Texas recruiting: Are the Horns done at the quarterback position?

Is Texas still pursuing JW Ketchum? - Wescott Eberts (SB Nation)

Updating Horns recruiting efforts position by position.

Needs: One or two

Commitments: Albuquerque (NM) Eldorado pro-style prospect Zach Gentry

Offers:

  • Bellflower (Cali.) St. John Bosco's Josh Rosen (committed to UCLA)
  • Ventura (Cali.) St. Bonaventure's Ricky Town (committed to USC)
  • Lees Summit (Miss.)'s Drew Lock (committed to Missouri)
  • Allen's Kyler Murray (committed to Texas A&M)
  • Stephenville's Jarrett Stidham (committed to Texas Tech)
  • Baltimore (Mary.) Gilman's Kai Locksley
  • Houston Lamar's JW Ketchum

Commitment overview: One look at this list provides some clear perspective on how important it was to land Gentry, the 6'7, 230-pound passer from New Mexico who committed to Texas in the middle of May after only visiting Austin once for the spring game. Had Texas missed on Gentry, it might still be looking for a quarterback, though Boerne's Quinten Dormady likely would have pounced on an offer had one been extended. His recruitment finally took off in late May and early June and he committed to Tennessee recently.

The prototype for what Shawn Watson wants in a quarterback, Gentry was a top target of both Alabama and Tennessee. In fact, at the time of his commitment to Texas, his high school head coach said that Gentry was the top quarterback on the Crimson Tide board.

Blessed with a strong arm and good athleticism for his size, he should be difficult to bring down in the target and capable of hitting every part of the field with his arm strength. The only real question about him is how quickly he can adjust to the major change in competition level coming from New Mexico high school football.

Moving forward: The only pertinent question for the remainder of the cycle is whether the Horns will continue pursuing prospects at the position -- Texas hasn't taken two quarterbacks in the class since 2012. When Gentry arrives on campus, David Ash should still have a season of eligibility remaining and the Horns will have four scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, which is the number that most coaches want.

However, it's also possible that Tyrone Swoopes could opt to transfer this fall if he quickly falls behind incoming freshman Jerrod Heard, as Connor Brewer did when he fell behind Swoopes last fall.

The son of Maryland offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, the dual-threat quarterback from Maryland recently included Texas in his top six. However, it's not clear if the Horns are still recruiting him or angling for a visit and he's just taken trips to Alabama and Florida State, two programs in his top group that actually still have a need for him.

That leaves Ketchum as the sole remaining target with an offer, with no other prospects still in the radar. A dual-threat passer who may end up as a slot receiver or even potentially as a safety, the former Fort Bend Marshall passer would be a project take at the position, much like Jalen Overstreet in the 2012 class. Since he does have value at another position, he may still be on the radar.

The guess here is that what happens at the wide receiver position could have an impact on whether Texas continues to actively recruit Ketchum -- if the staff can land a top slot target like Aledo's Ryan Newsome, Ketchum would provide less value as an athlete take and could fall completely off the radar.

It took much longer than usual, but the Longhorns landed the quarterback the staff wanted in 2015 and, as with Jerrod Heard, that was no small accomplishment given the competition.

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