Oh, his defense will be minus All-America Tackle Loyd Wainscott, signal-caller Corby Robertson and Bill Bradley, the erstwhile quarterback who wound up a top punter and defensive back. Royal's offense will have to make do without Chris Gilbert, the only college back ever to gain 1,000 yards three years in a row.
But shed no Texas-size tears for Royal. He has enough talent to fill Waller Creek. In all, Royal will have back 35 of 48 lettermen. Among the best are two tackles, Leo Brooks on defense and Bob McKay on offense, Tom Campbell, a linebacker turned defensive halfback who was the star of the last Cotton Bowl game, Quarterback James Street, Fullback Steve Worster, Halfback Ted Koy, Flanker Cotton Speyrer and Tight End Deryl Comer. As for ground-gainers, there are plenty to man the triple-option Wishbone T, one of the latest and most potent offenses around. Scoreboard operators were kept busy toting up the 379 points it mass-produced last season.
"It's really little bits of many different offenses," Royal says as he talks about the Wishbone. "Coaches are the biggest copycats in the world, and the offense is spreading, and spreading fast. Maybe if we'd zip our lips...," whereupon, in mid-thought, Royal zipped his lips.
The Wishbone offense works for Texas because of runners like Worster and Koy, a pair of 210-pounders. Worster, who gets those difficult up-the-middle yards, scored 13 times as a sophomore and gained 806 yards at five yards a try. Evidence of Worsteds value to the team is best supplied by Royal himself. Last spring coaches all over the country were calling to ask Darrell about the Wishbone T, and one of the most constant was Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State. One day on long distance Royal told his friend Daugherty, "Duffy, you don't want my offense. You want my fullback, and he's got two more years with me."
Adds Royal on Worster: "He plays his position better than anybody we've ever had except Tommy Nobis. He's the kind of kid who just goes out and causes wrecks, straightens his headgear and walks back to the huddle quietly."
Koy is another integral part of an offense that amassed 447.6 yards a game, having averaged 5-plus yards per carry. Both Worster and Koy are also expert blockers and will help clear the path for whoever takes over for Gilbert. Top candidates for that spot are Billy Dale, a junior, and Jim Bertelsen, a sophomore. Bertelsen, who already has the gift of knowing how to use his blockers, gained 685 yards, the most yardage gained by a freshman in Royal's 12 years in Austin.
Big Ten coaches ogled Bertelsen, who comes from Hudson, Wis., but Royal got busy when he learned that Jim wanted to attend a "warm-weather school." Royal made a rare out-of-state recruiting trip and just happened to wind up in, well, Hudson, Wis. Despite his own persuasive powers, Royal feared he might not get Bertelsen, who visited Austin on what turned out to be the coldest day of winter and on the day when food poisoning hit the dining hall. Bertelsen, however, shook off the chilly reception and signed on.
Getting Worster, another high school whiz, was a project that came up a year earlier and proved far less frustrating. "Most people think we must have wined and dined him," recalls Assistant Coach Fred Akers. "All it took to get him was two hamburgers. That's the kind of kid he is."
Two other vital cogs in the offense are Speyrer and Street. Speyrer, who caught 26 passes for 449 yards, has speed, can fake left and go right and this year will further torment foes by running back punts and kickoffs.
After a loss and a tie at the start of last season Royal at last admitted he could not win with Bradley at quarterback, so he turned to Street. Zingo, the Longhorns won nine straight, including a stunning 36-13 rout of Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl. Street is also a first-rate pitcher on the Texas baseball team and over the past two years has had a 21-6 record.