Chris Ogbonnaya: Receiving his T-Ring
On picking up his T-Ring: It feels great. It's definitely a big accomplishment. It's something that I set out to do when I came (to Texas) after hearing Coach Brown speak about it and how valuable it is to have once you graduate from The University of Texas. So it is definitely a sense of relief and a sense of accomplishment.
On the example earning his T-Ring before his playing career is over sets for younger players: It's a relief, but I also think it can serve as a lesson to the younger guys that graduating here is important, and the faster you can do it, the better. It gives you an opportunity to do different things. If you want to declare another major like I did upon completion, or if you even want to leave early, if you're good enough to leave early and you can graduate on time, then so be it, because we're here to take care of our academics first and be football players after.
On joining the fraternity of Texas athletes with T-Rings: It definitely means a lot. Not only just for working purposes and networking purposes, but to be a part of that elite group, it means a lot. To be able to be called one that has a T-Ring and be able to show it off, because I'm a very quiet person when it comes to that stuff, but this will be something that I use to my advantage. I'm very excited about it and it means a lot to me. It's the culmination of a lot of years of hard work. I'm very blessed to have achieved it, and I'm very excited about what I have to come.
On pursuing a double major in communications after graduating with a degree in history: I'm in communication studies but specifically corporate communications. I've always been interested in broadcasting and everything that goes into it. I've always liked talking, and my dad always told me I talk too much, so what better way to utilize my speaking skills than corporate communications and learning to communicate better, and the ins and outs of doing stuff like that.
On the value of earning a degree: It gives you an opportunity to have a fall-back plan and concentrate on other things outside of football. Football isn't for everybody, but I think that graduating early and being able to receive an honor such as the T-Ring gives me an opportunity to concentrate on football at the next level if I want to. If I want to go into the workforce after football is over, I can do that. It gives me different avenues to focus on for the rest of my life.
On leading the younger running backs through summer workouts: It's going really well. What I wanted us to learn is to build a hard callus. I want us to be a tough group and have a sharp edge to us. I think that we're very talented as a group. I understand that we're young, but we don't have to play young. I'm just trying to implement that into our running backs, just trying to tutor them to be better players. Obviously, if they couldn't run they wouldn't be here, but there are different ins and outs of the game that I'm still learning and that we need to continue to learn as a group to be better.
On the transition at running backs coach from Coach Rucker to Coach Applewhite: I think the transition has been great. Major and I get along really well. He was here my redshirt year and he had an opportunity to visit with my dad that freshman year, so it was really good. He's always been someone that I got along with and I was obviously thrilled when he became a part of our staff again. He's teaching me the little things about the game, helping me become a better runner and continue to become a better blocker and receiver. I'm trying to pick up on that stuff that he taught us in the spring, and I'm excited to learn new stuff in the fall when we begin again.
On his relationship with Coach Rucker: Coach Rucker still calls on me a lot, which is good. We still have an outstanding relationship. It's a little different now that he's no longer my coach, but he still carries that same father figure role for me, which I've always appreciated and respected. Until I leave here, Coach Rucker and I will always remain extremely close. We always talk, every other day or every day.