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Texas vs. Texas Tech battle emerging in Quinn Ewers sweepstakes

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The one-time transfer waiver and NIL rights are combining to create an unprecedented recruitment of the former five-star quarterback.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 18 Ohio State Fall Camp Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Rumors and reports continue to swirl in the whirlwind recruitment of former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Quinn Ewers, who entered the NCAA transfer portal on Friday and is now considering the TCU Horned Frogs, Texas Longhorns, and Texas Tech Red Raiders.

With the Southlake Carroll product seemingly intent on returning to the Lone Star State, any interest from the Texas A&M Aggies was quickly shot down by a TexAgs report that head coach Jimbo Fisher is all in with Cypress Bridgeland quarterback Conner Weigman, a consensus five-star prospect ranked as the No. 2 quarterback nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

A Sunday trip to meet with new Texas Tech head coach Joey McGuire and a Monday trip to Fort Worth established the Ewers sweepstakes as a three-team race.

Of those three teams, the Horned Frogs may be on the outside looking in, with a source telling Chris Hummer of 247Sports that TCU is in third place for Ewers, establishing his recruitment as a likely head-to-head battle between Texas and Texas Tech.

For an elite prospect like Ewers, Texas Tech is an odd contender, but the hire of McGuire combined with a number of other factors have given the Red Raiders a fighting chance. The former head coach at high school powerhouse Cedar Hill, McGuire’s experience under Matt Rhule at Baylor and his connections to Texas high school football have generated a rare buzz in Lubbock.

As Collin Kennedy of 247Sports lays out, those other factors include a push from Texas Tech alum Pat Mahomes and the hire of Air Raid guru Zach Kittley as offensive coordinator.

But it’s the unprecedented combination of immediate eligibility for only the second quarterback to receive a 1.0000 rating from 247Sports and the new NIL rights that has created a truly unique situation — the quarterback depth chart and path to early playing time may end up mattering less than the NIL deals Ewers can secure at the school of his choice.

The belief in Lubbock is that Texas Tech can compete with Texas, but the numbers being thrown around in Austin are truly astounding.

So $50,000 annually for scholarship offensive linemen from Horns with Heart is only a drop in the bucket as the deep pockets of Texas donors are now coming to bear on NIL deals with the early signing period looming.

Although there’s not a public timetable for Ewers to make a decision with his circle tightening since entering the portal — as Hummer noted — but the widespread belief is that he’ll commit quickly enough to ensure that he has time to do some recruiting before Early Signing Day next Wednesday.

The decision to re-classify to 2021 kept Ewers from truly becoming a recruiting rainmaker for Ohio State, but it has a chance of happening now, especially if Ewers commits to Texas and convinces some of the top offensive linemen and maybe even a wide receiver or two to join him on the Forty Acres.

For now, it’s time for Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian to close the most important recruitment of his brief tenure in Austin.