Texas football has boasted players with plenty of potential in recent seasons, but the Longhorns haven’t recorded more than seven wins in half a decade.
Even the arrival of coach Tom Herman in time for the 2017 season didn’t create the immediate boost some hoped for. Texas only improved by one win from 2016 in the regular season, finishing the year 6-6 before winning the Texas Bowl for an overall mark of 7-6.
But what the Longhorns experienced in 2017 may soon be revealed to be the exception rather than the norm, at least as long as Herman is in charge on the Forty Acres, according to one analyst.
FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt says that he expects Herman to usher in a new era of Texas football players as his time with the team continues — a generation of players that are much “tougher” than previous classes to come through Austin.
Joel Klatt expects Tom Herman to help produce ‘tougher’ football players at Texas
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) April 25, 2018
While the win total may not have been as high as some hoped for in 2017, well more than half of the Longhorns’ contests — regardless of the final result — were winnable. Four of the six losses on the year were one possession games — the exceptions being vs. Maryland in Week 1 and at TCU on Nov. 4. And not many pundits expected the stunning slip-up vs. the Terrapins to that put a sour note on Herman’s debut.
Texas, of course, will be without a plethora of impact-players from the 2017 season. Tackle Connor Williams is expected to be a first-round draft pick this week in the 2018 NFL Draft. A number of players on defense, including safety DeShon Elliott and linebacker Malik Jefferson, also declared for the draft.
But for the talent the Longhorns have lost, Herman did haul in the No. 1 ranked recruiting class in the Big 12 in February. That doesn’t mean all will be in playing shape this fall. But if Herman is able to transform an already talented group of recruits into even tougher players once they arrive in Austin, Texas could finally be “back” in the years to come.