AUSTIN (KXAN) — Former Longhorns quarterback and Austin native Sam Ehlinger won the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year award in a virtual ceremony held Tuesday night in Dallas.
On Wednesday, Ehlinger met with the media over Zoom to discuss his “different world” away from the Longhorns, training for the 2021 NFL Draft.
“Every single day it’s about making myself better not only for the draft process, but also long term as a football player. I can already see the progress I’ve made from a physical standpoint and a mental standpoint,” Ehlinger said.
The four-year Longhorns starting quarterback moved to Fort Worth in January to begin his full-fledged training regimen for the pros. He’s got two more months before the NFL Draft.
Ehlinger also spent a week in Mobile, Alabama in January at the Senior Bowl, throwing a touchdown pass in the showcase game. He finished the day 4-of-10 passing for 42 yards and the score.
Ehlinger won the Witten award over two finalists, former Alabama running back Najee Harris and former Notre Dame defensive lineman Daelin Hayes.
“It’s incredible, growing up, especially living in Texas, watching the Cowboys and watching Jason play, my parents were always like, ‘That’s who you need to model yourself off of on the field and off the field, because he does it right in all the ways.’ He has all the glory, everybody loves him, but what’s most important is the man that he is off the field,” Ehlinger said. “That means so much to be able to represent this award with his name associated to it. It’s truly an honor, and I feel so blessed.”
The award is based off of leadership, which Ehlinger displayed on and off the field in his career on the Forty Acres. Last year, he started a GoFundMe page to raise money to go toward different charities that focused on COVID-19 relief. He raised almost $200,000.
As a result of winning this award, Ehlinger will receive a $10,000 contribution to the university’s athletic scholarship fund.