AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas sophomore quarterback Quinn Ewers is a changed man this season.

Whether it’s something obvious like the absence of a long, flowing mullet, or something not as noticeable like improving his leadership skills, Ewers comes into this season with a different perspective and all kinds of weapons at his disposal.

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He said he had a talk with head coach Steve Sarkisian over the summer that helped affirm some thoughts he had throughout his freshman season with the Longhorns.

“I knew I had to change and be more of a vocal leader, but we sat down and had a great conversation about what I needed to become. I put my full trust in him and what he thinks, and I just try to be that same person every single day.”

Sarkisian has discussed how Ewers has developed during Big 12 Media Days and as fall camp began. At Media Days, Sarkisian said Ewers’ evolution on and off the field is clear.

“We’ve seen a level of maturity change,” Sarkisian said. “We’ve seen him really dialing in and understanding schematically what we’re trying to do offensively change. We’ve seen him from a morale standpoint, speaking up in team meetings, speaking up on the field from a work ethic standpoint, and I think he’s earned the respect of his teammates throughout this time and throughout this process.”

Texas tight end Ja'Tavion Sanders (left) and quarterback Quinn Ewers held a youth football camp Saturday at Hill Country Middle School. (KXAN photo)
Texas tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders (left) and quarterback Quinn Ewers held a youth football camp Saturday at Hill Country Middle School. (KXAN photo)

After the first day of fall camp, Sarkisian said Ewers had “one of the better practices he’s had since I’ve been here,” and referenced the chat he and his starting quarterback had in the offseason.

“Sometimes you need to change the perception so people can really get to know you,” Sarkisian said. “I think Quinn has worked at that over the last seven or eight months and he’s starting to see the value in that. Quinn is a great guy — super coachable, a really good teammate, humble and hard-working and he cares about the people around him. I don’t know if everyone knew that about him a year ago, but now I think people understand that.”

Sarkisian also said he didn’t mind the mullet, for what it’s worth.

Ewers said he also had to make the tough call to give up Chick-fil-A, or at least just cut back. He said he’s dropped almost 20 pounds since the Alamo Bowl last season by changing his eating habits and mixing in some veggies while curtailing his intake of chicken sandwiches and waffle fries.

“I’m a big Chick-fil-A fan,” he said. “I’m more focused on eating what the university provides now. Higher doses of protein, less carbs, more vegetables, just healthier stuff.”

He said he saves his chicken cravings for a cheat day and that he feels comfortable with where he’s at with his body.

While he won’t have the security blanket of All-American running back Bijan Robinson to hand the ball to this season, Ewers said he feels comfortable with everybody who will tote the pigskin this season.

“The depth we have at running back is unreal,” he said. “We’re going to have guys that are able to make some similar plays that he did.”

As far as developing a rapport with the receiving corps, he said he’s taking some pressure off himself to “be perfect,” and just get the ball in the general vicinity of his receivers so they can go get it.

“With the athletes we have at receiver, if you give them a chance, eight out of 10 times they’re going to come down with it,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be the perfect ball every single time.”