Quinn Ewers, Southlake Carroll (TX) High School’s all-world quarterback, has announced his intent to sign with the Ohio State Buckeyes over the in-state Texas Longhorns after initially committing to Texas earlier this year, firmly burying the notion that Texas Longhorns football is of any consequence anymore.
Ewers, the #1 prospect in the class of 2022, has been dubbed the best quarterback in the state since Allen’s Kyler Murray (who now starts for the Arizona Cardinals) and has drawn comparisons to Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. Ewers garnered national attention after a stellar sophomore season, playing for the perennial 6A powerhouse Carroll High School Dragons, where he amassed 4,003 passing yards and 45 passing touchdowns to only 3 interceptions to tack along 568 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground. This season as a junior, although truncated due to COVID, Ewers has already eclipsed 1,200 passing yards and has tossed 15 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.
Suffice it to say, Ewers is THE GUY in an era that lives and dies by the quarterback. He’s the kind of arm talent that can single-handedly turn an entire program around or make a great squad into one of the greatest of all time.
You’re talking about Vince Young to the 2005 Texas Longhorns, Cam Newton to the 2010 Auburn Tigers, Matt Leinart to the 2004 USC Trojans, Tim Tebow to the 2008 Florida Gators, Trevor Lawrence to the 2018 Clemson Tigers, Joe Burrow to the 2019 LSU Tigers — And losing that kind of can’t-miss prospect after he pledged his commitment tells you exactly what you need to know about your program.
Back in August, Ewers had initially committed to playing football at Texas but took to Twitter to rescind his commitment in October, just a few weeks after the Longhorns’ two game skid against TCU and rival Oklahoma that effectively knocked them out of title contention for the 11th year in a row.
Although this kind of a de-commitment is newsworthy, I want to get something straight: losing Ewers didn’t bury this program in irrelevancy; the Texas Longhorns did that all by themselves after posting just one 10-win season since 2009.
Earlier this year, Texas also lost commitments from brothers Tommy and James Brockermeyer, whose father was an All-American for the Longhorns in the 90’s. Even with a family that “bleeds burnt orange,” they couldn’t stomach playing for this program, choosing to defect to NFL-factory Alabama instead.
With the amount of talent the state produces year-in and year-out and the amount of financial resources from millionaire boosters, there is absolutely no reason why they should be losing THIS much to programs who can’t match them dollar-for-dollar.
Since longtime coach Mack Brown’s departure, a large part of their inability to field a successful team can be pointed directly at Texas’ inability to keep in-state recruits from signing with other programs, even out-of-state, and failing to recognize the quality players in a deep pool of talent throughout the state.
Just looking over the in-state quarterbacks, alone, the Longhorns have missed out on in the last 11 years is an indictment on the incompetence that has run amuck in a once proud program. Quarterbacks such as Andrew Luck, Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts all had tremendous success at their respective schools.
Coincidentally, in that same time-span, the Longhorns have failed to produce a single 1st-round quarterback since Vince Young, and while the Ohio State Buckeyes are similarly inept at producing NFL-quality quarterbacks, they’ve positioned themselves to be the Midwest Alabama, churning out pro talent year after year. Currently, 50 former Buckeyes are on an NFL roster in 2020, which is 2nd to only Alabama at 56.
The Longhorns? 25. That’s less than schools like Stanford, Iowa, and Washington.
Consider what that looks like to a high school kid who has aspirations of playing in the NFL. Would I rather play for a school who is going to win AND get me prepared for the next level or do I want to spend the next three years struggling to beat Kansas State and West Virginia?
Texas Longhorns head coach, Tom Herman, minced no words following this seasons’ multiple recruiting failures, blaming them squarely on rumors that he might be out this season regardless if he wins the rest of the way or not to potentially make way for former Ohio State and Florida head coach, Urban Meyer.
That also isn’t to say that current Longhorns quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, hasn’t been a bright spot in an otherwise abysmal decade marred by losses and even controversy over the school song, but clearly Herman, Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, and the Texas administration are clearly way in over their heads and have failed to deliver a program that should be of national consequence.
So, once more time for the record: Texas football is not back, and now without Ewers, I’m not sure if it will be for quite some time.