It is quite clear a massive culture change is underway inside the Texas Longhorn football program. There is no better evidence of this than the numerous suspensions and dismissals Strong has sanctioned in the past few weeks. Most notably, wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander have been suspended after being charged with sexual assault, while running backs Jalen Overstreet and Joe Bergeron and defensive back Chevoski Collins have been dismissed for a violation of team rules.
HornsDigest.com writer Chip Brown articulated the situation perfectly when he said on the Doug Gottlieb show, It’s just been a massive culture change under Charlie Strong, who came in and was going to do it his way, Charlie Strong has five core values that he says he’s not going to waver on, and all of these players who have been dismissed have been talked to about their attitude having to change, their behavior having to change – dating back to February. So none of this should come as a surprise to these players.”
At this point there are few who question Strong’s commitment to off the field behavior within the program, yet there are many Texas fans whose main concern is getting back to playing championship football. Strong will have to show he is capable of leading his team in this direction, even without some of his players, particularly at skill positions where they were already quite thin. Texas has gone 30-21 over the last four years, including 8-5 a season ago. Will the Longhorns be competitive in 2014?
Given the number of suspended or dismissed players, probably not.
“They’re going to have to be really, really scrappy, and they’re going to have to (avoid injuries),” Brown said. “They’re going to be thin. They’ve got some good front-line starters on defense, but they can’t afford an injury on the defensive line or the offensive line.”
With that said Strong has arguably the most talented state for football right in his back yard. He has shown the ability to be a top recruiter and will have a chance to re-up the talent in Austin through the recruiting process. Time is the only measuring stick to quantify Strong’s success in Austin, so now, we wait.