Discipline, to Texas Coach Darrell Royal, has special meaning. When he says the word, it reminds some people of a cathedral organ—there is no mistaking the tone of reverence in his voice. Royal himself is strongly self-disciplined. His teams almost never go left when the battle plan says right, his assistants are obedient, his children mind their manners and, when he says "sit," every dog in the neighborhood sits. So when a flock of Texas boosters, wide-eyed and trembling with excitement, ask breathlessly: "Tell us about him, Coach," Royal will quite calmly answer: "Tell you about who?"
Who, ha! At present there is exactly one who in the entire state of Texas. His name is Bill Bradley, quarterback is his position, and you can bet your last dollar that when Royal says a nonchalant "who?" he is using all the self-discipline he can muster.
Not since Doak Walker applied at Southern Methodist has a player awed Texas the way Bradley has. Says one ex-official: "He could be the greatest I've seen in 40 years." Says one coach who will have to oppose Bradley: "He's incredible, unbelievable." Says, finally, his former coach at Palestine High School, Luke Thornton: "Why, he's, he's, he's—electric!" As for Royal, he will mumble things like "untested," and "hasn't had a chance yet," and then, in a wild display of emotion, admit that " Texas will be fun to watch this year."
Once you have seen him perform, it is hard to remain passive about Super Bill, as he is called. He teased Texas fans nearly to distraction last year as a freshman by reeling off seven yards every time he carried the ball, scoring five touchdowns in five games, completing 21 passes in 42 attempts, intercepting one pass, which he ran back 99 yards for a touchdown, and getting off some of the longest punts ever seen in the Southwest. Super Bill is, of course, ambidextrous. Asked who his best punter was, a coach of a high school all-star team answered, " Bradley." The next best? "Bradley—right-footed."
Such praise tends to make Bradley squirm, but he is his own worst enemy. Normally right-handed, in one high school game he threw the winning touchdown pass with his left. "Shucks," he explained. "That ball just happened to be there."
It is remarkable that one player can obsess the Southwest so, because this is a vintage year. Texas Christian, for instance, has not one but two outstanding runners, Ross Montgomery and Norman Bulaich. Both weigh in over 200, both are sub 10-second sprinters, and what both like to do best is to run into people. As of now TCU Coach Abe Martin has dutifully listed the sophomores on the second string, a situation that inevitably brings winks and nods from those who have seen them play.
SMU and Baylor have decided that Negroes do indeed have a place in SWC football. As a result, End Jerry Levias and Halfback John Westbrook will help make a five-way race out of the SWC scramble for the title.