The quarterback battle in Austin, Texas, is going to be a long one.
Following the first practice of the spring for the Texas Longhorns, head coach Steve Sarkisian discussed his two young quarterbacks – both big-time recruits – and set the stage for a quarterback competition for months to come.
The Longhorns are returning sophomore Quinn Ewers, while freshmen Arch Manning – the most-hyped recruit of the class – kicks off his college career.
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“I’m not worried about who’s going to be on the cover of what magazine next week,” Steve Sarkisian said, according to ESPN. “I’m more focused on is, is each guy focusing on what they need to do to develop to be the best player that they can be? Quinn has an entire year of a head start, but I don’t want to hold Arch back. I want to see how far he can take this thing and what it can look like.”
Manning chose Texas in June after being one of the more hyped quarterback recruits in recent memory.
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The son of Cooper Manning, brother to NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning, Arch is expected to turn around a Texas program that has reached double-digit wins just once in 13 years.
However, Ewers is a highly-touted recruit himself, ranked No. 2 in the 2021 class before transferring to Texas from Ohio State.
Ewers was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2022, starting 10 games and throwing for 2,177 yards, 15 touchdowns, and six interceptions.
However, Ewers struggled in stretches last season, leading many to believe Manning will get the nod as a true freshman.
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“I thought Quinn had a really good winter,” Sarkisian said.
“This winter it just feels natural. He’s throwing the ball well,” he continued. “I think he’s emerging as a leader. I’m watching him break the team down, I’m watching him do those things which is positive. And I think what he’s done, he’s serving for Arch, ‘Hey, this is what it looks like. And this is how to go about your business.'”
Texas improved in Sarkisian’s third year, going 8-5 after a 2021 season that saw the Longhorns finish below .500.