Yesterday, I was able to sit down with University of Texas at Austin football player, Jordan Strickland. During the interview, he explained to me some of the hardships he has faced here at the university and the outlook that he sees on the upcoming football season.
Name: Jordan Strickland
Hometown: Aurora, Colorado
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Years in UT sports: 2
Q: What helped to get you started in football and why did you continue that pursuit after high school?
A: “I played years of football throughout my life, I have some great memories from my childhood. However, injuries plagued my senior season in high school, which caused me to lose many of the scholarship offers I had. I was given the opportunity to continue to pursue my passion and showcase my talent here at the university.”
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far in life?
A: “Being accepted and able to receive an education from The University of Texas at Austin has been my biggest accomplishment. I was able to do this through academics and hard work in high school and not rely solely on athletics, which has only gone to help further my success at this university.”
Q: What has been key to ensuring that there is growth during this spring? Also, what have you done to be better?
A: “The key to ensuring that we are getting better this spring has been putting in the extra repetitions needed to be able to push ourselves to finish games better. By this I mean giving our all until that final whistle. We have done this by putting in extra workouts and additional time in the film room to guarantee our success, while getting better individually.”
Q: You’ve had a history of a few injuries since joining the football team. What are you doing to get better and prevent further injuries from happening?
A: “With the injury that I currently have being internal, the process for now is just time to heal and ensure that I am getting better. I have yet to be cleared by the medical staff, however the key to preventing future injuries is to ensure that I am in the best shape to be able to give maximum effort.”
Q: How can we improve our offense this season and who has made the greatest impact?
A: “Shane (Buechele) has been key. In addition, the younger guys have some growing up to do. They are working their way into leadership roles for this team which are going to be necessary to ensure that our team is as good as we know that we can be.”
Q: You mentioned Shane Buechele. How has he progressed over the spring and is he going to be the guy when fall camp begins?
A: “I wasn’t able to get any early looks at Shane this spring in practice, but from what he showed in the spring game with his arm strength, he could very well be the guy for us. However, he will need to put on some weight to be able to take the hits that get delivered in the Big XII.”
Q: How do you feel about the defense? Is it progressing?
A: “From head to toe, we have a lot of skilled players. We will need to be more physical and aggressive to show how dominant we can be. We have some great guys who have stepped up and are ready to make a difference for our defense.”
Q: Who do you feel has progressed the most on both sides of the ball?
A: “For offense most definitely Collin Johnson.” Johnson is a wide receiver who is an early enrollee from the 2016 recruiting class. He has been dubbed the name “Young Megatron” after Calvin Johnson because of his freakishly large 6ft 6in and 200-pound size. He is an aggressor on the field who is expected to make huge contributions.
“For defense, it has been Anthony Wheeler. We have known for some time that he was a special talent on the field. He is showing that he has All-American capabilities. We are expecting the linebacker to have a huge season for us this year.”
Q: What has been the biggest difference in recruiting for Texas?
A: “Competition-wise, we know that the coaches will give freshman the opportunity to play. That is evident from last season. The fact that freshmen are getting these opportunities is invigorating. These guys want to get the program back to the level of competition it should be at. They really want to put the T back in Texas.”
Q: What are three goals that the football team has for the upcoming season?
A: “We have been prepping extremely well for our season opener against Notre Dame, so we would like to make a statement and win at home. Next, we would like to beat our rival, OU. We can do that by ensuring that we execute and are the aggressors playing with passion and hunger. Lastly, we would like to win the Big XII. This task is easier said than done. We will take everything week by week and continuously get better while staying humble throughout the process.”