HURRICANE HERMAN ROLLS ON
Forget about Tom Herman calling out his "fat guys" on the defensive line and saying he was pleasantly surprised with the effort in winter conditioning of sophomore DT Jordan Elliott "for being out of shape" and "for a guy who committed and de-committed 19 times."
I'm told those who gathered for a game-day operations meeting about the Texas spring game April 15 got plenty of messaging about how things were going to be different.
Don't look for much to be - as you've known it - on April 15 at 1:30 pm or in the fall when the Longhorns open the season at home against Maryland.
First and foremost, UT's Godzillatron as well as the digital video ribbon that circles the stadium just below the upper-tier seating are getting a facelift.
And, more importantly, the sound system inside DKR is being upgraded, I'm told. What's unclear is if the sound system being upgraded is simply the sound coming out of Godzillatron or if UT is doing it right and putting surround sound speakers throughout the stadium. Still getting the details on that.
Texas officials originally wanted to put off spending any more money on Godzillatron and instead wanted to tear it down and start all over when the south end of DKR would undergo renovation. But the urgency to at least get the video and sound system right inside the stadium now that Tom "Hurricane" Herman is here - is at warp speed, I'm told.
"It's amazing to see how quickly things have gotten green-lit and under way since he (Herman) has gotten here," one source close to the situation said. "I mean, it's what had to happen."
I wrote in last week's HD ONLY about how Herman was able to bypass Chris Plonsky, who is in charge of marketing and licensing for UT athletics - to get approval for all the imaging being produced by new football graphics director Matt Lange. Now, Texas football director of operations Fernando Lovo has final say.
Herman, Lange and his staff are single-handedly changing the face of Texas football with everything they're producing and releasing on social media. To the point that all of UT's other coaches are saying, "FINALLY!" Multiple sources said Plonsky's heavy-handed, micromanaging of UT athletics imaging has held back all of UT's athletics' presence on social media and in communication with recruits.
"After a while, everyone just sort of gave up trying to stand out and just did the bare minimum," one source said. "Now, there's hope that what football is doing will start to be the standard for all of the sports at UT."
Texas Football Spring Break
Thursday is the last day of spring practice before the University of Texas lets out for Spring Break. While many of their peers will be living the dream in beach cities over the span of next week, it doesn't sound like many Longhorns will partake in wild spring break festivities.
And that's the way Tom Herman wanted it.
Herman and his staff were not keen on the team taking trips for spring break and made it clear to the Longhorns earlier this semester, according to folks close to the situation.
The initial rule was apparently no spring break trips for any Texas football player. The rule was somewhat amended in later weeks, where anyone who wanted to take a spring break trip (aside from going home) would have to get it approved by the staff beforehand, sources said.
Apparently, that was not enough to encourage many to even attempt to sell spring break plans to the coaches. Sources told HD a lot of guys were concerned that approaching the staff with spring break trips would give the coaches the idea that they want to party and not focus on football, so most players on the team will be staying home.
Texas will return to the field Tuesday March 21.
Decision Approaching for Atanza Vongor
Four-star safety Atanza Vongor is set to announce his verbal commitment Saturday, picking between TCU, Texas and Baylor. The South Grand Prairie prospect told me his decision has been made, and he's eager to make it publicly known.
"I've made my decision," Vongor said. "It's a relief and feels great!"
While Texas is one of his Top 3 programs, there's a decent chance the Longhorns will be on the outside looking in on this one.
TCU has been heavily recruiting Vongor and have made a big impact on him throughout the process. Vongor's commitment has been seemingly trending in the Horned Frogs' direction for a while, and I don't think that will change before Saturday.
We will know for certain in a few days, but as it currently stands, I would give TCU the edge for Vongor's verbal pledge.
CLEMSON DT GRAD TRANSFER SAID HE WANTS TO VISIT TEXAS
Clemson DT grad transfer candidate Scott Pagano (6-4, 295), who posted 92 tackles, 6.5 for loss and 2 sacks in 31 career games, including 13 starts, said he has narrowed a list of 37 offers down to a handful, including Texas, which he plans to visit the weekend of UT's spring game (April 14-15).
Pagano's Clemson bio: http://www.clemsontigers.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=206290984
Pagano has visited Notre Dame and also plans visits to Oklahoma, Arkansas and Oregon. Notre Dame is probably the leader.