Future of Texas quarterbacks uncertain as David Ash continues to recover from head injury

Garrett Callahan

If you were to look into the crystal ball of Texas’ future right now, there would be a lot of uncertainty.

No area of that uncertainty is larger than the problem the Longhorns have already had in recent years—right
behind center.

This year alone Texas has seen three different quarterbacks take snaps. After David Ash, who began the year as the starter, was injured against BYU, senior Case McCoy took the helm at quarterback. Then, head coach Mack Brown burned Tyrone Swoopes’ redshirt, playing him against TCU, much to the surprise of many Longhorns fans.

In the spring, Texas is most likely faced with the decision between Ash (if he’s healthy) and Swoopes. Ash was recently ruled out for the remainder of this season and will appeal to get a medical redshirt. He could play another two years
injury-free or never play football again.

“David is very excited about coming back,” Brown said. “He wishes he could come back now. It’s obviously safer for him to come back in the spring. He’ll appeal and get his two years back, I’m sure. He’ll have a great two years left to play.”

Swoopes, who is looking like the Longhorns’ top choice if Ash isn’t back to 100 percent, has been inconsistent in the three series he has played. Brown has been criticized by some for burning his redshirt too early but believes he made the right decision.

“We don’t think it’s been a waste at all,” Brown said. “We’re excited about the progress he’s made. One of the things coming from a year where Tyrone was injured and didn’t get to play much to a year where he’s gone from [a] 2A [high school] to the University of Texas. What we felt like he needed was competition. We thought he needed to have some pressure and have some stress.”

The Longhorns other choice is their third-string quarterback
Jalen Overstreet, a freshman who moved to running back this season but has started taking snaps in practice again in Ash’s absence. That leaves Denton Guyer quarterback Jerrod Heard, a state champion and four-star prospect, according to rivals.com, who committed to Texas this summer, as the final option at quarterback for the Longhorns in 2014.

But if Brown feels like the Swoopes’ playing time in 2013 has given him the experience he’s needed, he could be Texas’ starting quarterback next year, especially if he’s one of the frontrunners to get the starting job in the spring.

“It was really interesting that his practice on the Tuesday after TCU was so much better than before cause of the few plays in that game,” Brown said. “I think its because the switch flipped and he said ‘I’m going to play now, I have to pick it up.’ So he was a different person that Tuesday and has been since then and we’re really impressed with his progress. I’m glad we’ve played him, he’s made progress and hell be ready for the spring.”