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The incomparable Mutha Hustla reflects on the recruiting process and her son’s redshirt season

The #revolUTion18 Queen of Twitter provides some perspective on escorting freshman linebacker Byron Vaughns through a season of preparation and some wisdom for the 2019 class.

Byron Vaughns during practice

While it’s easy to get discouraged and upset with playing time as a parent of an athlete, sometimes it’s the bigger picture that matters. Natalia Vaughns, known as Mutha Hustla, the mother of Texas Longhorns freshman linebacker Byron Vaughns, shared her own words on her son’s redshirt season and how she was able to handle it a year after her son signed.

From, of course, the perspective of a mother head coach Tom Herman called the “lynchpin in this whole outfit” and arguably the team’s best recruiter in the 2019 class — the Queen of Twitter.

So as NSD1 approaches I reflect back on the beautiful days of recruiting, the lovely official visit, the excitement of signing day, the coverage, shopping for his dorm room, drop off, hugs, the Spring Game, then Summer Classes start and BAM you run into THAT WALL! That No Parents Allowed Wall and we ran into it pretty damn hard.. LOL

You can read the full story on her website here and can find her on Twitter @NNVaughns.

Freshman linebacker Byron Vaughns signed to Texas as the No. 446 ranked prospect nationally and No. 28 ranked outside linebacker. With veteran leaders like Gary Johnson, Anthony Wheeler, and Malcolm Roach back at the linebacker position and highly-touted freshman edge linebacker Joseph Ossai coming in, playing time was always going to be hard to come by for Vaughns right away.

And, indeed, Vaughns has not appeared in any games this season. He’ll maintain a year of eligibility and then enter next season as a redshirt freshman with all four years of eligibility remaining.

We have worked really hard to ensure he has stayed mentally strong during this process and understood that a redshirt does not equal inadequacy. It is there for development and growth and extends your collegiate opportunities.

All we could do was continue to encourage him, remind him that he can’t erase yesterday’s mistakes but he can correct them in the future.

We asked him for the first time one day once we knew he wouldn’t play if he felt like he picked the right school he said “OH YEA” with that tone like “It ain’t that deep, I am just ready to play.”

Young men, your success is your responsibility. NO ONE can want it more for you, than YOU! This is what you asked for, prayed for, worked for, it is on YOU to take care of your business. You will have all the resources you need to be successful, you have parents and people that love you to reach back to and say “How can I do this better”? Drown out the noise, put your head down, get to work and have fun. You got players in front of you that are hungry and players behind you that are hungrier. Work so hard you can’t be denied!

Well said, Mrs. Vaughns.

This is a positive message for every parent and athlete going through a situation like this. Especially for first-year players that know it may take some time before they step onto the field. It’s all apart of the process.

With Gary Johnson and Anthony Wheeler departing after this season, the linebacker position has some voids to fill. Todd Orlando’s multiple 3-4 defense suits well for outside linebackers and edge rushers.

Vaughns fits the role of a true outside linebacker at 6’4 and 225 pounds, so the coming offseason presents another opportunity for Vaughns to prove himself. While the chance at playing time was unlikely coming in as a freshman just months before the season kicked off, it’s there for the taking now.

“The sky is the limit,” Herman said of Vaughns last Early Signing Day.

At a program like Texas, however, everything is earned, not given — to compete with the best, you have to prove your worth. Hard work will ultimately pay off at the end of the day.

As for the recruits about to sign? Well, she had some similar advice for them, as well.

Recruits and parents, the honeymoon is over, the contract is about to be signed, your son is about to step full fledge into adult responsibilities with teen habits. Parents you STILL have an obligation to continue to feed into them, they will still need your guidance and your words of encouragement. You will not be as hands on, they do have to figure some stuff out and they will make some mistakes and will have to learn some hard lessons. The coaches, staff members, professors are not there to be their friends, they are there to be mentors and help get them to the next level, you have passed the mold over to them, they are helping you shape your sons. This is like a marriage, the real commitment test starts AFTER they both say “I do”.