Team unity has been a major topic of discussion for the Texas Longhorns since the Charlie Strong era began and it wasn't a strength of last year's team, with cornerback Quandre Diggs repeatedly slamming other players for a lack of team-first attitude.
In 2015, however, the players and coaches believe there is much more cohesion. On Tuesday, junior defensive tackle Paul Boyette expressed optimism about positive advancements made in that direction.
"I think this year's camp is different because we came together more as a team," he said. "It's not just about "I". It's about "we". We take care of each other. We did a lot of things this offseason truly as a 'We.' We did a lot of extracurricular activities together and bonded as a family and a brotherhood."
Challenged by the coaches to become a more vocal leader in his fourth year in the program, Boyette took an active role in that regard, inviting teammates to his condo for cookouts and driving them back and forth to campus to make sure they could attend.
Those events were party of a program-wide emphasis on increasing chemistry and ensuring that there were no more cliques on the team, a major issue in 2014.
"We just had a team meeting, got all the players back last night," head coach Charlie Strong said at the start of spring practice. "I just talked about how within a team there are different cliques, and you've got this clique here and they've got to click. In order to come together as a team trust has to be built and a team has to come together—that's what we never did. We still had these cliques that we we're dealing with. I said, at the end of the day, when you come together as a team and you win as a team, then everybody gets the praise."
Now it sounds like the group is closer to becoming one clique -- Texas Longhorns football.