At least one recruiting service is ready to bump 2017 Texas Longhorns quarterback commit Sam Ehlinger from a three-star prospect to a four-star prospect, as 247Sports has evaluated his junior highlights and came away impressed.
However, there are apparently some concerns about his ultimate upside:
How high do we go with the gunslinger from Austin? Ehlinger is going to be a four-star. We just have to decide how high we rank a kid with limited physical tools but video game production. With Ehlinger committed to Texas and Martell committed to A&M, there's going to be a lot of opinions on these two from fans.
The description of Ehlinger as having limited physical tools seems a little bit at odds with his film -- he has good speed, good lateral quickness, some toughness as a runner because he's well over 200 pounds and will play around 220 or so in college. His arm strength allows him to hit the parts of the field he wants, though perhaps the fact that his mechanics are so clean from the ground up reduces the perception of his upside.
Whatever the case, he looks like he could be a slightly better prospect than 2016 early enrollee Shane Buechele, who earned a rating of 90 by 247Sports and slotted as the No. 8 dual-threat quarterback. So let's put the initial guess at Ehlinger's 247Sports rating as 92.
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.