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December 20, 2013
The Players React to Mack Brown's Resignation
Senior OG Mason Walters was asked if the players feel responsible for Mack Brown stepping down as coach at Texas.
"You can't go 8-4 and expect to be around here long. And I've been here for those kind of seasons and started when it was crappy. And I know I do (feel responsible).
"It's not a good feeling for me. I think Jackson Jeffcoat said it best: 'I didn't win a championship while I was here. I'm going to look back and know that I failed during my career here and didn't get what I wanted to accomplish. But I'm a man. I'm going to step up, and I'm going to go to whatever is next.'
"And that's the good thing about the guys I play with. We all feel the same way. We're not going to shy away from the failures we've had in our past. We're going to attribute that to our successes later down the line. It's going to keep us humble and help us wake up, go to work and fight a challenge every day.
"It's tough to look at right now. Maybe a win in the Alamo Bowl will help. That's what we're going after. But I'm not going to sit and dwell on the fact it's been a tough run. I've got a lot of time left to accomplish goals I don't even know I want to accomplish yet."
PLAYERS REACT TO INCREASED REPS FOR SWOOPES: The players on offense confirmed that Tyrone Swoopes has been getting a lot of first-team reps in the bowl practices.
"He's definitely taken a lot of snaps with the first group, more than in the past," said senior OG Trey Hopkins. "It's definitely a lot more mental work for the quarterback.
"But when you get in there with the guys who know what they're doing and know what the level of play is going to be like and what the real live bullets look like, you have no choice but to speed up and step up your game. And he's proven to be able to do that."
When Case McCoy was asked what that might mean for the bowl game, he said, "You know as much as I do."
When Mason Walters was asked about Swoopes' increased reps, he said: "I hope he does well. But just like every other quarterback who has come through here that you all have wanted to push along, he needs to go through a process."
CEDRIC REED'S NFL DECISION: Junior DE Cedric Reed (9 sacks, 18 TFLs in 2013) said he's waiting until after the season to make a decision about if he'll jump to the NFL or not.
When asked about Reed's decision, Jackson Jeffcoat, who earned All-America honors this season with 12 sacks and 21 TFLs, said, "Right now, it's a win-win for him. He can come back, or he can go on, and I think he'll do well in the league if he does leave."
Reed returned the compliment to Jeffcoat: "Every time I go on Twitter, he's winning another award."
FOR THE COACHES: Senior WR Mike Davis tweeted: "We gotta Beat Oregon for Coach Brown.... It's a must!!!! One of the best head coaches ever...."
Several players said they wanted to send Mack Brown out the right way.
Case McCoy said the players also want to honor the assistant coaches, many of whom are now scrambling to find new jobs while also trying to hold onto Texas recruits and prepare a game plan for Oregon.
"Our assistant coaches right now have to find a way to put food on the table," Case McCoy said. "You'd be uneasy, too, to be in the situation these guys are in - juggling all that with trying to beat a 10-win Oregon team."
The players said Brown has told them not to change their preparation because of the circumstances surrounding the game.
"Coach just wants us to focus on Oregon, play our butts off and let the chips fall where they may," Jeffcoat said.
EMOTIONAL MOMENT: Several players said as Mack Brown announced to the team last Saturday that he would be stepping down, Ced Reed blurted out, "I love you, Coach," in what became an emotional moment for everyone.
"It was a sad moment after everything he's done for us and done for Texas," Reed said. "Everyone kind of got down emotionally for a moment.
"He came and got me from Cleveland (Texas) and has meant a lot to me, and I just told him I loved him.
"He was a great guy during recruiting, and when I got to Texas, he has always looked out for me."
Quandre Diggs has known Mack Brown since Diggs was 6 years old, because Diggs' older brother, Quentin Jammer, played for Brown at UT.
"I've probably known him longer than anyone on the team," Diggs said. "He's meant a lot to me and my family. He's a legend here. I never thought he wouldn't be the coach at Texas."
Like Diggs, Case McCoy is the younger brother of a Longhorn star.
"Coach Brown gave me a chance to achieve my dream," Case McCoy said. "He could have gone and gotten a lot of other quarterbacks - as you all have let me know.
"It hasn't been the Cinderella story. My brother (Colt) had the Cinderella story.
"There are things I'd change and win a few more ballgames here and there. But all the experiences have made me who I am, made me grow as a man. And Coach Brown brought me here.
"It will be a different world for all of us without Coach Brown."