In 2009, the Texas Longhorns lost the BCS National Championship game to the Alabama Crimson Tide. The following season the team struggled through a 5-7 season. Several mediocre seasons later, Mack Brown was forced out at Texas. Now, for the first time since 1937, no Longhorn football player was drafted by an NFL team.
Talk about a kick to the gut.
Four Longhorns were projected to get picked – Jackson Jeffcoat, Mike Davis, Carrington Byndom and Anthony Fera. Not a single one heard his name called this weekend. To rub salt in an open wound, the Texas A&M Aggies had three players selected in the first 22 picks. This is like losing your girlfriend to the next door neighbor while you are standing next to her.
What happened? How does a major college program in the heart of a state that eats, breathes and sleeps football not develop a single player worthy of a draft pick? Schools like Liberty, Bloomsburg, Furman, Coastal Carolina and Northwest Missouri State all had players selected. Surely the athletes from these schools aren’t better than what Texas can produce? This is what Texas fans have to be asking themselves.
Jeffcoat was an All-American and the 2013 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Davis is a former prep All-American wide receiver ranked as the state’s second-best receiving recruit. Byndom was rated as the 12th best high school cornerback in the nation by Rivals. That is some pretty good talent not to get drafted.
Did bad coaching fail these players? Or is it the fact this year’s draft was loaded with talent and teams could afford to pass on a Jeffcoat or Davis to fill other needs? The answer is probably somewhere in the middle. Still, an embarrassing moment for the university.
Perhaps this is a sign that the program has hit rock bottom. The good news is that Texas can only go up from here under new head coach Charlie Strong. In case you were curious, the Louisville Cardinals had three players selected in the first round.
The 2014 NFL draft is definitely a black cloud over the program. The silver lining in all of this is that the current players will want to work harder to make sure this doesn’t happen to them.
It can’t happen again.