The Texas Longhorns have been named the projected Large 12 champions for the 2023 season, a nomination that hasn’t surfaced since 2009. Whereas being chosen to win the championship is a big accomplishment, residing as much as these expectations is a distinct process. The 2009 Longhorns squad did simply that, successful the Large 12 Championship whereas standing at No. 3 within the convention.
This 12 months, Texas’ followers wait in anticipation greater than ever since this season marks its final with the convention earlier than transferring to the SEC. However regardless of the media buzz about Texas’ future, head coach Steve Sarkisian made clear final Wednesday throughout Large 12 Media Days that his workforce is concentrated on a profitable 2023 season slightly than the competitors that awaits within the SEC.
“I do know there’s been a lot discuss concerning the SEC and what’s taking place in 2024, however I feel one factor I like concerning the workforce that now we have this 12 months is their give attention to 2023 and this chance now we have right here within the Large 12,” Sarkisian stated. “It’s going to be a heck of a season.”
Whereas some spectators argue this ultimate season may very well be a clumsy transition interval for the workforce, Sarkisian stated he has a roster filled with athletes who need to be Large 12 champions and don’t see this season as one to be dismissed.
“I really feel like this workforce is on a mission as a result of that’s the strategy they’ve day-after-day that they present up within the facility,” Sarkisian stated. “They’ve purchased into this factor, and greater than they’ve purchased into it, they’ve elevated it.”
The 2023 roster consists of many upperclassmen who’ve grown alongside Sarkisian and at the moment are of their third 12 months underneath his steering, like Jaylan Ford, Xavier Worthy and Jahdae Barron. Sarkisian emphasised the significance of veteran gamers over newcomers since they supply the required motivation and data for achievement.
“I do know loads is manufactured from the gamers that we’ve introduced in, however we’ve received lots of veteran gamers that got here to the College of Texas to win a championship,” Sarkisian stated. “They purchased into a brand new coach, a brand new teaching employees, a brand new fashion of play, a brand new tradition, and inevitably they’re leaders on our workforce now.”
As expectations for the Longhorns appear to have peaked, Sarkisian stated one of many obligations for Texas athletes is to fulfill these presumptions. He stated the gamers don’t draw back from the stress however as a substitute acknowledge it and “push it to the aspect.”
“I feel we’ve received a mature sufficient workforce to respect what you guys consider us, however on the finish of the day, now now we have to get again to work,” Sarkisian stated. “What is going to in the end outline us is how we play on Saturdays, and that’s what we’ve received to give attention to.”
With soccer season ticket gross sales promoting out in June, all eyes might be on the Longhorns as they hope to satisfy their aim of enjoying on one of many greatest phases in school soccer on Dec. 2 in Arlington.
“I do know there’s lots of pleasure within the air,” Sarkisian stated. “I do know we’re excited as a workforce, our teaching employees, our gamers, and I need to commend our gamers for his or her dedication…we’re wanting ahead to September and placing all of it on the sphere.”