Redshirt freshman Hudson Card can’t match junior Casey Thompson’s experience, comfort with vocal leadership, and probably doesn’t self scout in the same meticulous manner as Thompson, but two important qualities could help Card become the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns this season.
On Wednesday, Thompson fielded a question about what Card does really well and responded with the type of insight quickly coming to define Thompson’s media availabilities.
“Hud does a good job of kind of finding his arm angles and arm slots,” Thompson said. “I don’t know if he played baseball or not, but he does a really good job of that, similar to like Shane Buechele. He does a good job of finding good arm angles.”
The son of a former Major League infielder and the younger brother of two accomplished college baseball players, Buechele certainly had the background to make off-platform throws, especially those required as the run-pass option became increasingly prevalent in college football.
Card mostly competed with his older brother in wakeboarding, skiing, and basketball growing up in addition to football, so there’s no apparent baseball background like Buechele or Kansas City Chiefs star Pat Mahomes, a standout baseball player himself back in high school.
But with new Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian basing his offense around run-pass options as the first layer of his attack, Card’s aptitude in that area could be a significant factor in Sarkisian’s upcoming decision.
Whether Card is as good on off-schedule throws that happen to come off platform is a question of larger debate.
Card flashed another truly impressive quality back in the Orange-White game on his touchdown pass to Marcus Washington. The big wide receiver was running a slant route against early enrollee cornerback Jamier Johnson, but when Washington saw Johnson’s superior leverage on the play, he cut behind the cornerback towards the back of the end zone.
After quickly coming to Washington’s route after the snap, Card processed his wide receiver’s decision and within less than two seconds delivered the football to Washington’s hands for a touchdown. In total, the play took less than four seconds from snap to catch.
The angle on the throw is sensational camera work, capturing just how fast the ball jumps out of Card’s hand and reaches the end zone.
Watch Card’s mechanics and how the football maintains virtually the same plane as he starts his delivery and loads his arm.
Former quarterback Sam Ehlinger consistently drew criticism for his long windup, especially on passes down the field as he regularly dropped the football below his elbow as he began his delivery.
With Johnson in excellent position to break up the pass, Card didn’t have much of a choice — to hit the window he anticipated phenomenally, the ball had to come out as quickly as possible.
It did. Touchdown, Hudson Card.