Texas football’s David Gbenda: Transfer players fit in fine with Longhorns’ team culture

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Linebacker David Gbenda has seen it all in his five previous seasons on the Texas football team.

Two head coaches. Multiple defensive schemes. Countless teammates. Lots of wins. Too many losses. And one particular setback in the College Football Playoff — a 37-31 loss to Washington on Jan. 1 in New Orleans — that still stings after three months.

“We went from years where we (were) barely even contending for a Big 12 title to 12 yards away from winning and getting to the national championship,” Gbenda said Wednesday after the Longhorns’ morning practice. “I want the younger guys to understand that we were literally this close to being a part of history. If you’re a competitor, being that close would piss me off. Maybe that’s just me personally.”

More: Texas football team has the right look after putting on the pads, says Steve Sarkisian

But that’s why Gbenda is making it his personal mission this spring to remind all the new faces on defense — freshmen and transfers alike — of the small gap between losing and playing for a national title.

“I always reiterate the fact that we were this close,” he said, holding his thumb and forefinger about a half-inch apart, which was about the distance between Texas receiver Adonai Mitchell’s hands and the potential winning touchdown catch against Washington. “I’m just allowing them to understand that if we put in the right amount of work, we clean up a little details and just improve that much, we could do it. We could win the natty.”

Texas linebacker David Gbenda celebrates a win over Texas Tech last season. The sixth-year linebacker likes how the UT defense has looked early in spring practice, especially the new faces from the transfer portal.

More: Quinn Ewers discusses why slowing down, returning to Texas was the right decision for him

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Source link : https://sports.yahoo.com/texas-footballs-david-gbenda-transfer-204845500.html

Author : Austin American-Statesman

Publish date : 2024-03-28 20:48:45

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