With early enrollee quarterback Sam Ehlinger already on campus for the Texas Longhorns, don’t expect a graduate transfer or junior college quarterback to eventually join him as a member of the 2017 recruiting class.
“We don’t have a lot of numbers,” Herman said. “We are a bit thin there. I don’t see us adding to that room this year. Obviously next year we’ll sign a quarterback, if not two, in the 2018 class. I feel great.”
Texas has extended multiple 2018 offers at the quarterback position in recent days, but will only have two other scholarship quarterbacks on campus this spring in addition to Ehlinger — sophomores Shane Buechele and Matthew Merrick.
So there’s a chance that Herman decides to supplement the position by moving junior Jerrod Heard back from wide receiver, where he spent the 2016 season. Heard got off to a strong start with 73 yards against Notre Dame and two touchdowns against UTEP, but saw his production drop sharply late in the season as he fell out of the rotation.
In fact, Heard didn’t play against Baylor and didn’t catch passes against Texas Tech or TCU.
With Herman installing an offense that relies more heavily on the quarterback run game, moving Heard back to quarterback to increase depth would make sense.
After all, the players the position currently have a clean slate under Herman, who reiterated that he has not and will not watch film from last season leading into spring practice.
“Again, I have not watched one single snap of game film from last year simply because I want to make sure that every player earns their respect through the winter conditioning and offseason and earns their place,” Herman said. “There are no starters. There is no depth chart right now. Those places will be earned through how hard they work and how accountable they are through this winter conditioning.”
That could be good news for Ehlinger, who is hoping to compete for the starting job with Buechele, who set numerous school records as a rare true freshman starter for Texas, but also faded down the stretch as his injury sustained against Cal and other hard hits seemed to reduce his arm strength and effectiveness.
For this season, depth shouldn’t be an issue with a returning starter and an early enrollee in Ehlinger who appears capable of challenging Buechele, but Herman is certainly correct in noting the lack of ideal depth.