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Applewhite Impact

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Though there are some who will be excited by a Major Applewhite return to Austin just because He's Major Applewhite, the potential hire excites me for a number of much more substantive reasons. The storylines I'm interested in:

Recruiting, generally. Major's already proven himself an able recruiter in his young career, helping Nick Saban haul in one of the country's best classes in 2008. More importantly, he's shown excellent ability to work the Texas high school network. Between Muschamp, Applewhite, and Mack Brown, the sky's the limit. Or is what USC is doing these days the limit? You get what I mean...

Recruiting, quarterback. A month ago, when Terrelle Pryor officially dropped Texas from his list, I noted that the focus now returned to Russell Shepard and Garrett Gilbert for the 2009 class. I wrote that though I would be happy with either quarterback, I'd prefer Shepard for his versatility and suitability for a run-pass hybrid spread offense. If Applewhite comes to Texas, my enthusiasm for Shepard only increases. (Gilbert seems better suited for a pro style offense, which Texas has abandoned - rightly - since Vince Young took over.)

The Future. Some have questioned why Applewhite would come to Texas as some sort of co-coordinator/running backs coach. It's a legitimate question, but the answer seems obvious: the grooming has begun. Assuming Major wants Texas like Texas wants Major, coming on board now - even while Greg Davis is here - makes sense. Whether this is a grooming for Offensive Coordinator, Head Coach, or both, if Austin is where Major Applewhite ultimately wants to be, there's no reason to wait.

And of course in the short term - as argued below - this also brings a fresh perspective to Greg Davis, who everyone agrees could use some new blood.