip Brown recap Big 12 Media Days from Dallas

Strong said strength coach Pat Moorer has an app on his phone tied to players' social media accounts that flags anything questionable.

So Strong said he called Daje Johnson after Daje posted a rap song he cut called "Dealer" on his social media.

"I called Daje and asked him if he was still on the football team. And he said, 'Yeah, coach.' I said, 'Oh, I thought you were a rapper.'

"He got real quiet and picked up what I was trying to say."

Daje took it down.

Strong said Daje has otherwise been in good standing, and the coach still has high expectations for the senior WR.

When asked about Bob Stoops reinstating RB Joe Mixon from a 1-yr suspension for punching a woman, Strong said: "If you hit a young lady, I'll help you go somewhere else. But you can't play for me."

Strong met with about 40 players and put them on the "hot seat" - telling them their effort, attitude and/or play "wasn't good enough" and had to improve if they wanted to see or stay on the field.

"These were detailed meetings between 25 and 45 minutes. Some of the guys were shocked. This wasn't like hi and bye."

On K Nick Rose posting videos of trick shot kicks on his social media, Strong said: "I told him instead of worrying about those trick shots, I want to see him make every kick from 40 yards and in. I said, 'The first time you don't, you will be running, because you want to post these videos.'"

Strong said the athletic department will NOT be moving academic support for football out of Moncrief. (I'm told Strong objected when he was told it would be moving to the north end of DKR - where academic support chief Randa Ryan and her staff are stationed.)

Strong said he was not consulted on the firing of former SID and football media director John Bianco.

"I miss John. He was my guy. We have a great relationship. He's the best at what he does."

Strong said if satellite camps are approved, "We are going to go all over the place."

"Coaches can't go anywhere in the month of May. But I can go do a satellite camp? Someone's got to help me with that."

Former Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor has "helped bridge the gap" with Texas HS coaches in recruiting and is so conscientious Strong said he calls Strong up to 20 times a day.

"But it's because he wants to do everything right, and I appreciate that."

Strong doesn't sound ready to wear an alternate uniform.

"I'm all about tradition. Do you know what would happen if we walked out in a black or gray uniform?" Strong said laughing. "People would be like, 'Who does he think he is?'"

As HD's Will Wilkerson reported previously, freshman DeAndre McNeal is moving around from WR to TE to H-back.

"DeAndre is big, and he's only getting bigger."

Asked if McNeal could play some defense, Strong said "I don't need him on defense right now."




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