AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday that while Quinn Ewers will be the starting quarterback, he’ll still need Hudson Card, who is now the backup after being named the starter last season.
Speaking for the first time since he named Ewers the starter on Friday ahead of the team’s second scrimmage during fall camp, Sarkisian said Ewers “can make all the throws in our system.”
“He’s got play-making ability, he’s got natural passing ability,” Sarkisian said of Ewers, who graduated a year early from Southlake Carroll High School and enrolled at Ohio State after flipping his commitment from Texas. “I will say it was a tough decision. Hudson is a very good player. He’s got great leadership skills, and I’ve said this all along, there’s probably going to be a point in the season — whether it’s one play, one drive, one quarter, one game, two games, I don’t know — we’re going to need Hudson Card to win a championship.”
Card and Casey Thompson, who is now the starting quarterback for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, split time last year in Texas’ 5-7 season, and Sarkisian said he didn’t plan on rotating quarterbacks this year. Ewers is the guy and he’s got two weeks to get game-ready having not played any meaningful snaps since his junior year of high school for the Dragons.
Sarkisian said quarterbacks should “give the rest of the team and coaching staff a sense of belief,” and he said Ewers “naturally has that ability, and it’s only going to continue to grow the most comfortable he gets.”
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A couple of days before the team’s scrimmage Saturday, Sarkisian said he was “hopeful” to have a starting quarterback named by then to help get them settled in. He said the decision, albeit difficult, was a consensus across the board with coaches. Once he slept on it Thursday and “felt the same way” on Friday, he decided it was time.
“These are always tough, especially when you have two really talented people, different players but talented people,” Sarkisian said. “I felt comfortable with the timing of it. Quinn was able to get a lot of reps with the 1s on Saturday, and now he’s got two weeks to get himself prepared.”
It would be a miracle if Ewers goes uninjured and plays every down of every game this season, and Sarkisian has made that perfectly clear that he won’t have a problem going to Card.
“Hudson’s job is to compete still, every day,” Sarkisian said. “He has to make Quinn better, or pass him, and I expect nothing less. The reality of it is, playing quarterback in this day and age, it’s hard to go through an entire season unscathed.”
It’s the second time in as many years the Longhorns will start a redshirt freshman at quarterback with Card the starter last year, and Sarkisian knows that it’s not going to be all sunshine and happiness throughout the years. Times will be tough, especially with a young team like Texas, and Sarkisian knows that.
“I’m a realist, we’re going to have some growing pains, but that’s OK,” he said. “I still think we’re a pretty good football team. We’ve got some key veterans at key spots to help alleviate some of that.”