At Tuesday’s player availability, the Longhorns reflected on their bye week, the offensive line and their fantasy football leagues.
Texas’ second break of the season corresponded with Halloween, senior offensive lineman Parker Braun’s favorite holiday. In spooky spirit, Braun, senior center Zach Shackelford and junior offensive lineman Derek Kerstetter went to a local haunted house.
Kerstetter, the 6 feet, 5 inches tall junior who faces defensive linemen keen on taking him down every week, was the most scared — according to Shackelford at least.
“Derek was scared,” Shackelford said. “He cried, just ran all over the place.”
The offensive linemen are a tight-knit group who enjoy friendly competition. Shackelford and Kerstetter have an ongoing competition between them and constantly bicker over who the Texas Longhorns grill master is.
Freshman defensive lineman Keondre Coburn, who competes against the offensive linemen every practice, finds them quirky.
“Shack, he does a little thing with his mouth, it’s funny and his hair, he cares about his hair all day. (Sam) Cosmi just laid back and, Junior (Angilau) is funny, that’s my dog right there,” Coburn said. “And who do I tackle, Kerstetter? I don’t like Kerstetter.”
Coburn took back his statement — he likes Kerstetter. But he doesn’t like how the offensive line has “taken advantage of him” in their fantasy football leagues. According to Coburn, Kerstetter is winning in one league and Shackelford is winning in the other.
“They be trying to take advantage of me in my fantasy league,” Coburn said. “They always talking trash, but they win at the last minute on Monday nights. I think they kind of cheated to be honest because they made the league, and they are winning the league. I don’t know how that happens.”
Coburn is 2–6 in his league and lost in the first week to quarterback Sam Ehlinger. Coburn said it’s because Ehlinger has Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, someone he really wanted.
“I think I play (Coburn) again next week,” Ehlinger said. “My quarterback Deshaun Watson is on a bye, so that could get interesting. I guess I just drafted well. He is a cheat code for sure.”
Fantasy football aside, their friendly competition also translates onto the field for the benefit of the team. Coburn and Shackelford constantly exchange notes on what opposing defensive linemen or centers will do in games.
“Before we even do a rep, I kind of give (Shackelford) what I think the defensive line on the other team will do, and he gives me a rep on what the center is going to do,” Coburn said. “Each person on the defensive line and on the offensive line is trying to work to get better and trying to help us get dubs.”
Heading into their second to last home game, this rest and relaxation period was crucial for each player. Ehlinger said the Longhorns are rested and ready to get back to work.
“(The state of the Longhorns is) rejuvenated; the rest over the bye week was incredible,” Ehlinger said. “I know personally for me, I feel I’ve got sufficient sleep, got to rest … so I’m motivated and ready to get back to work.”