Quinn Ewers has had some solid moments in his first year as the Texas starting quarterback, but he’s not guaranteed to start in 2023.
That’s because there’s another five-star quarterback now on campus at UT: Arch Manning.
Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli, was the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023 and had enrolled early at Texas in order to participate in spring practices.
After the first day of Spring Ball on Monday, Texas coach Steve Sarkissian told reporters that every position is open to competition, including quarterback.
“I’m not worried about who will be on the cover of any magazine next week,” Sarkissian said. “I’m more focused on if each player is focused on what they need to do to develop to be the best possible player back. I want to see how far they can take this thing and what it can look like.”
Like Manning, Evers was the top recruit in his class. Ewers was originally a 2022 prospect, but reclassified to 2021 and enrolled at Ohio State. He spent just one season at OSU before returning to his home state by transferring to Texas. Ewers was verbally committed to UT before switching to Ohio State.
Ewers has had an up and down freshman campaign. He threw for 2,177 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 58.1% of his attempts as the Longhorns went 8-5.
Sarkissian said Ewers feels more comfortable as he enters his second year with the program.
“I thought Quinn had a really good winter. He was basically a real freshman this time last year. There was a lot on his mind. I felt that way for him pretty much all year. This winter, he seems normal. He’s throwing the ball.” Well. I think he comes across as a leader. I think what he’s done is, he’s serving in Arch and showing what you look like and how you go about your business,” Sarkissian said.
Quinn Ewers cuts the infamous mullet
In addition to his lofty status as a recruiter, Ewers has received a lot of attention for his mullet haircut. However, he recently cut a mullet and a reporter asked Sarkissian if this was a sign that Ewers was taking things “more seriously.”
Sarkissian said there was no noticeable change in Ewers’ approach, but he admitted that the two had talked about how a person’s appearance can change how they are perceived.
“Queen is an amazing kid. He’s a great teammate. He’s really adaptable. But one thing we’ve talked about is that sometimes your looks get ahead of you. And then you almost have to get over yourself,” Sarkeesian said.
“All of a sudden now the guy’s getting a haircut and brushing his beard a little bit and everyone thinks Quinn is really serious right now. But that’s human nature. There’s never been any question that he’s taking this seriously. He wants to be really good…he wants to be.” “Being a leader on this team. He wants to win a championship with these guys. And that doesn’t change what he does day in and day out. But looks are what he is. And so I think he’s realized that shows some maturity in his approach to what he does.”
Arch Manning takes the second team reps in first practice
Sarkissian said the team’s passing game needs to be improved compared to its performance last season, particularly in third and in the red zone. He hopes that a healthy competition between Ewers and Manning will bring out the best in both players and ultimately raise the bar on the field.
“This competition should ultimately bring out the best in both of them. That’s what we try to create in our program in every position group. When you have that, that’s when your level of play is constantly raised,” Sarkissian said.
With Malik Murphy’s injury limited, Manning took on second-team representatives in Monday’s practice. Sarkissian said his first practice was up and down, as you would expect from any freshman.
“For Arch today, day one, there were some plays he would like to take back. There are some other plays he’s put on where everyone was like, ‘Wow, that was a play,’” Sarkeesian said. “He’s a real freshman, and he should stay in school.” high school. He brings a worker’s mentality and wants to be really good at this game.”
Sarkissian has a record of 13-12 (9-9 Big 12) in two seasons at Texas. UT will open the 2023 season at home against Rice on September 2nd.
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