Fall Camp | Position Battle Results | QB, RB, OL, DB
– Alex Briseno
*** Sam Ehlinger beat out Shane Buechele and will start at quarterback against Maryland, Tom Herman announced Monday morning.
“Sam took the bulk of the reps with the ones today,” Herman said. “… Barring any type of catastrophe between now and the Maryland game, that’s the way it’ll be.”
*** It took the entire two-and-a-half-week fall camp for Herman to announce it, but as of Monday morning, Buechele was running with the twos.
“He (Buechele) was disappointed,” Herman said. “But he was mature about it. He said, ‘I’ll be ready.’”
*** This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody following this team. Sources told me Herman was “obsessed” with Sam two weeks ago, but it is fair to ask: What exactly did he do to earn the spot?
“He’s throwing the ball a lot better,” Herman said. “He’s sitting in the pocket much more comfortably. Let’s make no mistake, Shane Buechele had a great camp. He didn’t really anything wrong… it was just a matter of who do we feel feels gives you the best chance to win.”
*** Nobody wants a two-quarterback system –– not again. But Herman wasn’t closed-minded about the idea if things go south like they did in last year’s season opener.
“It wouldn’t be a rotation,” Herman said. “There is a scenario if things aren’t going well then we can throw Shane in there for a spark but we’re certainly not going to guarantee that.”
*** According to Herman, Rising isn’t far behind.
*** As for running backs, Herman broke them into three categories:
First Group: Daniel Young, Tre Watson, and Keaontay Ingram.
Second Group: Kyle Porter and Toneil Carter
Third Group: Kirk Johnson and Tristian Houston
*** Herman said he will likely play three backs against Maryland, so it’s safe to see the first group will see the field on Sept. 1.
*** Calvin Anderson has locked up the starting spot at left tackle with Denzel Okafor backing him up. There is still a battle at right tackle between Cosmi and Kerstetter.
*** Center, left guard, and right guard are “solidified.”
*** Kerstetter and Okafor are getting reps at guard.
*** Kerstetter and Rodriguez are getting reps at center.
*** Davante Davis is expected to return to practice on Wednesday. If healthy, he will start opposite of Kris Boyd at cornerback.
*** Caden Sterns will start opposite of Brandon Jones.
Texas will begin afternoon practices on Wednesday in order to prep for the beginning of school.
Quick-Hitters | Derrian Brown & Elijah Higgins
– Super K
***You’ll recall, last month, TFB was first to report on 2019 running back, Derrian Brown and his interest in Texas. At the time, Brown had not yet set up an official visit but was certain he would take one.
It sounds like that visit still has yet to be finalized. Though, it’s looking like things could get set up for the Tulsa game in early September.
I spoke with a source in the Georgia area and am told that Brown is nearing a decision and could announce within the next couple of weeks. Though I won’t be surprised to see him wait till he makes it in on the official.
Texas, I’m told, is the clear leader here. I plan on being in Georgia next weekend to see Brown in person.
***This past summer, the word on Elijah Higgins was that he had already essentially made his decision. Source didn’t say who he was leaning towards but putting the pieces together, I had surmised it was Stanford.
I caught up with my source earlier this week who tells me that things have opened back up.
Expect to see Higgins at the Texas vs. USC game.
Quarterback One, Two and Three | Sourced Notes
– Super K
Coach Herman announced that Sam Ehlinger will be the starting quarterback for the season opener against Maryland.
Sam Ehlinger has his eyes on you. He is QB 1️⃣
— TFB Texas (@TFB_Texas) August 21, 2018
The decision didn’t come as surprise. Nevertheless, as the day went on I had multiple conversations with some of my sources about Ehlinger and the other quarterbacks on campus.
Nothing earth shattering here but a few notes from my conversations that I thought were worth sharing…
***It sounds like Texas is going to lean on their run game this year and because of that there are folks who are excited, in particular, about Ehlinger. Not only has it been said that he’s improved as a passer, but he poses a real running threat behind a much better offensive line. The feeling is he’s limiting mistakes, he’s running and throwing better and behind the offensive line, he’s going to move the chains. As Herman says, they believe he gives them the best chance to win.
And the key to doing so it’s keeping that defense on the field, grinding it out and letting your defense do what they do.
***Still, as a pure passer, I’m told both Buechele and Rising are superior. I heard some very high praise for Rising, yesterday. One source said, “He stands in the pocket and he can put the ball wherever he wants to. It’ll drop wherever you need it to. He has a live arm. Can make every throw and he’s got the moxie too, like Sam”.
The feeling on Rising is that had he come in at the same time as Ehlinger, he’d be Texas’ starting quarterback right now. Some folks believe that some how, some way, Rising will take the spot anyway, eventually. But for now, that would likely mean that Ehlinger is either hurt or Texas isn’t winning with Ehlinger.
***So, I asked, in a case where Ehlinger couldn’t go or wasn’t performing, what would happen? The obvious answer is the correct answer. Buechele would be in. But Rising is still an interesting player in this. Ehlinger could set the world on fire. And, if he doesn’t Buechele would go in. But my suspicion is that Buechele’s room for error would be smaller. Texas is still going to be in that rebuilding process this year but where they are in that process, I believe will determine how quickly they might go from a Buechele to a Rising.