Pa RJ Young
FOX Sports College Football Writer
When I sat down with Steve Sarkisian in the Big 12 At media days in July, I asked him what he most wanted to know at the time: Who would be his starting quarterback in Week 1? Would it be Quinn Ewers or Hudson card?
“We have two good players Texas Longhorns said the coach. “We’ll make a decision at some point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we don’t need both of those guys at some point in the season to help us win a championship.”
When I pressed him to mention that this would be his second consecutive season of running the QB Derby — Card struggled with Casey Thompson in 2021 – explained how he acted in such situations.
Steve Sarkisian at Big 12 Media Days
RJ Young was joined by Texas Longhorns head coach Steve Sarkisian, who explained his approach to coaching this year’s team.
“Well, what we’ve tried to do is not just put them in a bunker by saying you’re there as a player in our system, you both could play successfully in our system,” Sarkisian said. “But that’s what you need to work on player A. And that’s how we’re going to work on it. Whether you start or not, we will continue to work on these aspects of your game.
“Here’s player B, he’s in a different bunker, he’s got a different skill set, he’s got other things he needs to work on. At the end of the day, for me as a coach, whether it’s an A player or a B player, I have to call out the things that make those two guys, no matter which one is on the field or what position, be successful.”
Now, in October, we know Sarkisian was right. Ewers and Card both played — unfortunately due to an injury to Ewers in week two — and both were successful. Ewers will now potentially return for Saturday’s game vs oklahoma, you see the benefits of coaching methods.
Sarkisian needed both, and that makes him one of the great quarterback developers in the sport.
In football—college and professional—the fastest way to become a head coach is to first become a good quarterback coach and offensive coordinator.
I tend to call these people the “QB Whisperers” for their ability to develop great quarterbacks wherever they are. Lincoln Riley first earned this moniker East Carolina with Shane Carden throwing for over 4,000 yards and the second-highest completion percentage in the sport in 2013.
Another QB whisper is Ryan Day Ohio State head coach since 2019 and on the Buckeyes staff since 2017. During that time, every quarterback he has started has been drafted in the first round, and CJ Stroud It seems necessary to maintain this write-up perfect.
Sarkisian became the head coach at Texas after building his own reputation as a QB whisperer. It all started as USC’s quarterbacks coach when Carson Palmer won the Heisman. He has since coached another Heisman winner (Matt Leinart) and saw six of his students — including Palmer, Leinart, Mark Sanchez, Jake Locker, Tua Tagavailoa and Mc Jones — to become the first circle NFL draft pick.
Of those quarterbacks, I’m still impressed with Jones. He not only came to his senses Bama so did Tagovailoa that year, but he led the way at Boles, a small school in Jacksonville, Fla., threw for just over 1,500 yards as a senior and was ranked No. 399 in the 2017 draft class — hardly that. which would lead you to believe he would be a defending national champion, let alone a first rounder in the NFL.
If Arch Manning didn’t know anything else about Sarkisian, that would be enough, and that might be one of the reasons why the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023 decided to go to Texas.
Now, with Ewers, Sarkisian seems on track to continue developing at least one first-round pick at quarterback with every stop he’s made. He is the most talented quarterback from Texas since Kyler Murray and one of the most talented high school prospects of the recruiting rankings era.
Ewers transferred to Texas from Ohio State after it became clear that Stroud was the QB of the future for the Buckeyes, and most believed he would begin the season as the Longhorns’ starter under center.
But throughout the process, Sarkisian continued to say that both Card and Ewers were in contention for the job, even emphasizing that he coached them differently because they have different skill sets — each with their own strengths.
While injuries are a part of the sport, most believed Ewers would play every major snap until he did.
Against top-ranked Alabama, Ewers suffered a shoulder sprain that not only forced him to miss the rest of the game, which the Tide escaped with a 20-19 victory, but also opened the Card up to one opportunity to play significant football at Forty Acres.
Quinn Ewers goes down awkwardly
Texas Longhorns QB Quinn Ewers suffered a shoulder injury in Week 2 against Alabama.
Card has done well because his completion percentage is nearly identical to Ewers (69.2% for Card vs. 69.4% for Ewers), thrown for more yardage on average (184.6 to 179.5) and the same amount interceptions (one), even though Card threw 71 more passes.
Heading into the final game of the Red River Rivalry on Saturday, the hope is that Ewers will be back for a game where his accuracy will be a plus for the Longhorns. He was excellent against Alabama before his injury, and if he can pick up where he left off, Texas will be in good shape.
But those games where Card was forced into action only further confirmed what many already knew: Steve Sarkisian can coach quarterbacks, and once again, he has one of the most talented running backs in the country running his offense.
The Longhorns may not be the national title contenders I thought they would be, but they certainly have the ability to put up some numbers. Because whoever plays Sarkeesian quarterback can be sure he can play.
RJ Young is a national football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and host of the podcast “College football’s number one show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.
Get more from college football Follow your favorites to stay updated on games, news and more