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We are suffering from a case of information overload following the hiring of Tom Herman as the new Head Football Coach at The University of Texas. We've tried to cover it from every angle, and filter out the right things in order to pass along to you.

Let’s start with some details about how it went down...

When movement on the coaching front first started, we were pretty consistent in posting that Tom Herman would be the front runner for the job. There were times that other names came up, and sources tried to make it look like a race, but Herman was the guy all along.

Despite what Greg Fenves said during the introductory press conference, this was a process that went on behind the scenes for quite some time. While most of the internet freaked out during the past week, our sources urged us to remain calm. We had a tight moment on Thanksgiving night when the LSU leak caused our staff to interrupt time with family to chase the story, and for about 20 minutes we believed Texas had lost. As we continued to reach out to people that would know, we were told that it wasn’t over. While the Texas side of things was definitely set on Herman, the events of Thanksgiving night upped the sense of urgency. It was all over from that point on. Once Texas seriously involved themselves in the battle there wasn’t a battle to be had. We went to bed on Friday night after hearing it would move quickly, and we woke up Saturday morning with news that Strong had been fired and Herman was hired.

We’d be lying if we said the staff wasn’t concerned about some prolonged process full of rumors and intrigue, and we were relieved this thing was wrapped up as quickly as it was. One source reached out to us in order to say, “We told you to stay calm, and you guys did”. Now Texas fans everywhere can celebrate that the Longhorns appear to have hired an answer for the long-term future.

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What will a Tom Herman Texas Staff Look Like?

We’ve done our best to keep you updated on the staff Herman is putting together. From what we understand he will meet with the existing Texas staff today, but he isn’t expected to retain any of them. We know that some people promised a “super staff” coming together, but we never believed that to be the case. Coaches are predictable and loyal, and sources told us that recruiting ties to the state would weigh heavily. Let’s take a look at where we are, and what we can expect.

OC – This one is all over the place. We’ve gotten mixed reaction on Major Applewhite returning to Austin, and although we were close to ruling him out, no one has given us a definite “no”. This will probably play out through the Houston bowl game, and the Cougar’s own coaching search.

OL – Derek Warehime – One source described Warehime as a “mini-Herman” of sorts. The two worked together at Rice, where Warehime was a GA when Herman was the OC there. We talked about it when Matt Mattox was hired, but there is a heavy importance with the OC and line coach working in harmony for an install. Some think Warehime has a future as a play-caller, and most of the folks we talked to feel he has some budding star potential. We were also told he is a very strong recruiter.

WR – We are still searching for some information on this one. Darrell Wyatt was in place at UH, but he wasn’t immediately tapped when the transition took place. Wyatt was previously at Texas under Mack Brown, and he’s got a strong reputation as a DFW recruiter. Another name we’ve been told to watch for is Ohio State’s Zach Smith. Smith is the WR coach for the Buckeyes, and the recruiting coordinator. He’d probably have to take on an additional title to make the move, and he could factor into the OC race.

RB – We’ve not received any specific information about this position, but we believe it could be held open for a guy like Tim Brewster (same goes for WR). As we reported yesterday, we are hearing that things are getting closer with Florida State’s ace recruiter, and he’s previously been a TE coach. I think this is also a spot you could see use if Herman decided to keep a guy like Jeff Traylor on.

TE – Corby Meekins – Meekins is the former Spring Westfield head coach, and he’s one of the keys into recruiting the Houston area. Texas has been shut out of Westfield for quite some time, and this hire should open things up. Strong’s staff excelled in DFW and east Texas, but they were always missing a made man in the Houston area. Texas is now armed with one ready to go forward.

DC/LB – See the OC part and replace Major Applewhite’s name with Todd Orlando.

DL – Oscar Giles – Giles was known as a good coach and strong recruiter during his last stint on the 40 acres, and he returns with an even more enhanced reputation. The former Longhorn is beloved by his players, and he’s respected in high schools all across this state.

CB – Jason Washington – Washington appears to be the Dallas area recruiter for Herman, and he’s known as a tactician and strong teacher of the position. He also spent time as the Coogs’ Special Teams Coordinator, and we know that Texas could use an uptick there. In talking to a couple of coaches around the state, they couldn’t say enough good things about the guy.

Safeties – Craig Naivar – The Texas native is seen as Herman’s closest confidante according to some close to the staff. Naivar spent time with Herman at Sam Houston State, and he was responsible for getting him on at Texas State the following year. Naivar holds several titles at Houston, including Associate Head Coach and Co-DC. He’s very well received in state, in fact one high school coach we spoke with described him as a guy that “keeps practice lit”. The same source went on to say he’s the guy that could get DBU back on the radar.

