Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford addressed the media Wednesday. Here's what you need to know.
1. Bedford doesn’t feel any concern about UT's number of verbal commits (9) in the 2016 class, because Texas got 14 commitments from December to February last year, and it turned out well for the Longhorns.
“People had the same question last year at this time. Majority of our commitments last year came in January, after all of the all-star games and when guys started taking visits. The way it’s going right now with the guys we’re talking to, it’s probably going to be the same thing in January again.
“I know it’s early but remember this; a lot of kids develop late, too. A lot of players have been missed here and other places over the last five years because of early commitments of guys who didn’t pan out. We’re trying to do a great job of evaluating guys and getting down to the nitty-gritty and hopefully make the right decisions.
“Last year, our coaches did a great job of working, and we got lucky. Look at the three corners we signed. They’re pretty doggone good. And guess what? They didn’t commit until late in January. All three of them.
“Ask me those questions on signing day and I will give you a real good answer.”
2. Last season, Bedford discussed how the University of Texas did not mean much to many in-state prospects. He thinks that has changed a bit because recruits have a better understanding of who Charlie Strong is and what he plans to do at Texas.
“I think this year, since it’s our second season into it, we’re getting a lot better responses. I think a part of that is because a lot of guys didn’t know Charlie Strong and what he’s all about.
“I think word got out that he cares about the kids, he wants these guys to get an education and a degree and to develop young people. At the end of the day, I think the University of Texas does speak for itself right now. We still have a lot of interest and a lot of people talking, but it’s like anything else, let’s wait and see.
“We’re still relevant, more so than what people think we are. At the end of the day, if you win some ball games, you get more excitement. Right now, we’re not getting that done, and we need to find a way to get that done.
“I feel like when it’s all said and done, we’re going to fill the needs of what we have to have in recruiting.”
3. When Malik Jefferson committed last year, many other top prospects followed. Bedford said that type of situation has happened at every school he has been.
“Last year, Malik was the top dog in the state. Once he made that decision in December, he started calling guys and telling them let’s get Texas back and make it special. He started recruiting guys to play with him. That’s what recruiting is all about.
“When one guy comes in, he starts recruiting the next guy. The next guy comes in and recruiting the next guy. It’s a domino effect.
“There’s always a top dog out there that when they make a decision, another guy will follow.”
4. Speaking of Jefferson, he was battling a stomach bug last Saturday but he has been feeling better and has practiced every day this week.
5. Safety DeShon Elliott played 29 snaps against Kansas and picked up two interceptions. But Vance Bedford does not believe he has done enough to crack the starting lineup.
“He missed all of camp and has only been back four weeks. He’s still learning what to do and how to get in line. We have rotated him with some of the veteran safeties and put P.J. Locke in. But I don’t think we can get them to play 70 snaps a game right now.
“He’s shown potential to make some plays, and that’s something we have been missing back there. He’s probably going to get 30 snaps and P.J. Locke will probably get 30 snaps. Both of them are pretty physical guys and have done extremely well.”
6. Bedford has said he doesn’t like freshmen because they don’t know what to do. However, he has played a significant number of true freshmen on defense this season.
“They are going to be very good one day. … We are playing all of those guys for one reason: They are good players. Yes, they’re young, but they have been good players for us this season.”