Herman has attention of Longhorns
New coach doesn’t need to swing frying pan to face to make a point.
While I got ya, here are nine things and one crazy prediction: 1. Tom Herman said the culture shock experienced by Longhorns football players upon his arrival in December was so severe, it was like “they were hit in the face with a frying pan.” Herman might be the most competitive coach I’ve been around in 40-plus years. Asked why he’s so intense, he told our “On Second Thought” podcast that he “was raised on the value of hard work, and I fell in love with the intoxication of winning. And winning at the highest level is even more intoxicating. Winning became like a drug to me. I wanted it all the time.” 2. Stan Drayton’s looking for a lead option among the Longhorns running backs he’s coaching for the first time, and he hasn’t found one yet in what will primarily be a one-back set, Chris Warren III included. “I wish I had a bell cow,” Drayton said. “Right now I have a committee of backs, to be honest with you. The competition is good. Nobody has separated
himself yet.” While it’s fair to say Drayton isn’t in love with the backs yet, he likes the effort they’re showing. Sophomore Kyle Porter shows promise, but “he needs to be more explosive.” Drayton raves about freshman Daniel Young, who he says has “natural instincts. He is a very tough runner with a big body and can accelerate, but he’s still green because he wasn’t here in the spring.” .... Drayton was emphatic that every special-teams player will be a starter on offense or defense. “We put our best players on special teams,” he says. That’s fine in principle, but it’s also extremely risky, especially when you have concerns about depth. 3. The PGA Championship will move to May on future golf calendars, starting in 2019, and the shift will in turn force the Players Championship into March, probably during the second week of the month. It’s an astute move for the PGA because it avoids a conflict with Olympic golf every four years and ends competition against the NFL preseason, baseball pennant races and the run-up to the college football season. Pete Bevacqua, CEO of the PGA of America, endorses the move, saying it will make it possible to play the PGA Championship in other parts of the country. “It’s more comfortable (in May) in Florida. It’s more comfortable in Texas.” Meanwhile, the guess here, based on several interviews, is that the Dell Technologies Match Play tournament at Austin Country Club will stay where it is in March for the third straight year. The Dell has never begun earlier than March 22. 4. Ben Crenshaw isn’t betting against Jordan Spieth winning the career Grand Slam at age 24 after he tees off in the PGA Championship this week at Quail Hollow. “That’s pretty outstanding. He’s a remarkable competitor,” Crenshaw said. “I hope he keeps the ball in play. I know he has to work on his driving a little bit. You’ve got to look at Rory McIlroy because of his track record. He loves that place. My God, what a win that Open was (for Spieth). It was spectacular.” McIlroy holds the course record at Quail Hollow and has won there twice. ... Seven Longhorns golfers have qualified for the PGA Championship field: Dylan Frittelli (2009-12), Spieth (2012), Brandon Stone (2013), Matt Dobyns (2001), Omar Uresti (198791), Jhonattan Vegas (2003-07) and Cody Gribble (2009-13). 5. Major Applewhite said on our “On Second Thought” podcast that All-America defensive tackle Ed Oliver reminds him of former Longhorn Malcom Brown, now a starter for the New England Patriots. “Ed plays with such good pad level and vision,” the new Houston coach said. “He does everything a linebacker does.” 6. Another recollection of Don Baylor, who died Monday at age 68. He prepared early on for a long professional baseball career, developing a three-year plan as far back as high school. That included taking Portuguese at Austin High because he knew he might spend winter ball in, uh, Puerto Rico. Oh, well. He was always better at baseball than geography. 7. Texas needs to come up with a better baseline standard for disciplining players, coaches and administrators who are found guilty of drunken driving offenses. Longhorns volleyball coach Jerritt Elliott this week declined to comment on possible punishment for All-America outside hitter Micaya White, who was charged with DWI last spring. Texas football coach Charlie Strong suspended guard Kent Perkins for one game — a conference game against Oklahoma State — after a DWI arrest last year and trotted him out for a very public news conference, a great step toward accountability. The school also suspended former Longhorns baseball coach Augie Garrido for a three-game series for the same offense. “We’ve taken care of it in-house,” Elliott said regarding White, who led the Longhorns in kills last season. Her court appearance for the first week in August was reset for Oct. 3. White did participate in the Longhorns’ spring scrimmage a month after her arrest. Asked by our UT volleyball beat writer Danny Davis if we should assume White has been suspended if she doesn’t play in the season opener Aug. 25 at Florida, Elliott said, “You can assume what you want. We’re not going to let outside influences (dictate punishment). We’ve done a real good job of handling it with her and her family, and I think it’s the best thing for our team.” He needs to suspend her for at least a match. 8. Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to former Longhorns running back A.J. “Jam” Jones of Youngstown, Ohio. Jam gave me one of the best interviews I’ve ever had when he talked about how crazily Woody Hayes talked to him about the Civil War and how Notre Dame offered him a car during recruiting. The NCAA investigated the claim and found no wrongdoing. 9. Double feature: I loved “Wonder Woman.” Terrific casting of heroine Gal Gadot and her love interest, Chris Pine. Both played very likable characters, and the movie offered laughs and interesting twists. Second-best movie I’ve seen this year. Gave it 8½ ducks. ... I have always liked the “Planet of the Apes” franchise, but “War for the Planet of the Apes” was far too long and dragged. It needed much better editing. Gave it five ducks. C razy prediction: Jordan Spieth will win the PGA Championship. Contact Kirk Bohls at 512-445-3772. Twitter: @kbohls
The jersey of former Rockies manager Don Baylor hangs in Colorado’s dugout before Tuesday’s game at Cleveland. Baylor, of Austin, died Monday at 68.