Like many clad in burnt orange Thursday, Texas’ 2014 running back commitment Daniel Gresham (Fort Worth, Texas/All Saints) left Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium scratching his head at the Longhorns’ loss to TCU.
“It kind of shocked me,” he said. “I thought things would have come out better than that.”
The most glaring issue with Texas’ performance was one that everyone could probably agree on: turnovers in the red zone. The Longhorns threw two interceptions inside the 20.
“I don’t ever like blaming a loss on someone if I’m not playing, but I feel like if the quarterback play was a little higher, then Texas would have blown them out,” he said. “We had two interceptions in the red zone, a crucial fumble and then the last-minute interception that shouldn’t have been thrown. We didn’t look terrible. The defense did better than I thought they would.”
Gresham said the mood in the locker room was quiet.
“[Major] Applewhite knew they could have played better,” he said. "He was blunt with me. He shook his head and just said that wasn’t what they wanted at all and that we had some work to do. He wasn’t trying to sugarcoat it like some colleges would do. It was a bad game.”
Gresham still has another year of high school ball to worry about before he arrives in Austin, but he’s already keyed in on how defenses are trying to stop Texas’ run game.
“Mostly I have my eyes on the defense they are playing with,” he said. “I want to make myself better. I don’t want to be one of those players that goes to college and then is done. I have aspirations of playing in the league. If that doesn’t work out, a great school like Texas will help me get a great job.
“I also watch the running backs and little things they do like a few games back. The running back had it up the sideline and a linebacker was coming to knock him out and he didn’t use a stiff arm, which is one of the main things I use. And the coaches always tell me to have the ball on the sideline hand and they don’t always do that.”
Gresham has heard the expectations of this team heading into 2013 and, despite Thursday’s loss, thinks those goals can be reached.
“I feel like they’ll be a national championship contender,” Gresham said. “I’ve seen Tyrone Swoopes and his tape, and hear that he is really good. I feel like he’ll have a chance to come in and start. If not then [David] Ash, [Case] McCoy or someone will have another year to mature.
“My good friend A'Shawn Robinson is coming in. I’m sure he’ll start. He’s such a monster. He’ll be a force to reckon with. And they are so young. Their best running back is a freshman. Joe [Bergeron] and Malcolm [Brown] are freaks, too. You can tell Malcolm is still messing with that ankle.”
Speaking of ankles, Gresham suffered a high ankle sprain in All Saints’ last regular-season game. He said he is feeling much better and expects a full recovery.