Charlie Strong is not going to waste any time as head coach of the Texas Longhorns with players who can’t keep their noses clean off the field. On Friday, his purge continued with a report that running back Joe Bergeron had been dismissed from the team for a violating team rules. On the heels of Jalen Overstreet and Chevoski Collins getting dismissed and Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander being arrested and charged with felony sexual assault, the loss of Bergeron is another hit to a turned over Texas depth chart.
Bergeron was a key backup for the Horns in 2013, playing in all 13 games as the No. 3 running back. He finished the year with 362 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns. When paired with Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray, Bergeron was poised to complete arguably the deepest backfields in the entire Big 12 with an effective trio of runners. Having Bergeron “in the mix” as Strong said he was after he missed the end of spring practice was huge in that it gave the team a bit of security in the event that Gray was slow returning to form from his injury-shortened sophomore season.
Without Bergeron and Overstreet, the Longhorns lose their No. 3 and No. 4 running backs from 2013. The only other back on the roster who recorded a carry last season is junior Alex De La Torre who rushed the ball once for 19 yards as the team’s fullback. There isn’t a lot of help coming in this year’s recruiting class, either, as the team expects just one incoming freshman running back to join the team in four-star Donald Catalon. That won’t give Texas a whole lot of room for error in the event of an injury.
There is no denying that Charlie Strong is a leader who is going to put his foot down when it comes to shaping the personality of a program. His hard stance on player conduct, in the long run, will help reshape the Longhorns in a preeminent college football program. But for now, with the dismissal of Joe Bergeron, it leaves the Horns dangerously thin on the depth chart.