Taylor Estes

Texas Longhorns Discuss Fall Camp Progress, Huge Season Opener Against Notre Dame and More!

Texas opens its 2016 season at home against Notre Dame and the Longhorns are eager to show the offseason progress they have made come Sunday night.


* Said he doesn't know who the starting QB will be vs Notre Dame ... "I'm not even sure Charlie knows," Malik laughed. "I do have equal confidence in both." 

* Having today off will be enough time for the team to get its legs back if players are smart and do rest up. 

"Get some food, do your homework, which there shouldn't be much of and get off your feet," Malik said. 

* On Texas vs Notre Dame being the only game on Sunday night:

"I'm perfectly fine with that. A lot of these guys need to get used to things like that." 

* Why the Run D will be better:

"Eleven guys running to the ball. We know where to be and how we're going to get there." 

* On why the Texas offense will be improved:

"It's fast, and it's going to be consistent. You really do have to worry about our run and pass game."



* All the tackling drills in fall camp have paid off:

"I'm 315 pounds, so I don't really track no hips. But I thought the 'track-the-hip' drill really helped our young guys." 

* On freshman DT Gerald Wilbon, who will likely see action Sunday vs ND at nose tackle:

"He's a guy who likes to learn. He's committed to knowing what he needs to know on defense."

* On his advice to young, wide-eyed freshmen teammates for Sunday night:

"Go out and have fun. Embrace the moment. Then, once the butterflies settle down, realize there is a job to go handle."

* On changing the perception of Texas after two losing seasons:

"That's the job we have to get done."

* On Malik Jefferson taking more of a leadership role:

"He came in and didn't talk much. He did an outstanding job of letting his play do the talking. He's earned the right to lead this year."

* On Charles Omenihu's emergence:

"His coming out party was in the spring. He just really attacked his position. He's taken coaching. He likes to ask questions, because he wants to do everything right."



* On his haters wishing he'd disappear but continuing to hold onto a starting job:

"Yeah, it gives you a sense of satisfaction - even though that sense is kind of twisted. If I get passed up, it won't be for a lack of effort."

* On who could surprise in the secondary:

"I think Davante (Davis) and Holton (Hill) have both really improved and are now comfortable with being the starter, and I think you'll see them at a different level from where they were at this time a year ago.

"Jason Hall has approached things so much more seriously. I never have to worry about where he's lining up. And Brandon Jones has probably exceeded expectations from a learning and play-making standpoint up to now. He definitely has a chance to play this season - whether it's on special teams or defense."



* Doesn't know who the starting QB will be:

"Both (Swoopes and Buechele) have the ability to lead the offense. In practice, I don't focus on who is throwing the ball. I focus on catching the ball, running the right route and my assignments." 

* On impact of additions to the WR room Devin Duvernay, Jerrod Heard and Kai Locksley:

"Jerrod and Kai have both helped our room. Both have come a long way in a short time. Devin is a real speed guy, and Coach (Sterlin) Gilbert likes those guys in this offense, because they help spread the defense and create room to run the ball."

* On what coaches are telling the players this week:

"Stay hydrated. Get lots of sleep. Keep your legs in shape."

* On what Sterlin Gilbert tells the players about the offense:

"The main thing he preaches is tempo. He says that's when this offense is most effective - when it's fast. Because of the increased snaps, it gives more of our playmakers a chance to get the ball."

* On if anyone should take Texas seriously after last year's 38-3 loss at ND:

"It would be easy to see how we'd be getting overlooked in this game. As long as we go out there focused and ready to go, last season won't matter, and we should be fine."

* On Notre Dame being favored by 3 points in Vegas: 

"We don't focus on that. But there's a certain amount of confidence that's different from last year."



* On why this year's defense is going to be different:

"Guys have done the little things like studying film and meeting on their own, so I think we'll be more sound. Even if it's just 15 minutes here or 20 minutes there, guys are doing it."

* On facing UT's receivers in practice:

"We've got some speed at receiver. But we've got some speed at DB, too. We aren't afraid to put our hands on them, knowing that if they get off press, we have some makeup speed."


OL Kent Perkins

* Perkins took it upon himself to address the team as it prepares for Notre Dame, which is kind of out of character for the otherwise quiet leader. 

"I had a feeling that I needed to say something to the team. That was the first time I ever did anything like that. I basically just told the guys that we could do this, this year. Nobody has worked as hard as we have worked and it's time to get it done."

* Biggest change in 2016:

"I just feel like it's different this year. A lot of things have changed, but the biggest thing is the energy has changed. You can feel the passion on the team. Before you couldn't feel the passion and you can't win games without passion. 

"When we came back and saw those teams playing in bowl games, it had everybody on the team heated. We got back to the locker room and instead of guys being angry, guys had a jump about them from Day 1. From Day 1 of spring conditioning, guys brought the energy every day to practice. It felt amazing. Guys weren't just lagging in for workouts, guys were excited to get better."

* Perkins said he knows who the quarterback is, but to no surprise, would not discuss it. However, he did explain what he wants from the quarterback.

"I just want somebody back there that I know will make smart decisions and that can lead the offense. It's as simple as that.

* On what he likes more about the QB position now than compared to this time last year:

"The competitiveness. Those guys compete their butts off man. It's amazing. I love to see them compete."

* What sticks with Perkins from last year's Notre Dame game?

"The biggest thing is I felt like we could do more. I personally don't like talking about last season, because I feel like we are more than that."

* On freshmen o-linemen

"Those guys have a bright future, I'll tell you that right off the top. They came in, they worked their butts off and they listen. The freshmen are all humble, you have no selfish guys in that group. You have guys who are willing to work, and guys that want you as an older guy to talk to them, critique them and get them better. I love all of those guys."



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