2016 Record – 5-7 (3-6)
Returning Starters – 9 on Offense, 9 on Defense
Leading Returning Passer – Shane Buechele (236-391) 11 INT 60.4 PCT 2,958 Yards 21 TD
Leading Returning Rusher – Chris Warren III (62 Att – 367 Yards ) 5.9 AVG 3 TD
Leading Returning Receiver – Armanti Foreman ( 34 Catches ) 420 Yards 12.4 AVG 3 TD
Leading Returning Tackler – Anthony Wheeler (37 Solo, 28 Ast) 65 Total
Pre Season MVP – Left Tackle Connor Williams
Every good team preview has a badass hype video so here you go!
-The biggest story in the offseason was the hiring of former University of Houston coach Tom Herman. Herman arrives with high expectations, having gone 22-4 during his tenure at Houston, and 6-0 against top 25 teams.
-Herman’s arrival in Austin has come with many changes to the program such as new multi-million dollar locker room upgrades, mandatory drug testing, and a notable uptick in physicality during practices, which some say are the most rigorous in the country.
-Along with Tom Herman comes a plethora of assistant coaches from Houston with proven results, as well as new offensive coordinator Tim Beck from Ohio State. Beck, having been nominated for the Broyles Award (nation’s top assistant coach) twice has a strong resume, and was once a Texas high school football coach at R.L. Turner, and Mansfield Summit. Most, if not all of the coaches on the Longhorns staff have strong roots in the Lone Star state which could pay dividends in the long term for recruiting.
-The Longhorns have nine starters returning on both offense and defense, and while their performance last season was underwhelming, at times they showed their potential. One can only assume that these blue chips might live up to their hype under the new guidance of Herman, especially given all the new changes that Herman has implemented. Most notably, the Longhorns have all five starting linemen returning as well as quarterback Shane Buechele, who at times has shown Colt McCoy type of potential. Buechele performed remarkably as a true freshman last year however, after spring workouts Herman had not named him the starter saying, “I think a healthy fear of losing your job is just that – healthy.” After all, the Longhorns new recruiting class includes the highly touted quarterback Sam Ehlinger, who many have agreed was the best at his position in the state of Texas coming out of high school. The dual-threat Ehlinger enrolled early at Texas, and competed next to Buechele for the starting spot in the spring. Do not be surprised if Ehlinger gets a considerable amount of playing time.
-While the 2017 recruiting class for Texas was ranked 26th in the nation according to 247Sports Composite team rankings, that was to be expected considering the timing of the hiring of Tom Herman and their lack of time to build relationships across the state while still competing against top programs around the nation. The most notable recruits are quarterback Sam Ehlinger, running back Toneil Carter, wide receiver Damion Miller, and tight end Cade Brewer. There’s no way to tell if these recruits will pan out with Texas, so instead of evaluating them based on recruiting articles I’ve provided videos of their highlight tapes below.