Harsin out? Major is more than ready

View Small TextView Normal TextView Large TextView Extra Large TextPrinter-Friendly Article

By Eric Nahlin, Inside Texas Recruiting Editor
Posted Dec 12, 2012
Copyright © 2014 InsideTexas.com


News Image
Major Applewhite (Will Gallagher/Inside Texas)

When I used to work in the real world and an employee I managed received a great opportunity I would always encourage that person to take it. I would always assume that if that worker had value, someone else would recognize that and try to poach. It's business and I've gone spotlighting for quality employees myself.

I was taught early on from a boss that I became very close to (IT subscriber to boot) that you should always have a contingency plan for personnel losses, especially for your good employees.

It appears Mack Brown may lose a good employee in Bryan Harsin (according to AStateNation.com), but luckily for Texas fans, Major Applewhite waits in the wings.

'Wait' is a good word when discussing Applewhite. 'Patient' would be another. This is a guy that flattened his career arc to come home to Texas. He could have been an OC at any number of schools had he instructed his agent to solicit work, but instead he chose to come to Texas and do whatever's asked of him.

Coach a running back unit devoid of natural ability? Will do. Recruit his ass off? Without a doubt. Help hold a recruiting class together after the disaster of 5-7? He was integral.

On these merits alone I believe Applewhite deserves a shot at play calling duties, but to me, Applewhite is much more than Mack's loyal foot soldier.

Much has been made of his stint at places like Syracuse, Rice and Alabama and how he may not have the play calling experience because of some of the personalities at those stops. Nonsense.

Not only does Applewhite have the football aptitude, but he also has the same composure that translated during his playing days. He also understands the ebbs and flows of a game as well as anyone on staff.

People wonder what type of offense Texas would run. I imagine it would look similar to the one Texas runs now, especially with the numerous styles he's been exposed to at his previous coaching stops translating to Harsin's diverse offense and the personnel being close to being in place.

Another question people have is if he would have full autonomy. I don't know that answer, but I don't buy the line of thinking that he'll wilt under Mack's criticism or be subservient to Mack simply because of the former player/coach dichotomy.

Applewhite is more than ready for the job of offensive coordinator, it's time to reward him.

While I'm very happy to see Applewhite get the job, should Mack do the right thing, I'll be sad to see Harsin go.

I know he doesn't feel like he accomplished everything he wanted to, but Texas is a vastly improved offensive team since 2010. VASTLY.

Though UT was inconsistent at times on offense, it was easy to see that Harsin had a plan and that he was on his way to fulfilling it. When the offense was clicking - Ole Miss, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Baylor - Texas played a beautiful brand of football; both physical and finesse with a passing and running attack that fed off one another.

I don't understand how anyone could consider Harsin taking the Arkansas State job (should he do so) as a sign of him fleeing a sinking ship. Stop it already. Being a coordinator at Texas isn't better than being the head coach at a school that sent its last two coaches to SEC gigs after brief stints.

What are Harsin's career goals? Pretend his number one career goal is to be the head coach at Texas. Was he going to get there as an offensive coordinator with no head coaching experience? Not likely.

Assuming the dominoes fall - Harsin to Arkie Lite, Major to OC - I'm not sure Texas is a better team, but they would be in a fortuitous position to add a much needed recruiting closer. Claude Mathis or Daron Roberts come immediately to mind.

This becomes necessary for two reasons. Aggie is about to kick UT's teeth in, and if Major is OC, he likely won't be on the road as much.

One final thing, I'm of the belief that even if Mack loses Harsin and Diaz, he'll regroup rather than step down. If this bothers you, then take those lemons and make Citron.

Member conversation: Possible Harsin move leaves me with mixed emotions

New to Inside Texas?