As Texas opens fall camp, new head coach Charlie Strong took some time to confirm the latest decisions regarding player suspensions and dismissals that have been thrown under a spotlight in recent weeks. Strong formally announced the suspensions of offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, wide receiver Daje Johnson and safety Josh Turner, but did not reveal how much time will be taken away from them except to say they “will miss games.”
Turner had been previously thought to have been dismissed but ultimately remained with the program before following through on a potential transfer. Bergeron’s dismissal came in late July. Strong then confirmed some dismissal news that had previously been reported. Running backs Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet and defensive back Chevoski Collins have all been released from scholarships. In addition, wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander were once again confirmed to have been released from their scholarships by Texas, following a sexual assault investigation. the two receivers were initially suspended by the team.
Strong’s tough approach to discipline has been praised by Texas president Bill Powers and is having an overall positive impact on the future of the Longhorns football program. Texas needed a bit of a kick in the butt as a football program, and Strong continues to deliver it with a steel-toe boot.
Hold the phone on at least one of the players reportedly booted past the Austin city limits.
Both Rivals.com and 24/7Sports.com are reporting that Josh Turner is once again a member of the Texas football team. Per the latter recruiting website, Turner was set to transfer when, “just prior to Turner finalizing his plans, head coach Charlie Strong allowed Turner to appeal to the decision of his dismissal.”
A meeting with head coach Charlie Strong was held Tuesday night that went well enough that Turner was placed back on the team, albeit with what 247Sports termed as “severe restrictions.” What those restrictions entail wasn’t divulged.
Turner has started five games in the secondary during his 37-game UT career. He will be a senior in 2014.
Running back Joe Bergeron and Jalen Overstreet along with defensive end Chevoski Collins remain on the outside of the program looking in and are not expected to see their dismissals reversed. Bergeron is seeking to be released from his scholarship so he can transfer to a Div. II school in the state.
If there was one thing the Texas football program needed, it was a focus on discipline and getting a toughness back. That is what makes head coach Charlie Strong a terrific hire for the program after cutting ties with Mack Brown. Strong’s message to the team was put on display once more Friday morning with news of senior running back Joe Bergeron being dismissed from the roster.
Bergeron is the seventh player to be booted from the Texas football program since Strong arrived on his saddle in Austin. That number has skyrocketed in the past week with four others being dismissed this week. Running back Jalen Overstreet and defensive end Chevoski Collins were also dismissed by the program on Thursday for various violations, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Wide receivers Kendall Sanders and Montrell Meander were also suspended by Strong on Thursday as a legal situation stemming from an alleged sexual assault.
Bergeron had been sent home from spring practice earlier this year, so seeing Strong come to this decision may not be quite a shock, although the head coach did sing the praises of the running back during a spring tour. Strong has said from day one as the Texas head coach he needed to make some changes to overhaul what could be a sleeping giant of a program at this point. Strong has always been focused on discipline and he does not waste time coddling players, which is a little bit of the dose of reality seemingly needed in Austin.
Bergeron was third on the team in rushing in 2013, accumulating 362 rushing yards and four touchdowns in 13 games.
Don’t mess with Texas? Don’t mess with Strong, that much is for sure.
The topsy-turvy 2013 season for Texas’ Daje Johnson will end on a decidedly down note.
Sunday afternoon, the Longhorns announced that the wide receiver/running back/return man is one of three players who have been declared academically ineligible and will not play in UT’s Alamo Bowl game against Oregon. Also out are offensive tackle Kennedy Estelle and tailback Jalen Overstreet.
The losses of Johnson and Estelle will serve as significant blows to Texas’ offense.
When healthy — and staying out of trouble — Johnson has accumulated 757 all-purpose yards in 2013 and started six games. Johnson scored three touchdowns this season — one each rushing, receiving and on a punt return — along with being one of the team’s top return specialists.
An ankle injury cost Johnson playing time early in the season, and a suspension for violating unspecified team rules kept him out of the Thanksgiving Day game against Texas Tech.
Replacing an injured Josh Cochran, the sophomore Estelle started the last eight games of the season at right tackle.
The redshirt freshman Overstreet ran the ball 20 times for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
After a fairly stunning thrashing of Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout Saturday, coach Mack Brown said quarterback Case McCoy is the guy for Texas — that is, until injured signal-caller David Ash is back.
“It is Case’s team until David returns — until we’re told David is returning to practice, Case is the only one on this team that’s taken a span at quarterback,” Brown said on Monday’s Big 12 teleconference. “… When David returns, obviously we’ll have to look at that but that’s not an issue.”
McCoy didn’t set Oklahoma’s secondary on fire, but he turned in a solid performance at a position that’s been lacking for the ‘Horns this year. Colt’s younger brother completed 13 of 21 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, helping steer an offense powered by running backs Jonathan Gray (29 carries, 123 yards) and Malcolm Brown (23 carries, 120 yards).
Ash hasn’t played since Sept. 21, as the junior has dealt with concussion issues dating back to Texas’ Sept. 7 loss at BYU. On the season, he’s completed 53 of 87 passes for 760 yards with seven touchdowns and two interceptions; McCoy’s completed 75 of 123 attempts for 764 yards with four touchdowns and one interception.
Obviously, with any player dealing with a concussion, there’s not much of a timetable for Ash’s return. He wasn’t able to travel from Austin to Dallas for Saturday’s Red River Shootout, although Texas does have a week off before its next game (Oct. 26 at TCU).
But as Brown said, this is McCoy’s team for now — which, for the immediate future, means four-star freshman Tyrone Swoops and redshirt freshman Jalen Overstreet won’t push for the No. 1 gig.