AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Longhorns officially began fall camp Wednesday, and according to head coach Steve Sarkisian, it was a great first day for the quarterbacks.
Starter Quinn Ewers, along with backups Maalik Murphy and Arch Manning, all made progress in their respective ways, Sarkisian said.
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“Quinn had one of the better practices he’s had since I’ve been here,” Sarkisian said. “Maalik and Arch took strides from spring to training camp and I was proud of the work they did.”
Sarkisian won’t really know how far any of his players have come until they are going full speed in full pads, but was still pleased with how Ewers maneuvered in and out of the pocket. Sarkisian called it “a clean practice,” for Ewers, saying he went to his check downs when he needed to and didn’t force the ball downfield.
“The ball was coming out timely, and when we got a little off-schedule he moved really well in the pocket and kept his vision downfield and make throws off-platform,” Sarkisian said. “That’s something we’ve really been working on in the offseason.”
It’s not that he wasn’t committed to getting better in the first place, but over the summer, Ewers made it a point to change some eating habits, work out routines and work on some of his leadership skills. He also got a haircut, and the mullet he’d been rocking was transformed into something a little more polished and sophisticated — if you will.
“I didn’t mind the mullet,” Sarkisian said with a smile. “But I also know what perception is. Sometimes you need to change the perception so people can really get to know you. I think Quinn has worked at that over the last 7 or 8 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 said Ewers is in the best shape he’s ever been in while at Texas, and it showed up in ways both physically and mentally.
“The decision-making was very clean for today,” Sarkisian said.