Texas coach Tom Herman said he isn’t happy with his team’s ball security in spring practices, and running back Toneil Carter was one of the targets of his comments.
Herman said the Longhorns fumbled the ball “way too many times” during practice on Tuesday, according to the Austin American-Statesman’s Brian Davis. Reporters who got to watch some of practice asked about a fumble by Carter early in the period. Herman was blunt in his warning for the sophomore tailback.
“His job is to accept coaching, and our job is to coach him,” Herman said. “What a shame it would be if a talented guy had to sit on the bench because nobody could trust him.”
Carter ran for 252 yards (4.8 yards per carry) and 3 touchdowns as a freshman. He proved himself to be one of Texas’ better options at running back, but he’s had a problem with fumbles since last year.
“They’re never going to play for us in a game if they can’t protect the football,” Herman said of Carter and fellow running back Tristian Houston before last year’s spring game.
Herman made good on that promise in 2017. Carter’s last carry of the 2017 season was a fumble against Texas Tech after the Longhorns had just gotten across midfield. He didn’t carry the ball again for the final 22:30 in that game. The former 4-star recruit still has a chance to be the feature back for Texas this year, but fumbles could hold him back from that.
However, Herman made it clear that the need to improve ball security goes beyond Carter.
“This is not just Toniel Carter specific,” Herman said. “Anybody. It’s our job to make ’em trustworthy [with the ball].”