NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana — A dreary day in South Louisiana didn’t dampen the spirits of the Longhorns arrival in New Orleans for their date with Georgia on New Year's Eve.

Immediately after stepping off the plane at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Texas head coach Tom Herman was asked about a New Orleans specialty, beignets.

“I mean, I wouldn’t say I go out of my way,” said Herman. “But, if they’re around, I’m usually snacking on them pretty good.”

The fun NOLA related questions quickly shifted to the Longhorns and his two young freshman quarterbacks, Casey Thompson and Cameron Rising.

Both quarterbacks have entered their names in the NCAA Transfer Portal. It doesn’t mean either will transfer, but it’s a new option for the student-athletes to explore options if they choose to make that decision.

Herman said both Thompson and Rising are with the team in New Orleans preparing for the Sugar Bowl.

When asked if he’s okay with both of them being a part of the team after submitting their names into the portal, Herman said, “Well, one, we want them to stick around. We don't want to lose either one of them. Nowadays in college football that's their right, and that's something that the football oversight committee and the transfer oversight committee thought was a necessary next step. And we respect that.”

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Herman added he and the Texas coaching staff has been communicating with both Thompson and Rising with their families.

“We also have the opportunity to communicate with them how important they are to our program,” said Herman.

Michael Williams, a true freshman defensive lineman from nearby Baton Rouge, left the program on Dec. 16.

When asked about Williams and if he’d comment about why Williams left UT, Tom Herman replied with a simple, “no.”

We will continue our coverage of the Longhorns daily here in New Orleans until we return to Austin on Jan. 2.

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ShawnC_KVUE & MikeB_KVUE