There are Friday news dumps, and then there's Texas announcing -- through a Sports Information Director during player interviews, no less -- that Quinn Ewers, the Ohio State transfer and former No. 1 overall recruit, will enter the 2022 season as the starting quarterback. But while the timing of the message was unexpected, the decision is anything but. In fact, it was the only choice second-year coach Steve Sarkisian could make.
Ewers served what was effectively a one-year apprenticeship with the Buckeyes after enrolling a year early out of Southlake Carroll High School to capitalize on name, image and likeness opportunities. Ultimately, though, the former five-star prospect opted for a fresh start with the Longhorns as they try to rebound from an embarrassing 5-7 season.
Since Ewers' commitment, the Longhorns' offseason hype has gone off the rails. Texas received an anonymous first-place vote in the Preseason Coaches Poll and landed yet another No. 1 quarterback -- Arch Manning -- in June. The Longhorns also pulled in top-five recruiting and transfer classes in the 2022 cycle and sit at No. 2 in the 2023 rankings with three five-stars already on board. Ewers even ranks top 10 in Heisman odds at Caesars SportsBook.
Following up that kind of offseason by announcing 2021 Week 1 starter Hudson Card as QB1 would have been a wet blanket on the lofty expectations. Card threw for 224 yards against Louisiana but lost his job after a miserable 61-yard outing against Arkansas the following week. After his two starts, Card completed just 29 of 47 passes for 305 yards in five game appearances.
Granted, Ewers is more of a lottery ticket than a sure thing. He hasn't thrown a live pass since the 2020 Class 6A Division I State Championship Game for Southlake Carroll.