As the Texas Longhorns prepare for the 2013 football season, it's worth assessing the entire scholarship chart to take a deeper look into the immediate and distant future for the program at each position.
(Italics indicate a player who is committed but not yet signed.)
|1||David Ash||David Ash||Tyrone Swoopes||Tyrone Swoopes|
|2||Case McCoy||Tyrone Swoopes||Jerrod Heard||Jerrod Heard|
|3||Tyrone Swoopes||Jalen Overstreet||Jalen Overstreet||Jalen Overstreet|
|4||Jalen Overstreet||Jerrod Heard|
There are multiple concerns here -- for this season, the issue is that Ash absolutely must stay healthy, because the drop-off would be significant from the starter to back-up Case McCoy. Moving forward, the concern is the lack of depth on the roster, as most teams prefer to have four scholarship quarterbacks available, but that won't happen for the Longhorns in 2014 unless Overstreet continues to take reps at the position, though his inclusion on this chart is questionable given how much time he is spending at running back and his expected reps at wide receiver as well.
Taking another 2014 quarterback doesn't appear to be in the plans following the departure of Connor Brewer, though the pressure is significant to land two in the 2015 class, which appears a real possibility with Fort Bend Marshall's JW Ketchum featuring the Horns at the top of his list. Landing Stephenville's Jarrett Stidham will be a tough task, but the prognosis is more positive with West Mesquite's Chason Virgil early.
Returning to Overstreet though -- if he doesn't continue to take reps at quarterback, the Horns wouldn't have a third-string with any experience in 2014 and only a likely redshirt freshman in 2015 ready to play, though it would take a worst-case scenario for it to matter.
The guess here with Swoopes is clearly that he will play this season since he'll be the back up next season and then have an excellent chance of winning the starting quarterback job in 2015 over Heard, though the Denton Guyer product's ability to improve mechanically in such a short period of time suggests that he's quite a bit further ahead on the developmental curve than Swoopes at a similar age -- in two years, he could be polished enough to be ready to play. But will being ready be enough?
Want to know more about why the Texas defense fell apart last season and how Manny Diaz can fix it? What about insight into Major Applewhite's influences and how they will impact the new Texas offense? Or why you should believe in David Ash making the jump this season? Get all the answers in 2013 In the Huddle: Texas.