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Charlie Strong read Colt McCoy’s letter to Texas players before Notre Dame game

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Maybe the note made a difference after all.

NCAA Football: Notre Dame at Texas Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday morning, I met with Jack Keyes and Robert Larkin at Kerbey Lane on campus. When we were done with breakfast, I did an interview with SB Nation Radio standing outside in front of the Sportscenter On the Road bus.

When asked about Colt McCoy’s “Dear Longhorns” letter to Texas and it’s possible impact, I noted how much wisdom the Longhorns legend could impart in terms of understanding what it takes to win. There’s no one on the current team who knows that at the college level. Not even sixth-year senior cornerback Sheroid Evans.

Then I lapsed into fan mode for the first time in all the countless radio appearances that I’ve done — “As a Texas fan, I hope that it works.”

It did. And head coach Charlie Strong made sure that his team heard it.

During the pregame meal on Sunday, Strong handed out copies to every player and then read it to them.

“It was just so funny how they were all just locked in and kind of just sitting there,” Strong said. “Because Colt said a lot of good things when he talked about when he was a young guy and how he had to go out and play for the first time. Just talking about representing this university and the nerves that he was going to have.”

The players already had respect for McCoy, but after reading the letter, then they also knew what it was like to go through those moments that defined the last high point of Texas football and how to prepare for them.

Players’ Tribune

While the result spoke for itself, perhaps it’s worth letting former standout defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat put the team’s effort into perspective.

“Gosh, I don't think I've ever seen us play as hard as we're playing right now,” he told Strong at halftime.

Since Jeffcoat joined the program in 2010, that’s probably the case.

With the insight from McCoy and a little bit of his assistance during the offseason helping freshman quarterback Shane Buechele, who looked as calm and collected on Sunday as McCoy ever did, the Longhorns sure showed those boys how football gets played in Texas.

And now these baby ‘Horns won’t ever need anyone to tell them what it takes to overcome adversity on the biggest of stages — they just learned for themselves.