DALSportsNation

When you watch a good football offense, the first thing that usually catches your attention is a strong presence at quarterback. When a good QB is at the helm of an offense, good things usually happen, and a team can move the ball and control the tempo of a game.

For the 2021 Texas Longhorns, the QB revolving door circus helped play havoc and was a symptom of the greater failures that ended up in a 5-7 record and not qualifying for a bowl bid. First year head coach Steve Sarkisian has built a stellar reputation on being a QB’s head coach, but you couldn’t tell that from the chaos taking offensive snaps each game.  Sure, there were moments when both Hudson Card and Casey Thompson shined and showed some promise but as the saying goes, one step forward and two steps back will always lead to a football program heading in the wrong direction.

One of the key issues facing Coach Sarkisian and his offensive staff this offseason (I hate to call it that – it’s preseason 2022 from now on) is who will emerge as the legitimate, unquestionable play caller this upcoming season.  The starting QB competition is about to heat up in Austin and the Longhorns have options at this position. The obvious consensus choice for the starting position seems to fall into Quinn Ewer’s lap and is his job to lose. Being a former coach who worked a lot on the offensive side of the ball, the reason for a QB competition is to see who rises to the top and Quinn Ewers hasn’t done anything yet to earn this position other than commit to UT – again.  Sure, he’s the top QB out there from the transfer portal and he probably made a mistake running off to Ohio State but again Ewers is untested at the collegiate level and will have to prove that he can live up to all the hype surrounding himself.  Ewers also needs to tone down the hype and put in the hard work to show to everyone that he is one of the most talented QB’s in all of college football.  If he can do that, Ewers can move from hype to the reality of being a key impact player on the Longhorn roster for years to come.

I tend to give Quinn Ewers a little break on coming back and re-committing to Texas. High school recruits tend to develop strong relationships more with the coaches who are recruiting them then the actual schools who they can go and play for as student-athletes and Ewers obviously felt connected to Tom Herman. When Herman was fired last year, Ewers drifted over to Ohio State. If Steve Sarkisian can build up that relationship with Ewers, he may be staying in Austin for years to come.

I have a gut feeling that Quinn Ewers is going to have his hands full in the QB competition with fellow incoming freshman Maalik Murphy.  Murphy is a warrior who hasn’t wavered from his commitment to UT.  Coming off a state championship in California, Murphy has shown that he’s driven to winning.  Murphy was injured during that state championship game but should heal up in time for spring football. Murphy may find himself in the backup role for the next couple of seasons as an understudy until he is fully ready to take over the Longhorn QB reins and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  If Murphy can get his reps in during practices, waiting to start him until he is fully ready may be to his advantage. However, Murphy may just surprise everyone and prove that he is the top QB prospect in Austin now and win out the competition.

Raw talent and potential are key components of any successful athlete, but Hudson Card brings one thing to the table for Texas – actual game experience. Card has played college football and worked for a year under the Sarkisian offensive scheme which means he’s the only UT quarterback with viable college playing time and knows what to expect.  Card wasn’t a horrible QB this past year and threw 51 for 83 passes for 590 yards, five TD’s and just one INT.  Unfortunately, the one pick came against Kansas in their crazy 57-56 overtime loss. Card will no doubt be fighting to be the backup QB at Texas and when all is said and done, he may hop himself into the transfer portal and land at another school.

 

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