Dressed in a white cap, a black pullover and shorts, an energized Tom Herman sprinted across Red River Street immediately after vehicles cleared the area.
“It’s like Frogger,” he yelled with enthusiasm, when reaching the grand gates of the practice facility at Frank Denius Field.
Buses soon followed, with hoards of football players in burnt orange and white sprinting off one-by-one, ready to work under the new head coach.
Texas’ first spring practice of 2017 generated excitement, as well as hard work. Herman addressed his two demands for the program in his press conference on Monday, and immediately focused on those concerns: effort and ball security.
As loud rap and classic rock music resonated in the atmosphere, Herman conducted fast-paced drills to ring in the spring football season. Assistant coaches constantly yelled to remind players to move at full speed. The Texas players, all in shorts and plain white helmets, turned to motivating the rest of their teammates upon completing drills.
The next series of drills involved ball security. Footballs were issued to offensive players, distinguishable in white jerseys. Each one held the pigskin as if it were the program, grasping it with authority and protecting it with maximum energy. Coaches spread across the field, armed with foam baseball bats and boxing gloves, attempting to force fumbles on unsuspecting players.
Defensive players, identifiable in all-orange, ran similar drills although lacking a ball. Uniformity and attention to detail were stressed by the new staff, notable by the way the players knelt, ran and stretched.
And Herman’s envisioned culture of Texas football was in the works.