As the son of former Texas Longhorns great Britt Hager, it’s only fitting that sophomore Fox end Breckyn Hager does everything at full speed on and off the field, including interrupting head coach Charlie Strong’s recent interview with the Big 12 Digital Network.
Of course, it’s hard to blame Hager, as he did have big news — he’d finally become the first player to defeat freshman quarterback Shane Buechele at ping pong.
Buechele’s competitiveness and all-around athletic aptitude have become the stuff of legend around the Texas football offices this summer, with tight end Caleb Bluiett telling Strong that "there’s nothing he can’t do."
Whether it’s billiards, golf, basketball, or throwing a football to a friend on a jet ski, Buechele excels.
Just check out the freshman quarterback's ability to end points with his forehand.
Will Stein (@CoachSteinUT) July 22, 2016
But now his reign as the ping-pong king is over, with Hager able to claim that title with his big victory after moving up in the rankings past junior wide receiver Jake Oliver and breaking out of a group that included senior safety Dylan Haines and sophomore punter Michael Dickson.
More important than the rankings, though, is the sense of camaraderie on this team, which has been a consistent talking point for Strong this fall.
"What you see now is that they are around each other more. Usually if you don't know someone, you can't really play with them in a playful way where you're joking with them, but guys do that now and guys don't get upset because they're around each other so much more and they respect one another," Strong said after recounting the story.
The same goes for the coach, too -- look at how much fun Strong is having laughing about Hager breaking up the interview.
So while there's some de-mystification of Buechele as he finally loses in ping pong and throws some interceptions and wobbly passes in practice, he's still having a tremendous impact on the team because the players gravitate towards him, even if it's just for the purpose of being able to beat him at something.
"Just like his overall attitude, within the whole team it's seepin', seepin', seepin'," Strong said at Big Media Days.