After struggling to find quality quarterback depth for nearly a decade now, Tom Herman’s 2018 class will bring aboard two talented field generals as part of a crop headlined by Newbury Park (Calif.) gunslinger Cameron Rising, who signed his National Letter of Intent with the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday.
Gunslinger out of California. Welcome to Texas, Cameron Rising. #RevolUTion18 #ThisIsTexas #HookEm pic.twitter.com/aiSvXDD20b— Texas Football (@TexasFootball) December 20, 2017
A pure passer out of The Golden State, the word most often associated with Rising is upside, and understandably so.
Rising became one of the nation’s names to know as a sophomore after passing for 3,213 yards and 40 touchdowns with only one interception, while adding another 756 yards and 11 scores with his legs. Following a junior campaign that saw Rising appear in only five games before a shoulder injury and a senior slate that was cut short due to a knee injury nine games in, an injury-plagued final two seasons allowed Rising to add only 3,038 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air and 886 yards and 13 scores on the ground.
Nevertheless, the aforementioned upside and the rocket for an arm Rising owns led to 25 total offers, including Alabama, LSU, Cal, Michigan, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Miaimi, Oregon, UCLA and Oklahoma. Of course, the Sooners initially earned Rising's pledge, but after visiting Austin for the Orange-White scrimmage, Rising crossed the Red River and flipped to Texas on April 22.
A four-star talent, Rising is set to enroll early and will bring with him one of the strongest arms in the nation, as evident by his 42.5-foot power throw, which tested as the best among all 2018 quarterbacks. When the arm strength is put into play in pads, the ball comes out of his hands like a missile, which allows Rising to make nearly every throw on the field with a simple flick of the wrist. Along with the zip he can provide, Rising also displays a soft touch when necessary, in which he can drop the ball into a striding receivers hands just over the coverage.
Furthermore, although the impressive arm and ability to read coverages at a fairly advanced level is often what generates the praise surrounding Rising, he’s an above average athlete thats more than capable of making defenses respect his ability to make plays outside of the pocket. On film, he comes off as a more physically capable Shane Buechele in that regard. He’s unlikely to consistently torch a defense for 50-yard runs, but he’ll make plays and has the frame to handle what comes with running the ball.
Ian Boyd of Inside Texas provided another analysis of what Rising brings to the table:
“Rising has demonstrated that he can read safety rotations and defender leverage before throwing a strike and he can do so when throwing to windows down the field, which is harder than doing so on short routes so his upside is ultimately pretty high.
In Herman’s offense his cannon arm presents some interesting possibilities once he masters the quick game/spread-option concepts and mechanics.”
Rising will arrive in Austin as the nation’s No. 208 player and No. 8 pro-style quarterback, per the 247Sports Composite rankings, but it may be a while before he sees the field. He, along with fellow early enrollee Casey Thompson, will join a quarterback room that features the aforementioned Buechele entering his third season on the Forty Acres, and sophomore-to-be Sam Ehlinger. Much like Rising, Buechele and Ehlinger have spent the past two seasons dealing with various injuries, which is largely why Texas is still in pursuit of a full-time starting quarterback entering the Texas Bowl.
Whether he’s able to take control of a quarterback battle yet to be decided remains to be seen, but at the very least, Rising’s elite arm should add to the competition level inside Tim Beck’s quarterback room.