Sark: Considered Alabama for ‘about 60 seconds’

  • Chris Low, ESPN Elder WriterApr 17, 2024, 08:51 PM ET


    • College football press reporter
    • Signed up with in 2007
    • Graduate of the University of Tennessee

AUSTIN, Texas– Steve Sarkisian was still unwrapping Texas’ advancement 2023 season and at the very same time casting a positive eye towards the future when he heard the news Jan. 10.

Nick Saban, his previous boss at Alabama, was retiring after a famous career that saw him win 6 championship games in Tuscaloosa, the last one in 2020 with Sarkisian as his offending coordinator.And, yes, Sarkisian acknowledged Wednesday, the possibility of changing Saban entered his mind.”Naturally, I ‘d be lying if I stated I

didn’t think of it,”Sarkisian informed ESPN.”However it took me all of about one minute to state,’ Yeah, I’m not doing that. ‘I had a remarkable two years at Alabama and loved my time under Coach Saban, however eventually you want to enjoy what you sow.”We have actually put a heap into this program for 3 years, and we’re on the cusp, I think, of going on a run that will be impressive. I believe that. Our personnel does, and our players do, too, just the assistance we have and the culture we’ve developed here. Why leave something like that?”Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Sarkisian joked that Texas athletic director Chris Del

Conte was calling about the time those 60 seconds were over and included,”That’s a story for another day.”However it truly didn’t matter, because Sarkisian was right where he wanted to be.That very same chooses his Texas program, which is best where Sarkisian hoped it would be entering his fourth season on the Forty Acres and with the Longhorns making the all-important move to the SEC in 2024.” We need to continue to develop the team, and when I state group, I mean culture,”said Sarkisian, whose Longhorns made their first College Football Playoff appearance last season and won their very first Big 12 championship given that 2009.”We’re going to be plenty talented, ideal? I’m not concerned about us being talented. It’s ensuring that we’re playing at our finest when our best

is required in the defining moments of games, and you play your best when you trust the guy next to you or when you can be liable to the guy next to you and not feel like you have to go out on your own and do something out of character. We’ve got to live every day that way.” I believe that’s something we have actually done an excellent task of over 4 years, and I’m not trying to be conceited in stating that. I just believe that. I think we have the very best culture in college

football, but we have to recreate it every year. Culture does not just rollover from one year to the next. “Quinn Ewers, one of the top returning quarterbacks in the country, said it was obvious when he transferred to Texas from Ohio State in 2022 that Sarkisian had a conclusive plan for how he wished to revamp the roster. The Longhorns required to include depth and skill, however more notably, add players devoted to playing for one another. Ewers said the brotherhood on in 2015’s group was the very best he has belonged of at any level of football. “We had a lot of veteran guys, guys who had been on this group for three years, had actually been through the training modification, had actually been through all the ups and downs,” said Ewers, who will remain in his third season as the Longhorns’starter.”Coach Sark can be found in and kept guys he wanted to keep around and bid farewell to others, however I might inform that he was building something unique.”What has actually been noteworthy to Sarkisian this spring is that he has actually had enough depth to run team periods on both sides of the practice field, two-spotting as he calls it, with 1s and twos on one end and the threes and fours on the other. Going into the 2022 season, 57 of Texas ’85 scholarship players were either freshmen or sophomores.”We have actually never had the depth to do that the entire spring before, where you do not feel one side of the field is getting shortchanged,”Sarkisian stated. “Simply to have the bodies to do that is different, specifically when you don’t feel there’s a significant drop-off.

“Now, I feel like, ‘Male, our young players might not understand everything to do today, but they’re sure pretty talented,’ and it shows not just on offense and defense, but actually shows on unique groups.” The Longhorns had a program-best 11 players welcomed to the NFL combine this year, another indication that Sarkisian is bring in and establishing leading skill. Even while losing as many as five players forecasted to go in the very first two rounds of the NFL draft, Sarkisian has actually been able to restock

the lineup. Texas generated numerous high-profile transfers, consisting of receivers Isaiah Bond(Alabama), Silas Bolden(Oregon State)and Matthew Golden( Houston ). The Longhorns’past 2 finalizing classes have been ranked in the top five nationally by ESPN.And while Texas may not have Outland Trophy winner T’Vondre Sweat and forecasted first-rounder Byron Murphy II returning in the middle of that protective line, Sarkisian thinks the Longhorns will have the ability to play more defensive linemen in 2024. The Longhorns were one of just 6 Power 5 teams to finish in the leading 15 nationally last season in both scoring offense and defense. Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon and Penn State were the others.In the Sugar Bowl CFP semifinal loss to Washington, Texas rallied in the 4th quarter and had four shots at completion zone after getting to the Huskies’12-yard line with 15 seconds remaining, but Ewers wasn’t able to cash in after passing for 318 backyards in the game.”We type of know what it takes to get where we wish to go and what more we require to do,”Ewers stated.

“Clearly, it wasn’t enough, so we know we require to take that extra step whether it’s on the field or off the field, however it absolutely left a dry taste in our mouth.”Ewers, who prides himself on never ever getting rattled, stated he never sweated whether his coach may be carrying on when he heard

about Saban’s retirement. It just helped the vibe in Austin when Sarkisian sent a social media post with a “Horns Up”image the next night, followed by reports that Sarkisian was nearing a deal for a contract extension that will pay him more than$10 million annually.”

It never ever crossed my mind,”Ewers said.”I knew that he wished to be here and knew he wanted to win here. He talks about everything the time. He tells us he wants to retire here and win a bunch of national championships here, and he’s founded guilty when he says it. “That was pretty much Sarkisian’s message to Saban when he informed him he was leaving Alabama for the Texas task in 2020.”I keep in mind speaking to him in his workplace and it was,’Coach, I wish to go develop my own legacy. I don’t wish to simply stay here to continue yours,'”Sarkisian stated. “So those very same ideas came by me when I heard he was retiring. We’re building something here that I believe is going to be sustainable for a long, long time.”

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