ARLINGTON, TX (KXAN) — Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger led a group of six Texas players at Big 12 Media Days Tuesday.
Texas brought Ehlinger, wide receiver Collin Johnson, offensive lineman Zach Shackelford, defensive lineman Malcolm Roach, linebacker Jeffrey McCulloch and safety Brandon Jones to the two-day attraction at AT&T Stadium.
Ehlinger, by far, was the main attraction from the Longhorns’ contingent. He’s also been a target for pundits and other football players across the country with former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw each taking a shot at the Longhorns junior QB.
Ehlinger was asked several times about those summer slights Tuesday and was clearly prepared for those questions.
He called the criticisms noise while banging the drum of his head coach’s message.
“It’s completely irrelevant in my mind. I’m focused on taking care of what I can control. The internal events that go on with my teammates, my team, myself and making us better. All that stuff is outside noise and it’s pretty irrelevant,” Ehlinger said.
Tom Herman called the comments irrelevant, as well, but was aware of what was said and knows his quarterback will respond with his play on the field.
“Sam likes to play with a chip on his shoulder and I’m sure this will crank it up a notch,” Herman said.
Ehlinger will be on every national award watch list going into his second full season as the Longhorns’ quarterback. The praise and recognition is warranted after putting together one of the best seasons as a Longhorns quarterback.
How much better can Ehlinger be in 2019? For Texas’ team aspirations, they hope he hasn’t reached his ceiling.
“Regardless of what happens, to be in this situation at the University of Texas …what I dreamed of…it’s a blessing within itself,” Ehlinger said.
It’s clear Ehlinger will wait until the games to offer his response to the critics.