July 22 News: Charlie Strong Demands Winning Season of Texas

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Second-year Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong faces a bit of a quandary. He has to rebuild in order to get Texas back to the level to which it’s accustomed, competing for Big 12 and national championships. At the same time, Texas doesn’t have a fan base or boosters with the patience to wait for a rebuild.

Bearing this in mind, Charlie Strong told reporters at Tuesday’s session of Big 12 media days that the Longhorns cannot endure a repeat of last year’s 6-7 finish, which ended with a blowout loss to Arkansas.

Per Nick Castillo of the Dallas Morning News:

“Last year 6‑7 is not good enough,” Strong said. “It will never be good enough at the University of Texas. We know we lost a lot of players on defense, returned a lot on offense, but we have to improve as a coaching staff. We have to do a better job of coaching. But we’ve also got to get our players to go play and go compete and go compete week in and week out.”

Charlie Strong’s trying first season was the latest chapter in a half-decade-long era of struggle that’s seen Texas go from national powerhouse to favored punching bag. Reveling in the Longhorns’ failures, we get pronouncement like Bret Bielema’s last week that routing Texas in December was “borderline erotic.”

Charlie Strong is using that comment as motivation for the 2015 Longhorns, picked to finish fifth in the Big 12.

Utah State’s Rise to Football Relevance

Brady Clark, Deseret News

Utah State enters 2015 on a run of four consecutive bowl appearances, coming off just the second 10-win campaign in program history and with designs on a Mountain West Conference championship. The Aggies return from decades of dormancy after the program’s glory days of the 1960s, examined by the Deseret News‘ Brady Clark.

Utah State has persisted through a coaching change, perhaps even improving in the transition from Gary Andersen to Matt Wells. Wells’ lineup in the coming autumn can make history, featuring some of the Mountain West’s most talented playmakers in Chuckie Keeton, Kyler Fackrell and Nick Vigil. I previewed the Aggies at Today’s U.

Former Army QB Trent Steelman Awaiting NFL Training Camp Invite

Zach Greenwell, Bowling Green Daily News

Trent Steelman captained Army’s option offense as its quarterback from 2009 through 2012. In 2015, he played wide receiver for Team USA in the IFAF World Championship with the aim of catching NFL scouts’ eyes.

Steelman told Zach Greenwell of the Bowling Green Daily News:

“It was a good opportunity to get back on the field in the manner that we did, representing Team USA and the country. It was a humbling experience. For me personally, I thought it was what I needed. I needed to show teams that I could play that position and get some film. That was my mission – to not only help the team, but help my cause along the way – and I think I did that.”

Steelman completed the two years of his post-graduation military obligations for West Point, hence his renewed focus on making an NFL roster. Steelman was an outstanding option quarterback, finishing his senior season with nearly 1,300 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns.

Plenty of quarterbacks have successfully made the transition from college quarterback to wide receiver, the most notable, current example being New England Patriot Julian Edelman. Steelman being able to make the leap after also serving in the United States Army would be truly exceptional.