Missing a bowl game for just the fourth time since Mack Brown took over in 1998 was an embarrassing moment for a Texas program hungry to find the kind of success it enjoyed in the mid-2000s. However, it will soon be forgotten if success comes now.
Sarkisian earned another fresh start at Texas after rebuilding the roster and nabbing one of the top quarterback transfers of all time. However, the clock to compete for championships flips on again Saturday.
Of course, the success rides on Ewers proving to be the Golden Boy — the savior at quarterback who was promised. Ewers has not thrown a live game pass in nearly two years, but his high school career was legendary. Ewers threw for 4,003 yards, 45 touchdowns and three interceptions as a sophomore before leading his Carroll squad to the Texas 6A State Championship Game as a junior. He completed 70% of his passes and averaged more than 10 yards per pass attempt in the highest classification of Texas high school football.
Ewers is still in an open quarterback competition with sophomore Hudson Card, who earned the job out of 2021 camp. The Austin native completed 61.4% of his passes for 590 yards passing and five touchdowns. Card was a blue-chip quarterback recruit of his own who has the advantage of live college football reps. The battle is far from a coronation of any sort, and it will be on full display at the spring game in front of fans on Saturday.
When Ewers committed to Tom Herman’s staff at Texas in 2020, it energized the program. When he decommitted and headed to Ohio State instead, it doomed Herman’s tenure. The timing of his return could not have been better after the disastrous start to the Sarkisian era.
After Ewers transferred, Texas finished off the recruiting period with one of the most impressive closings in the nation, especially on offense. The Longhorns added 11 blue-chip signees in the week after Ewers committed, and later added star Wyoming receiver Isaiah Neyor and Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley as touted transfers. Fellow Alabama transfer receiver Agiye Hall could be next. The recruiting class ended top five in the country, joining rival Texas A&M and three of the five teams with national titles in the playoff era.
Calling Ewers a generational quarterback prospect is an understatement. The Southlake (Texas) Carroll product emerged as the first perfect 1.0000 quarterback recruit in the 247Sports Composite since Vince Young — the only quarterback to win a national championship on the 40 Acres in the last 50 years. There have only been five other perfect 1.0000 recruits since 2000; for comparison, Trevor Lawrence was a 0.9999.
Quarterback play has doomed the Longhorns for more than a decade. Texas is entering its 13th consecutive season without an All-Big 12 First Team quarterback, so getting a superstar from the program’s own backyard was a must.