AUSTIN, Texas -- To survive here, you have to be moving. Always. About the worst thing you can be in Tom Herman's world is idle.

The new coaches at the University of Texas will randomly yell down the hall at each other, "Put the coffee down!" Loosely translated, that means everyone must be doing something at every moment of every day.

It's important to understand, then, why it was significant that Texas' first-year coach spied assistant director of player development Bryan Carrington lingering outside his office Tuesday night.

With about 12 hours to go before the first National Letter of Intent hit the fax machine, it was clear that sort of conduct wouldn't be tolerated at all.

"What is Bryan doing hovering around?," Herman demanded.

Carrington is a 26-year-old former bartender and Home Depot employee who puts together graphics and videos to promote the program. The two modern tools of the recruiting trade are near and dear to Herman's hip-hop heart.

Herman quickly ushered Carrington in to preview his latest hype video. After approving music from 21 Savage, Metro Boomin and 2 Chainz, Herman offered one final edit.

"Throw in a couple of Chance The Rapper [tracks]," the coach said.

The moment is so Tom Herman -- the coach is told -- it cannot be ignored. In the middle of renovating a 123-year tradition-bound football factory, Herman is also literally changing the vibe at UT.

"I'm 41, that's what I grew up listening to," Herman said of hip-hop, half in defense. "It's not me being stiff white guy trying to play to the cool [guys]."

This is a glimpse of what Texas has bought into and what Herman has aspired to. His hiring away from Houston in late November was arguably the most significant of the silly season.

On the surface, what Texas inherited was a wonder-boy rock star with two years of head-coaching experience. What he inherited was just starting to hit home during his first National Signing Day in Austin.

A year ago, at Houston, Herman was landing the highest-rated Group of Five class in history (35th overall).

A year later, he had assembled the lowest-ranked Texas class (26th) in the history of the 247Sports Composite rankings (since 1999).

The National Signing Day big board filled out in Austin. CBS Sports/Dennis Dodd

For the first time in a long time, Texas didn't have a top 10 player from its own state. In fact, three of the top six players in Texas ended up with Urban Meyer, Herman's old boss at Ohio State.

"A year from now, are we going to be there? Absolutely," Herman stressed.

The difference in Herman's last two classes is only nine spots. The difference at Texas: freakin' massive. There's a clean-up to be done here that only starts with those hype videos.

Ohio State and Alabama each signed five five-star players on Wednesday. The Big 12 as a whole hasn't signed one since 2012.

"Not anymore," Herman said with mock bravado. "New sheriff's in town."

Even with the disclaimer that this is a transition class after the firing of Charlie Strong, landing seven in the top 300 nationally and five in the Texas top 30 won't do either.

"That's not good enough," Herman added.

That begins to explain why everyone in these halls keeps moving.

"Things were going so good for so long, [some thought] 'I can just roll in with this logo and just bow down and people are going to want to go to school there,'" Herman said, just getting started.

"These kids that we're signing in the Class of 2017, since they've been 11 years old they've seen two winning seasons of Texas football. Four out of the last six have been seven-loss seasons."

Brutally harsh but brutally true. Never mind the fans or media, Herman isn't going to sugarcoat things.

"In '05, these kids were 5 years old. These kids don't know who Vince Young was."

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Constant reminders of the expectations for Tom Herman at Texas. CBS Sports/Dennis Dodd

By midday Wednesday, the staff could be seen roaming the halls with phones pressed to their ears. They were calling recruits for the Class of 2018, about 20-25 of them, per Herman.

The multitasking coach was playing games on a phone app with two and three of those future players at a time. In this technological age, that qualifies as an early home visit.

"I just wanted you to hear my voice on signing day," he told one, "because this time next year you're going to be in Burnt Orange."

Herman calls this a transition year with an unvarnished analysis. According to his research, in the first year after a coach has left, the next recruiting class has "the highest rate of attrition, the highest rate of off-field issues, and they have the highest-rate of non-players."

Meaning, busts?

Meaning, on days like this, it's time to grit some teeth.

"We don't sign backups at the University of Texas," Herman proclaimed. "We don't sign role players.

"What the rankings don't do is crack their chests over and look at their heart."

