On Friday evening, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke to a record-setting crowd of over 800 high school football coaches from 10 states at the Texas Longhorns All-Access Coaches Clinic in Austin.
In the keynote address, Belichick joked with the coaches in attendance about wearing a suit and tie instead of his trademark cutoff gray hoodie and praised high school coaches in general and Longhorns head coach Tom Herman specifically.
"I've known Tom [Herman] for a while and I'm really impressed with the product he and his staff put out," Belichick said. "We've had several of their players, most recently Elandon Roberts. They're all tough, smart and dependable — very well prepared for the National Football League. Those are the type of players Coach Herman has. I think he's going to have a lot of success here and I think we're going to be coming back here for NFL players a lot in the years to come."
More players drafted by the Patriots — and more players in the NFL Draft in general — would certainly be a welcome development in Austin.
Earlier in the day, the Texas staff spent time with the high school coaches before Lake Travis head coach Hank Carter delivered a speech. Subsequent position meetings also featured the high school coaches before they watched practice.
Herman opened the evening session thanking the high school coaches and introducing Belichick and former head coach Mack Brown.
According to a coach in attendance, Herman introduced Brown by noting that the school will likely build a statue for him, to which Brown replied that “Darrell Royal once told me statues were only good for birds to shit on."
The coach came away impressed by Brown and called him a “great symbol for the school.”
Saturday featured presentations by strength and conditioning coach Yancy McKnight and DeSoto head coach Todd Peterman and the third Texas scrimmage of the spring.
During that scrimmage, the defense was active in breaking up passes, but early enrollee quarterback Sam Ehlinger appeared to throw several touchdown passes to senior wide receiver Dorian Leonard.
Overall, the coach said that he didn’t hear any complaints all weekend and came away impressed with details like excellent food and how “moving” it was that every coach on staff spoke about the chance in Austin as a “dream come true.”