As a reminder, I’m posting one thought per day in a series of 15 posts over the course of 15 days until we get to game day.
With 8 days left until kickoff, this is the eighth post of the series.
If you missed the other posts, the links are below
Post #1 - “The Youth Movement Continues”
Post #3 - “Texas Needs To Score More”
Post #4 - “Offense Part 1: The Trenches”
Post #5 - “Offense Part 2: The Supporting Cast”
Post #6 - “Can the Texas defense improve enough?
Post #7 - “Where will Texas land in the final B12 standings?”
To put it bluntly, Sam Ehlinger is really good.
The 2017 four-star quarterback and Texas Longhorns commit led Westlake to a 32-29 win last night over the Katy Tigers, the reigning 6A Division II State Champions. And I was fortunate to watch it all go down in person.
From a stats perspective, it was a solid game for Ehlinger. He finished 18 for 30 with 256 yards and a touchdown through the air and had another 64 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
To put Ehlinger’s and Westlake’s performance into perspective, Katy gave up just 62 points over 16 games last season, including ten shutouts. Yet the Tigers couldn’t slow down or contain Ehlinger enough all game to come out on top.
Ehlinger’s highlight play of the night came with just over two minutes left. Westlake was up 25-23 looking to score in Katy’s red zone. He hiked the ball out of the shotgun, rolled left, escaped pressure, reversed fields and rolled right, then found his receiver in the back corner of the end zone for an 18-yard strike to put Westlake up by ten.
He did all of that right in front of Malik Jefferson, Holton Hill, DeMarco Boyd, Breckyn Hager (Westlake alum) and a few other Texas football players who were there watching him. After the game, they also joined Ehlinger to sing the Westlake fight song.
It’s plays like that touchdown pass late in the game that make Ehlinger special. Westlake’s had other great high school quarterbacks come through like Drew Brees, Nick Foles and Tanner Price. But in high school, none of those guys were built like Ehlinger, nor could quite do the types of things he’s been doing at Westlake.
He’s unique. He has the body of strong safety yet has a cannon of an arm, sees the field well, and is extremely elusive and light on his feet. Physically and mentally, he’s tough and strong. He ran into the locker room favoring one leg at half time. If he was feeling any pain the rest of the game, I couldn’t tell and it didn’t hinder him.
Gary Patterson would probably be all over Ehlinger trying to recruit him to TCU to play in his defense If he couldn’t throw as well as he can.
On another play last night, Ehlinger dropped back, waited a second or two, then launched a deep ball that looked like it went at least 60 yards right into the hands of a streaking receiver.
Click the video below if you want to catch more highlights of the game.
Without seeing him play in a game, I’m not sure how Buechele will pan out for Texas in this new offense. But regardless of the type of season he has, Ehlinger should absolutely be in the quarterback competition before the 2017 season begins (as long as he stays committed to Texas, of course. I don’t think Texas fans should be worried though, his commitment seems strong).
He’s good. Fans know that, his team knows that, opponents know that, even Texas football players know that. He impressed in his first two seasons as a varsity high school quarterback, and last night he started his senior season with a bang.
The quarterback position at Texas may see some more struggles this season, but help is on the way. His name is Sam Ehlinger.