For the first time in many seasons, Texas is deservedly the biggest story at Big 12 media days at The Star in Frisco, Texas.
Texas hired Tom Herman as head coach this offseason from Houston, which ranks among the most-hyped hires in program history. He will have his first chance in front of the media on Tuesday morning. Texas is also bringing offensive lineman Connor Williams, defensive back P.J. Locke, linebacker Naashon Hughes and punter Michael Dickson.
Here are some of the key Texas storylines and questions to keep an eye on throughout the week.
What does a Tom Herman program look like?
Texas players were intensely loyal to former coach Charlie Strong, but Herman seems to have won over the roster this offseason. But now, Herman is responsible for putting his imprint on the program. That message will need to shine through from the first moment he takes the podium.
How is the transition?
Herman and Strong are tremendously different personalities and have differing coaching styles. We all remember how jarring the change was for players from Mack Brown to Strong. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be the same level of discord. Is that still true after tough summer workouts?
What will the players say?
To say the least, Texas didn’t bring its A-team. The Longhorns are bringing a punter, its third-most notable linebacker, a young defensive back and an admittedly excellent offensive lineman. It’s nothing new, but the program likes to keep an air of secrecy. Fans will hope these players can give them a little more insight than expected.
Is there a quarterback battle?
Quarterback Shane Buechele had a heck of a start to his freshman year. He beat Notre Dame in his first start, and was seen as the savior before getting hurt. Now, it seems like everyone has moved on to highly-touted true freshman quarterback Sam Ehlinger. A new admin can mean more openness for replacing existing starters, but Herman will make that clear on Tuesday.
Which players are stepping up as leaders?
Last season, it was abundantly clear that the program lacked senior leaders. While D’Onta Foreman and Connor Williams got it done on the field, they’re both quieter personalities. The defense also remained quite young. This year, many expect Malik Jefferson to take the next step. Others need to step into those leadership roles this offseason, especially while transitioning to a new coaching staff.