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Quick Hits: The Inaugural Seth Littrell Coach’s Show

Quick Hits: The Inaugural Seth Littrell Coach’s Show

The audience at Rudy’s Barbeque looks on at the Coach’s Show. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Quick Hits: The Inaugural Seth Littrell Coach’s Show
April 19
21:56 2016

Alex Lessard | Associate Sports Editor

@alexjlessard

Everything’s swell with Seth Littrell.

The newly hired Mean Green head football coach was welcomed for a special spring edition of the Rudy’s BBQ Coach’s Show on Tuesday night. Defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler and offensive coordinator Graham Harrell also joined in, talking everything from recruiting to what to expect in year one of a new era for North Texas football.

Seth Littrell

The show opened with Littrell in the hot seat ready to answer some of the biggest questions of the offseason. Coming off a one-win campaign, it was clear to the Mean Green that major changes were needed.

Those changes have come and are just beginning. Meanwhile, Littrell said players recruited by the old coaching staff have welcomed the new blueprint for the program with open arms.

Head coach Seth Littrell talks to Dave Barnett at Rudy’s Barbeque. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Head coach Seth Littrell talks to Dave Barnett at Rudy’s Barbeque. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

“You go to a place because you love the university, you love the school,” Littrell said. “You build relationships with your teammates. These guys have stuck around, fought it out, grinded it out and tried to evolve with the change.”

In order to fully implement his vision for the team’s style moving forward, Littrell will look for the right type of recruits. Yet, evaluating the talent he’s inherited has also been a top priority.

“Once our coaches got back, we went right into film, trying to figure out who exactly fits where,” Littrell said. “A change in system might fit different kids a little bit differently.”

Littrell said he will consider playing senior defensive back Kenny Buyers at wide receiver if need be. Because his up-tempo, pass-heavy offense is something a lot of high school players are familiar with, Littrell said he’s willing to try anything to help his team win.

“The less you put on them, the more they understand and the more they’re aware of the answers to our concepts,” Littrell said. “If you keep it simple, it allows them to go out there and play fast and free.”

Mike Ekeler

Next up on the show was the Mean Green’s new defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler. The Kansas State University alum has already been a positional coach at six power-conference schools and said he has a big personality to bring to the table.

“As a player, I set an NCAA record for having more fun than any player that played the game,” Ekeler said. “I’ll try to match that as a coach.”

Strategically, Ekeler said he plans on teaching a variety of concepts to keep offenses guessing week-to-week. When asked whether he’d run a 4-3 or 3-4 system, he didn’t budge.

“It’s a little bit of a work in progress,” Ekeler said. “I don’t really want to say a whole lot because when we take the field against SMU, we want them wondering a little bit too.”

Defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler has not decided which defensive scheme he wishes to run. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Defensive coordinator Mike Ekeler has not decided which defensive scheme he wishes to run. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

From now until week one, Ekeler said he plans on watching a ton of film and hitting the recruiting trail hard. However, he said the best recruiting tactics are yet to be seen.

“The way we recruit is on Saturday,” Ekeler said. “If we win, we’ll get the guys we want.”

Graham Harrell

Last up was offensive coordinator and full-time play-caller Graham Harrell. The former NFL quarterback has spent plenty of time with the newest gunslingers at North Texas and said he’s liked what he’s seen from Alabama senior transfer Alec Morris.

“The key for him now is to be consistent every day,” Harrell said. “He’s a streaky guy. If he gets hot, watch out. He’ll light it up.”

Morris may be new to the Mean Green, but there’s plenty of talent coming back from last year that Harrell said he’s excited about, including junior running back Jeffrey Wilson.

“The offense is built for dynamic ball-carriers, and that’s what Jeffrey is,” Harrell said. “We have to find ways to get him the ball as much as possible.”

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said that depth could be an issue for North Texas. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell said that depth could be an issue for North Texas. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer

Harrell said the team will look to get every skill position a solid amount of touches per game rather than focusing on keeping a balance between pass and run plays. He also mentioned his stance that the offensive line is the most important position group in football.

For each position of the offense to click, he said establishing team chemistry will be vital.

“A lot of it has to do with spending time off the field,” Harrell said. “If guys start to believe in each other off the field, then on the field it carries over. It’s just natural.”

Featured Image: The audience at Rudy’s Barbeque looks on at the Coach’s Show. Colin Mitchell | Senior Staff Photographer 

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