I was asked not to report this information last night, but it got out through other sources. My source close to Graham told me he's had it with the recruiting process and is planning to cancel his OU visit this weekend. Graham reportedly called Herman last night to tell him he was shutting it down. OU is still pushing to get him on campus, but from what we were told he wasn't planning to make it.
Strong speaks of faith, passion at Breakfast of Champions
An overflow crowd of 1,200 crowd greeted Charlie Strong early Friday morning and listened to the University of Texas football coach talk about his faith, passion for his players and being in the pressure cooker of one of the most high profile jobs in the nation.
Strong was in Tyler for the Breakfast of Champions, hosted by Green Acres Baptist Church at the Crosswalk Conference Center.
GABC pastor David Dykes said in the seven years of the series that has featured NFL and Major League Baseball players and other college coaches and personalities, this was the first sellout.
Strong talked of his religious background and the other religion in Texas, football.
He said his favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3: 5-6,â€œTrust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways submit to Him,and He will make your paths straight.â€
Strong said he grew up in the small town of Batesville, Arkansas, where his church â€œwould have maybe 25 on Sunday, not like the 14,000 members here Pastor Dykes.â€
Strong said they began church at 9 a.m. on Sundays and did not get out until 9 p.m. On Monday, when they got to school they would find out who won the NFL games.
He told the group the team holds Chapel on Fridays before games and every Sunday.
â€œI tell parents I am not trying to convert them, but I think it is important to have Chapel. Thatâ€™s where you learn about leadership, overcoming adversity. Our goal is developing young men for life,â€ Strong said.
The top goal Strong said for his players is: graduate and that will give you an opportunity to be successful in life and to be productive citizens.
Strong said he is following a legend in coach Mack Brown. He added he talks with Brown, who led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship, at least once a week and that his predecessor is a sounding board.
He wondered how Brown could last 17 years under the pressure of coaching in Austin and â€œIâ€™m just in year three,â€ he laughed. Strong said those are big shoes to fill.
He noted the ups and downs of last season. After a couple of kicking game errors resulted in losses to California and Oklahoma State, his team bounced back to beat Oklahoma (which got a big cheer) and later Baylor.
After back-to-back top 10 recruiting classes, Strong feels the foundation is in place and has a chance to win.
Strong described a typical recruiting day with former Gilmer coach and current UT assistant Jeff Traylor, who was in attendance on Friday, began at 6 a.m. in Texarkana, followed by trips to Liberty-Eylau, Tyler, Nacogdoches, back to Tyler, Bullard, New Orleans and ended in Austin.
He praised Traylor for the job he has done, especially getting Nacogdoches defensive back Brandon Jones to sign.
â€œWe donâ€™t negative recruit,â€ Strong said. â€œWe sell our product - The University of Texas.â€
He noted the core values he established for the team was nothing different than â€œwhat we grow up withâ€ - honesty, treat women with respect, no drugs or alcohol, no stealing and no weapons.
He also added, â€œthere is no substitute for hard work.â€
Now, it is just a matter of getting into the win column after 6-7 and 5-7 seasons.
â€œWe will get it right and it will be sooner than later,â€ Strong said.
Good hire, Traylor he is well respected and his kids seem to really like him. He is also an offensive guy which is one advantage over a guy like Joey. He will open some doors for Strong and UT for sure.