AUSTIN — Texas senior defensive end Breckyn Hager can best be described as a loose cannon.
His appearances in front of the media have been sparse during his career — and for good reason. Hager is known for saying whatever is on his mind with little to no filter. He once proclaimed Texas needed to “injure that quarterback” leading up to a game against Patrick Mahomes and Texas Tech in 2016.
Following the No. 15 Longhorns’ 24-10 win over No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday night, Hager added to his questionable, head-scratching legend in front of the media.
Hager showed up postgame with a Cowboy hat and dark sunglasses on and a piece of dip in his mouth, with his injured right elbow still wrapped up. What ensued can be characterized as Breckyn Hager just being Breckyn Hager.
When asked, less than an hour after Texas had defeated the Cyclones at Royal-Memorial Stadium, if he was already over the victory, Hager immediately interjected.
“I’m over it. These questions about these — yes, I’m over it. I’m done. I compartmentalize. It’s over,” Hager said. “It’s 11:08. I’ll be done with it after this interview. 11:15 maybe?”
But Hager was just getting started.
“And then you know what I’m gonna go do?” Hager said. “I’m going to take my elbow to my big bed with my parents. They’re gonna set it up. They’re gonna ice it, and they’re gonna get me ready for my practice tomorrow. I ain’t happy. I won’t ever be happy until we win the Big 12.”
And Hager won’t get to cut his long golden locks either until the Longhorns win the league. That’s the promise Hager has notably kept for over a year. Texas is only two wins away from that happening.
But first the Longhorns face the lowly Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence next Friday at 11 a.m. in the regular season finale. Win, and Texas will be in the Big 12 title game on Dec. 1 at AT&T Stadium.
That Kansas game was all Hager seemed to care about following Saturday night’s win over Iowa State. When a reporter dared to ask him about Texas’ defensive success against the Cyclones, Hager — who tallied just one tackle Saturday (a sack, nonetheless) — wasn’t having it.
“Did you not listen to what I just said?” Hager said. “The game’s over. I’m talking about Kansas.”
And just how did Hager keep his emotions in check on senior night during the Longhorns’ pivotal conference victory?
“I know how to do things with my brain that not a lot of normal people know how to do,” Hager said.
“What’s that?” a reporter followed up.
“Compartmentalize,” Hager said.
But then the questioning shifted back to that upcoming game against Kansas in Lawrence, a place the Longhorns suffered a devastating loss to the Jayhawks at in 2016 that essentially got former head coach Charlie Strong fired.
“It’s the perfect story,” Hager said. “Aristotle — that’s why I’m a philosophy major. Tragedy. Tragedy in Kansas. I lost a father to me. Got a new one. And now we’re gonna have some triumph.”
Hager continued: “I’m gonna do everything I can as a captain to make sure these young guys understand how important this is, because we can’t let one detail slip because we are this close and the only thing that matters is beating Kansas — and I’m done.”
At the conclusion of his roughly five-minute postgame media session, Hager emphatically got up from his chair and walked away. One reporter then informed Hager that Kansas dropped 40 points during its 15-point loss to No. 6 Oklahoma on Saturday night in Norman.
“Hey, OU has no defense,” Hager turned around and said.
He then pointed at a nearby clock and offered one last sobering thought from his perplexing postgame session.
“And what time is it?” Hager said. “It’s 11:12…and OU still sucks.”
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