On Monday, Texas Longhorns head coach Tom Herman responded to last week’s tweets from former safety DeShon Elliott that accused the staff of “bad mouthing” former players to current members of the program.
In comments made to the media at the Texas High School Coaches Association convention and reported by the Houston Chronicle, Herman said that he was “disappointed” and “surprised” by Elliott’s tweets.
“Not real sure where that came from because we’ve never had an issue with him,” Herman said. “He was a tremendous player for us. We feel like he developed a ton in his one year with our staff. We wish him nothing but the best in his quest to fulfill his dream in the NFL.”
One of the closet players to former head coach Charlie Strong in the entire program, Elliott opted to depart from Texas prior to the bowl game against Missouri. Elliott was not in attendance in Houston when the Longhorns defeated the Tigers, either.
However, in the aftermath of Elliott’s tweets, which he deleted hours after sending them, the Austin American-Statesman reported the story behind them:
Elliott held an Independence Day pool party in Austin, and multiple current Longhorns players attended. Some members of the coaching staff later found out about the party and warned players not to associate with Elliott, a source familiar with Elliott’s thinking told the American-Statesman.
Why the coaching staff didn’t want players to associate with Elliott is still unknown and will likely remain that way if Herman gets his wishes. Nor was there anything else for Herman to say publicly about the matter after declining to release a statement in its initial aftermath.
From the the staff’s perspective, this is something to put in the past, but the tweets could reverberate on the recruiting trail and in narratives surrounding the Texas program under Herman.