Texas Longhorns senior defensive end Shiro Davis has been where transferring freshman linebacker Cecil Cherry was after his first several days in the Longhorns program. He gets it. He just didn't want to give up and for everyone to know it and judge him by that action.
"Yeah, I definitely see where he's coming from, but I mean, every freshman's gonna have those problems," Davis said on Tuesday. "You can't really let that change your decision. I mean, I thought about it, but I had to put my head down and go to work. It's not something I want -- everyone to look at me as a quitter.
Having spurned homestate LSU on National Signing Day in 2012 to cross the border into Texas, Davis didn't see the first action of his career until the Baylor game as a freshman because he was a reserve playing behind older defensive ends like Alex Okafor, Jackson Jeffcoat, Reggie Wilson, and Cedric Reed.
It would have been easy to give up, to think about the year of eligibility remaining for Jeffcoat and Wilson or the two years remaining for Cedric eed, to get homesick for Louisiana and go back.
Instead, Davis adopted a long-term outlook and now he's in position to become a full-time starter on the strong side for the first time after starting four games in 2014, mostly at the Fox position, and recording 3.5 sacks.
As for Cherry, he wasn't at practice on Tuesday and received his release from the Longhorns on Wednesday. Redshirt freshman running back Duke Catalon wasn't at practice either, and while head coach Charlie Strong was willing to say that he's spoken with both players, he didn't want to go into much further detail, preferring to focus on the players who are still with the program.
Strong also remained firm on his standards and expectations for his players.
"I always say this. When a young man comes into our program, I always tell our upperclassmen that in order for a freshman to play, you just don't go out and practice hard or just lose your responsibility and the position," Strong said. "We always want guys to stay here but it's also this -- whatever you get in this program, you're going to work for it."
Losing players less than a week into fall camp is frustrating and provides the opportunity for trolling from other fanbases and negative recruiting from other coaches, but it does ensure one thing -- that a higher percentage of the players on the roster are happy and free from the influence of players who aren't committed to making Texas a winning program.
The result looks like this:
Johnathan Gray says this is the happiest he's seen a team since he's been here.— Bob Ballou (@KEYESportsBob) August 12, 2015