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Recruits and Texas Commits Speak on the Hire

We caught up with several recruits in the 2017 and 2018 classes to get their thoughts on the new Texas head coach, and the response was very positive.

Josh Thompson (Texas commit) – “I think they made the right choice, and I think I made the right choice in staying a Longhorn”.

Kobe Boyce (Texas commit) – “I think he can do something special with the program.” (Boyce told us he’s solidly committed, but he does want to meet with the coaches to see what they are about. More on that in a moment).

2018 Sachse DB Isaiah Humphries – “Coach Herman is a good recruiter.” (Humphries went on to tell us Texas would be high on his list if they offered).

2018 Yoakum WR Joshua Moore – “Coach Herman and I have built a tremendous relationship when he was at Houston. Great coach, and most importantly great guy. I love that man."

2018 West Mesquite DB Dayven Coleman – “It’s sad to see Coach Strong leave, but I think Coach Herman is going to fit in right away because he’s a good coach, and he’s a player’s coach. It shouldn’t be that hard for him to fit in and he’ll change the program around.”

2018 Rockwall Heath DB Tanner McAllister – “I know everybody wants to win, but Strong taught kids life lessons that they will carry with them throughout their life. At the end of the day the fans want wins. Now personally, Coach Herman getting the job isn’t so bad. I’ve been recruited by Houston since my sophomore year, so I would hope he would continue to recruit me at Texas.”

2018 John Tyler OLB DK Goodson – “It’s very exciting to me, and it makes me want to go back for another visit. He’s a very good coach."

Lagaryonn Carson (Texas commit) – “Good hire. I’m solid!”

2018 Yoakum DB Jordan Moore – “Great pick is all I have to say.”

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The Herman Staff at Texas is already at-work

The Herman staff is already working on recruiting. We were told yesterday that Oscar Giles reached out to Temple DE Taquon Graham. Josh Thompson and Kobe Boyce both confirmed they heard from new members of the coaching staff indicating plans to come see them this week. We’re working on some more news on this front, but it’s safe to say Herman plans to hit the ground running.

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Will Houston commits potentially follow Herman to Austin?

One Houston commit that might be on the radar for Texas is Brenham (TX) LB Marqez Bimage. Bimage stands 6’2, 226 lbs., and he’s a rising athlete in the state. Bimage plays defensive end for his high school team, but he appears to be a linebacker at the next level. We caught up with Bimage when the news of the hire was breaking, and he’s very open to the Longhorns. Bimage told us he hasn’t heard from the new staff yet, but he’s expecting to soon. Keep an eye on Bimage in the next few weeks.

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Missouri City Ridge Point DB Terry Petry is another player that might be contacted by the Texas staff. Like Bimage, Petry told us he would be very open to hearing from Texas. The Horns already have three DB commits, but they might bring in Petry to augment the secondary.

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We planned to have a look at the entire class out, but decided to wait until the coaches finished road tripping this week to start gathering some data. We plan to have something like that in next week’s edition.

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What are the High School Coaches Saying about Tom Herman and Texas?

We spoke to several high school head coaches in state to get their thoughts on the changes in Austin.

On assistant coaches:

“They wouldn’t last with Herman if they couldn’t coach. This is the Ohio State model. You better know your shit and recruit your ass off. Herman doesn’t miss a thing.”

“Naivar coached SEC ball, so he knows what it should look like. Very intense, and a good special teams guy.”“Warehime is young, not a ton of experience. He coaches hard as shit, and will be a good recruiter.”

“Meekins will be good in Houston recruiting. Don’t know much about him coaching wise.”

“Naivar and Warehime are very intense, they will cuss you out in a heartbeat.”

“Don’t take your little kids to practice if they aren’t used to language.”

On Herman:

“He’s the real deal. I know people think urban Meyer is a dick, but what Herman learned under him about preparation and details cannot be overlooked. That’s where the pressure quote comes from. To think, I had Herman in my office in 2009 when he was at Iowa State closing the deal on a player. It’s unbelievable.”

“Herman is a mad man, to the point that many Houston area coaches said he needed to calm down a bit when he first got there."

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Herman and the players met. Are they sold?

Finally, we spoke to several team sources following the meeting that Herman held with the current team. There was quite a bit of mixed reaction, though most of it was positive. There are still a few players (mostly the young guys) getting over Strong’s firing, and they aren’t yet open-minded enough to someone new. It wasn’t quite a “rah-rah” speech designed to comfort and inspire his new troops. We were told Herman gave them a dose of cold reality about what lies ahead. There was positive reaction from some players who were really fired up about getting things on the right track. We were told it will take some time to heal those existing wounds, but the expectation was that the team would get on track with their new coach. The important thing was that several team leaders stepped out to lead by example. We’ll continue to speak with sources over the next few weeks to see how the players are taking it.
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