QB talent in Texas bypassing UT, Brown
gled under Brown, it has been due in large part to mediocre quarterbacking. Garrett Gilbert was thought to be Texas’ next great one after Vince and Colt left, but he crumbled along with a porous offensive line, a belowaverage running game, and the huge expectations that come with the position. In the post VY-Colt era, Texas quarterbacks are 21-16 with 45 touchdowns and 41 interceptions, hardly numbers of a team hoping to regain its national swagger.
David Ash, who was named the Alamo Bowl starter on Monday, has taken a few good steps forward as a sophomore, but there have been enough mental lapses (Oklahoma and Kansas, anyone?) to cause the fan base to cringe. Ash is good, but far from great.
Case McCoy made a case for himself to start against Oregon State with his 17 straight completions in Manhattan, but he also threw two ill-advised interceptions on throws that were designed for someone with a much bigger arm to make. It’s no surprise that Ash was named the starter. He’s the safer choice.
Texas’ quarterback situation is a sobering piece of football reality. The Longhorns are a team that’s caught in the middle — to the north, Baylor produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Robert Griffin III last year, and to the east, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel won it this year.
The Longhorns looked at both players coming out of high school, but neither of them as a quarterback.
Here’s the question: Can Brown return this program to its previous heights with Ash or McCoy running things? Or is this what we will continue to get for the rest of his tenure — seven- and eight-win seasons that don’t register much of a ripple on a national level?
There is talent available, but the Longhorns haven’t hit on a program changer since Young and McCoy played for national championships. This state has produced some good, young quarterbacks in the last three or four years, but only one (Colt McCoy) became a Longhorn.
Of the 32 NFL starters on opening day, nine played high school football in Texas — Detroit’s Matthew Stafford, Indianapolis’ Andrew Luck, New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Jacksonville’s Blaine Gabbert, Washington’s Griffin III, Minnesota’s Christian Ponder, Arizona’s John Skelton and Miami’s Ryan Tannehill. And Westlake’s Nick Foles appears to be Philadelphia’s quarterback of the future.
Seeing so many quality quarterbacks from the state that weren’t signed by Texas has to disappoint many Bevo followers, especially in the cases of Heisman winners Griffin III and Manziel, who actually wanted to be Longhorns.
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The Alamo Bowl’s biggest storyline will be whether Ash — who was the offensive player of the game in last year’s Holiday Bowl victory — can show he has the ability to lead this program to more meaningful postseason games in the future. McCoy may play, but he has to overcome the growing perception that he’s an overconfident swashbuckler whose lack of arm strength will always keep him No. 2 on Texas’ depth chart.
Honestly, Ash and McCoy are hard-working, scrappy quarterbacks willing to lay it on the line for their team. That much we know.
But I don’t see greatness in them.
I see the Alamo Bowl.