After a few tough seasons and a 'rebuilding process', the Texas Longhorns have 19 returning starters, an experienced quarterback looking to make a big splash in his junior season and a coach expecting a big payoff in 2013.
Speaking to the Dallas Morning News, Mack Brown flashed the confidence of a coach who knows what a winning team looks like.
“I think we’ve got it fixed,” Brown said. “We’re not there yet. But we’re back to where we’re going to look like a good team walking out of the tunnel.”
David Ash, (the most experienced starting quarterback in the Big 12) needs to follow the lead of previous Texas quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy and make the jump from young quarterback to experienced leader.
Ash seems to put it all into perspective saying “You would expect a 10-year-old to be more confident than a 5-year-old ... In college, you expect older quarterbacks to be more confident than a freshman.”
At reporting day, Mack Brown also detailed his expectations of David Ash.
"He understands now that they’re watching and that he is the guy and that when he speaks they’re going to listen." said Brown. "So he has to make sure he says the right things and also has to be the hardest worker on the field. He’s got to be great, he’s got to be tough, and he’s got to make plays because they’re not going to listen to him unless he does that.”
(Also See: Mack Brown Supremely Confident in Reporting Day Press Conference)
David Ash is showing signs of being the leader that the Longhorns football team needs him to be. Some point to his experience and having another year under his belt. Others, like offensive lineman Mason Walters have a different perspective.
“I would say trial by fire,” Walters said.
We know that David Ash has to be better this season, but so does the defense. The Longhorns defense gave up more yards than any other in program history. Thankfully defensive cornerstones Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan Hicks are back and healthy. Besides Manny Diaz, no one is happier about those two guys being back than Coach Brown.
"Jordan is confident, very smart. They (His teammates) believe in him" said Coach Brown. "When he says something, they follow him. And we think he will be a key to our defense this year. We’ve already told the guys that Jackson Jeffcoat and Jordan haven’t been healthy all the time, so don’t say we can’t succeed if they’re not out there. That’s not going to fly. Somebody else has to step up and be ready to go, but we’re obviously better off if Jackson and Jordan are healthy."
Senior cornerback Carrington Byndom added, “The attitude of the defense has changed ... We took it upon ourselves to get some things corrected and become the defense that we wanted to be.”
Exciting things are happening on both sides of the ball. Some people have suggested that the Longhorns could win every game. While that is probably asking (or suggesting) too much, one thing seems clear ... this team is ready to erase all doubt and answer every question. Hook'em!