Texas is like the Yankees or the Lakers or Cowboys. It's difficult to overachieve. Those franchises are expected to win big every year.

H-Town Takeover? This is Texas' makeover.

Herman built his resume overachieving. He arrived here in 1999 in a graduate assistant, fresh from Texas Lutheran as a Division III receivers coach. Herman was still paying off a student loan when he left Iowa State in 2011.

Winning a national championship at Ohio State with a third-string quarterback catapulted him to stardom.

When Herman got the Texas job, "I said, 'Wow, this is the mecca. This is college heaven certainly ... This was like 'Field of Dreams.' No, this is the University of Texas.'"

Now he must produce. Strong left behind consecutive top-10 recruiting classes. That was also part of his undoing. Even with that talent, Strong departed with the worst winning percentage in school history (16-21, .432).

But when asked about what remained in the pantry, Strong told CBS Sports, "The cake has been baked. You just put the icing on it."

For now, Herman has created on his roster the atmosphere that permeates the halls. There is a sharpened competitive edge that leaves stragglers behind.

The last three Texas teams have produced one, five and zero NFL draftees. That's also not good enough.

Rising sophomore quarterback Shane Buechele knows. After a fine freshman season, Buechele witnessed Herman recruit over him with Sam Ehlinger, a four-star quarterback from nearby Austin Westlake.

"Grown-ass man," Herman summed up. "Dad passed away when he was in eighth grade. He became the man of the house when he was in eighth grade. Alpha male. Uber competitor. Football is his life."

You got that, Shane?

"I don't really like to use the word 'difficult,' Buechele said of the staff transition. "But something on that aspect because you've built a relationship with the past staff. Everything just starts over."

Ehlinger has already enrolled. An interesting spring awaits.

"It will be a legitimate battle," Herman said. "The overarching theme of this offseason is everything is a battle. There is no depth chart."

There better be one that has linebacker Gary Johnson at the top. Johnson was rated the No. 1 JUCO inside linebacker out of Dodge City Community College.

Johnson was committed to Alabama but ended up at Texas because, according to his Dodge City coach, the SEC has a math requirement for JUCO transfers. The Big 12 does not.

A year ago, Houston recruit Dixie Wooten said of Herman, "He took my heart on the first date." Ten months later, Herman told Wooten and the rest of the Cougars that the Longhorns had called and he couldn't say no.

"I cried like a baby," the coach said. "I couldn't even leave the building. I ran up to my office and shut the door. It literally sobbed for 15 minutes. "

You will know the staff because this is one of those places where the scrutiny is daily. About six new staffers have been added.

Matt Lange is considered as big a get as any of them. The former creative director of Alabama's Crimson Tide Productions is a master graphics guy.

Tim Beck is the former offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Football ops guy Fernando Lovo is a budding star.

Todd Orlando went from Houston defensive coordinator to Houston interim coach to Texas defensive coordinator in a flash during November and December. Carrington hooked on as a volunteer at Houston. He was so addicted to the player personnel side, Carrington would play the old "NCAA Football" video games in the recruiting mode, simulating entire seasons to see how his players did.

For now, he's being paid, though on the field as a full-time assistant.

This is all part of an overall Texas upgrade -- everywhere. Herman has made it clear there will be a new locker room, new signage, $2 million worth of changes to the weight room.

How Texas could fall so far behind in the arms race boggles the mind. They almost fell hopelessly behind in the race for Herman.

Texas president Greg Fenves and athletic director Mike Perrine came in way late in the coaching search mating dance. LSU reportedly was way down the road in negotiating with Herman in late November. Fenves and Perrine landed their guy after all night interview, negotiating session that lasted until 4 a.m.

"They literally haven't told me no yet," Herman said.

That's good news for one of Austin's most famous residents who can still can walk around town unnoticed if he doesn't wear Texas gear.

Herman currently lives in a 900-square-foot temporary apartment. The family came to visit recently from Houston. The crew included three children, a dog, a maid and wife Michelle.

Even in the Herman household, they're always moving. A pair of security officers were quickly dispatched to check out a noise complaint at Herman's apartment. The man of the house was asked his name.

"Tom Herman?" one of them replied -- surprised, intimidated and satisfied. "OK, good night."

That kind of anonymity won't last long.