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July 1, 2004If there's one sure-fire way to earn your way into a fan base's collective heart, it's to turn down full rides from a variety of Division I football programs to attend their beloved school as a walk-on, where one must foot his own bill. In doing just that, Pflugerville's Luke Tiemann endeared himself to Texas Longhorn fans across the country and it's little surprise that the subscribers here at Orangebloods.com have requested an update to see what's been going on with the talented linebacker prospect since his commitment to UT back in February.
Tiemann, who turned down offers from about 15 other programs (including Wisconsin, Texas Tech, Houston, Baylor, Kansas and Minnessota) to attend Texas, where his parents both attended school and his brother is a current student, said this week that he's been busy working out with hopes of getting stronger and faster. His efforts in the weight room have helped him add some weight to his 6-foot-3 frame and his bench press is up to well over 300 pounds.
"I'm going to start going to (the Texas) campus towards the end of July to work out," he said. "Right now I'm working out here and going through the lifting program that they sent."
Tiemann has kept in touch with the Texas coaches since his February commitment, including talks with new defensive coordinator Greg Robinson, and he and the staff have his first year pretty well laid out.
"I've talked to them a few times. We talk about the things they want me to do. I'm probably going to redshirt," he said. "I've talked to coach Robinson about that and some other stuff. I'm very impressed (with Robinson). I think he's a really good coach and I'm excited about playing for him."
According to Tiemann, the staff has talked about playing him at any of the three LB positions, but nothing will be determined until after his redshirt season so the coaches can see how his body develops and determine where he'll best fit in.
Now that he's had ample time to reflect on his decision, Tiemann said he's more than happy with his choice to play for one of the country's most successful programs and he's looking forward to getting his career as a Texas Longhorn underway.
"There were a lot of good schools that offered, but I have faith in the program at Texas. Sometimes they get criticized for 'only' winning 10 games a year, but at other schools if a coach wins 10 games a year he gets signed to a 10-year contract. So I really have faith in them and it just really worked out well," he said.
As part of a class that includes several highly-rated prospects and a corps of kids that have been successful both on and off the field, Tiemann is hoping he can help take the Longhorn program to the next level and bring home a national championship.
"We're just a bunch of hard workers. This year's class might not be as highly touted as some of the others but the guys all work really hard and we want to get it done, whatever it takes."