College Confidential

New Texas OC Sterlin Gilbert gets mic’d up

Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has installed an up-tempo offense.
Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has installed an up-tempo offense. AP

Texas coach Charlie Strong’s hiring of offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, a born-and-breed Texan with a degree in up-tempo offense, has certainly provided intrigue for the coming season.

The Longhorns might not know who will be quarterback or how quickly this new offense will come together, but for the first time in Strong’s three years on the job, intrigue has replaced trepidation heading into the season.

Since Gilbert’s arrival from Tulsa in December, he hasn’t been seen or heard much by the public. So Texas decided to put out this video of Gilbert mic’d up during a spring workout.

The key words with Gilbert are speed and rhythm. He’s totally changed how the Longhorns practice. They move quickly. And it should be a noticeable difference on Saturdays this fall.

“You know, what has happened now is the tempo is so fast and offensively they get lined up, but the defense has to get on the line also,” Strong recently told SI.com’s Pete Thamel. “The field is shortened, where the quarterbacks are able to make reads and checks. It’s all about getting the ball out of your hands. It’s not holding the ball; it’s getting it out.

“What helps us is we have a run game, too, so we can run the football and we can throw it. We have two big ol’ backs who are strong and physical (Chris Warren and D’Onta Foreman). I’m very happy with the way it’s going. It’s all about going against one another, so you don’t know ’til you line up. But we’re making progress.”

Strong also told Thamel he is pleased with how his overhauled offensive staff is coming together. Obviously the last two seasons have seen a fair share of friction.

“Sterlin and [offensive line coach Mike] Mattox have worked together, so those two guys are really comfortable with one another. And [tight ends coach] Jeff Traylor is — when you get guys who are pros and who are mature like [receivers coach] Charlie Williams and [running backs coach] Anthony Johnson, who played here, that room has changed because you’ve got a system in place,” Strong said. “So once the system is in place, then it’s not hard, because this is exactly what we’re going to do and this is how it’s going to be run.”

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