AUSTIN, Texas (BVM) – The buzz that follows Arch Manning’s future debut at Texas has taken the college football world by storm. After the No. 1 player in the Class of 2023 announced his commitment to the Longhorns program back in June, attention turned away from projected starting quarterback Quinn Ewers, who seems to have become the odd man out.
After transferring to the Longhorns program this offseason, Ewers is expected to headline a change in culture for Texas following the arrival of head coach Steve Sarkisian last year. The talk surrounding the upcoming Longhorns starter has changed tune, especially for someone who was not only the top-ranked quarterback recruit in his class, but also the top overall player. With all the attention seemingly on the future, Ewers is ready to remind those around the country that he’s still one of the most important names to know in college football.
“There’s a different type of confidence in the air right now,” Ewers wrote in the Players Tribune. “It’s refreshing, and it’s exciting. It’s Coach Sarkisian’s second year, and everyone’s aware of the expectations. And we all know it won’t happen overnight. But we’re ready to rise to the occasion.”
— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) April 23, 2022
After entering Ohio State last year, it seemed like it would be a matter of time before Ewers got his chance to lead the Buckeyes’ program. After originally committing to Texas back in 2020, Ewers decommitted, deciding instead to enroll early at Ohio State. Unfortunately for him, redshirt freshman CJ Stroud ran with the starting quarterback opportunity once he was handed the keys to the offense, enjoying a Heisman-level 2021 campaign.
With another season likely at the helm for Stroud, it only made sense for the 6-foot-3 quarterback to transfer elsewhere. As programs vied for Ewers’ skillset in the portal, the Texas native decided to return home with an open road to becoming the starter. The move would provide the Longhorns with their most accomplished incoming quarterback since Vince Young in 2002, with Ewers finishing his high school career as the unanimous No. 1–ranked quarterback in both the Class of 2022 and the Class of 2021 after his reclassification. It would even lead to some lucrative NIL deals like the one he landed with Aston Martin this summer.
“I grew up always watching the Longhorns play, wanting to be in that burnt orange,” Ewers said in his press conference. “There was a little obstacle in between, but I ended up here and I’m very thankful for all the opportunities God has given me…. You kind of put the past behind you and focus on what’s ahead, and I’m super excited about what’s ahead, for sure.”
With redshirt sophomore Hudson Card as the only remaining obstacle for Ewers, the former Southlake Carroll High School quarterback is ready to remind those around the nation that he is still capable of his previous expectations. With coaches raving about his accuracy and vision coming out of high school, Ewers has put them on full display during the team’s camp leading up to the season.
“Quinn is a heck of a player,” Sarkisian told ESPN. “He’s obviously very talented. The thing I love about him is, [he’s] super coachable, great teammate, has a really good work ethic and loves to compete. He’s in a heck of a competition right now with Hudson Card [and] I think he values the competition.”
In limited opportunities last season, Card passed for nearly 600 yards and five touchdowns after losing the starting gig to Casey Thompson in Week 2. Behind the two quarterbacks’ efforts, Texas ranked just 72nd in passing offense and 82nd in passing-play percentage throughout the 5-7 season. With Sarkisian centering his offense around run-pass option concepts, Ewers should be the beneficiary of an environment built on quick decisions as the team looks to get to a closer balance of success in the pass and run game.
Stability at the quarterback position will be a major help for the Longhorns offense as they feature a bolstered receiving group and a stabilized offensive line. As many await an improved passing attack, the Longhorns are still set to feature one of the top rushing attacks in the country, which should allow Ewers to ease into the team’s signal-caller role.
As he battles through the open competition, most around the game are expecting the recent transfer to get the first crack at the position opening. With many discussing what’s ahead from the Texas quarterback room, a standout season from Ewers might make things even more interesting heading into the future. No matter what, all eyes will be on the Longhorns’ quarterback come Week 1.