Con­di­tion­ing coach McKnight’s pro­gram praised by Her­man.

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By Danny Davis daniel­d­avis@states­man.com Spring

At Texas, the dress code for Ca­sual Fri­days ap­par­ently doesn’t in­volve T-shirts and shorts.

The Longhorns re­turned to wear­ing pads at prac­tice Fri­day, and per­haps no­body was hap­pier than head coach Tom Her­man ... who was wear­ing shorts. A vo­cal op­po­nent of eval­u­at­ing play­ers in non­con­tact sit­u­a­tions — “I’m never go­ing to com­ment on any­body’s per­for­mance in shorts. It’s not foot­ball,” he said in March — Her­man rel­ished the chance to put his team in game­like set­tings. He told the play­ers as much in a meet­ing Thurs­day.

“They grow up in this gen­er­a­tion of seven-on-seven. … It builds cer­tain skills, but it’s def­i­nitely not real foot­ball,” Her­man said. “They un­der­stand the im­por- tance of putting full pads on and tack­ling to the ground. Train­ing as real as we can and sim­u­lat­ing game­like sit­u­a­tions is how you get bet­ter, and they be­lieve in that.”

Af­ter UT’s first day in pads, it ap­peared that the team’s MVP was strength and con­di­tion­ing coach Yancy McKnight. Her­man ap­plauded the off­sea­son work of McKnight and his staff, and he noted that the pad lev­els and hip ex­plo­sion of his de­fen­sive play­ers had im­proved since the spring. De­fen­sive back P.J. Locke III and left tackle Con­nor Williams also

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