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BON Roundtable: Fall Camp and Cedric Baxter

And the biggest concern out of fall camp so far


Agree or disagree? Whoever is named the starting QB before the season opener against ULM will remain the starter throughout the season.

Gerald Goodridge (@ghgoodridge) - Agree, but not very confidently. The way Steve Sarkisian is talking about the current quarterback battle seems totally different than he did a year ago. Heading into last season he talked about it being the hardest thing he’s ever done, this year he is saying how much fun he is having, which makes me think he is seeing more of what he likes out of the quarterbacks. It’s pretty evident that Casey Thompson was not the type of quarterback to effectively pilot the Sark’s offense, while Hudson Card likely needed to acclimate more to what was being asked. Based on the way Sark is talking, it seems like year 2 Hudson is in a much better position and Quinn Ewers is definitely the type of QB that Sark likes as his trigger man.

Cameron Parker (@camerondparker) - It depends on who is named the starter. I’m leaning towards Hudson Card starting against ULM but also believe by the end of the year Quinn Ewers will be QB1. It’s going to take time for Ewers to get comfortable in Sark’s offense and for Sark to trust him and all signs point to Card being the readiest. But if Sark goes all in and names Ewers the starter, I believe it will stay that way the whole year.

Agree or disagree? The defense remains the biggest question mark this season based on reports from fall camp.

Gerald - Disagree. The offensive line seems to be a mystery at two of the most critical spots and will likely be a lynchpin for the team. Texas went out and chased upgrades at several skill positions on the offense, including bringing the Prodigal Ewers home. Texas ranked No. 90 in the country in sack percentage a year ago and the Big 12 returns three players that ranked in the top 15 in sacks last season. Who will be the tackles? Will Christian Jones finally figure it out? Can Andrej Karic carry the load? Is Kelvin Banks everything we thought he would be already?

Cameron - I’ll disagree and say special teams. True freshman Will Stone and redshirt freshman Isaac Pearson will both start against ULM with zero collegiate experience. Longhorn fans have been spoiled by Cameron Dicker but you have to imagine there will be a drop-off on special teams this season.

Agree or disagree? Texas landed the best running back in the 2023 class in 4-star Cedric Baxter Jr.

Gerald - Agree. No shade at Rueben Owens, because I would have been just as happy if his commitment stuck. That being said, there’s a reason why Tashard Choice came in and seemed to shift his priority to Baxter. A verified 6-foot-1, 215 pounds body with a laser-timed 4.5 40-yard dash is insanity and it translates to the field with 8.3 yards per carry in the second-biggest classification in Florida a year ago. As we look at the recruiting rankings, the services most people consider the more reputable sources have him at No. 1 and No. 2 and I’ve already seen writers lobbying for a fifth star.

Cameron - Fellow BON writer Daniel Seahorn compared Baxter to former NFL running back Demarco Murray and now I can’t unsee it with Baxter’s massive frame. The only other running back in the same class as Baxter is Reuben Owens, with Owens having better speed and acceleration but if you factor in off-the-field concerns, I’d rather have Baxter.

Agree or disagree? Following 4-star corner Jordan Matthews’s decision next Monday, the Texas ‘23 class will not change too much until signing day.

Gerald - Agree. Texas put itself in a position to focus less on landing a ton of kids during the season, which allows them to put more focus on Saturdays, which should pay off on the recruiting trail. Most of the big names they’re still recruiting seemingly won’t decide until at least the first few weeks of the season, if not take their decisions all the way to signing day. That means they want to see the team in action and see progress before making a decision, which brings us back to being able to focus less on chasing kids and more on the game that Saturday.

Cameron - Agree but only if Texas avoids another disappointing season that sees that win 5 to 7 games. Recruiting has already slowed down for majority of the country with fall camp starting and the remaining players who are undecided will likely wait until signing day to announce outside of the few who commit in-season. The Horns are still in pursuit of David Hicks, Damon Wilson, and other big names but don’t expect another flurry of commitments like we saw in July.