The Texas Longhorns will welcome the next cycle's quarterback commit to campus next January, as Austin Westlake star Sam Ehlinge told the Austin-American Statesman on Wednesday that plans on starting his career in burnt orange a semester early.
Enrolling early is a common trend among quarterbacks -- 2016 signee Shane Buechele is already in Austin glued to the hip of new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert and participating in offseason workouts, senior Tyrone Swoopes enrolled early as a member of the 2013 recruiting class, and Connor Brewer did the same the year before.
So recent history suggests that being around for offseason workouts and spring practice carries with it no guarantees of future success, but it is excellent preparation for the most difficult position on the field to master.
Not many quarterbacks look college-ready as juniors in high school, but Ehlinger is as probably close as anyone in the country after a 2015 season that saw him throw for 3,833 yards and 50 touchdowns, while adding 1,360 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns. Just as impressively, Ehlinger completed 61.2 percent of his passes and threw only five interceptions in 391 attempts for an interception rate of 1.2 percent. In evaluating quarterbacks, I typically consider anything under 1.5 percent as pretty elite.
There are a few more thoughts I had on his junior season from the other night when I kinda geeked out over his film after it came out. I should have been working on National Signing Day prep. Oops.
Beyond the gaudy stats, though, Ehlinger led his team to the 6A Division II state championship game and earned AP Player of the Year honors just prior to that contest.
The 6'1, 207-pounder is currently a consensus three-star product ranked as the No. 334 player overall, the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback, and the No. 48 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Expect to see those rankings jump after evaluators see his junior film and that will happen sooner rather than later, as 247Sports will update their own in the near future. A lifetime Longhorns fan, Ehlinger committed to Texas committed in late July of 2015 over offers from Houston, McNeese State, and SMU.