The University of Texas was once in good shape at the quarterback position. They went from having guys like Major Applewhite, Chris Simms, Vince Young and Colt McCoy under center to having years of unsuccessful signal callers that has seemingly left the offense stagnant in more ways than one.
Myself and many others are wondering how a school like Texas could find itself in the position it is currently, in which it is unable to recruit and produce a decent quarterback year in and out. After watching Tyrone Swoopes’ up and down year come to a lackluster end, Charlie Strong and his staff have committed to bringing in more competition to push the current quarterbacks on campus.
After managing to flip Kai Locksley from Florida State late in the game, Texas will have three scholarship quarterbacks on the roster when camp rolls around. With Swoopes being the only one with playing experience at this point, the quarterback situation is far from ideal.
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That brings us to the 2016 recruiting class. The Texas coaching staff extended double digit offers to quarterback prospects all over the country and showed early on they are intent on bringing in more competition to campus. Texas was able to reel in one of the state’s best quarterbacks in Shane Buechele was Arlington, but they still have every reason to keep pursuing one more arm for 2016.
While Buechele is a very solid take for this class and with Matthew Merrick potentially being added to the 2015 class, I do not think Texas should pass on adding a guy like Tristen Wallace or Xavier Gaines if they are there for the taking. The coaching staff has very solid ins with both prospects and both have very similar skill sets. Both are big bodied, dual threat quarterbacks who possess the athleticism to hurt a defense with their feet, but both are still a work in progress when it comes to being complete passers.
Burnt Orange Nation’s Wescott Eberts had this to say about Wallace, who recently decommitted from Texas Tech after committing to them in January.
"DeSoto quarterback Tristen Wallace decommitted from the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Thursday evening, according to multiple reports.Pledged to head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s program since January, Wallace re-opened his recruitment because he felt that he “made a mistake committing to so early,” he told Bleacher Report.Now back on the market once again, Wallace wants to play in a “spread, up-tempo offense.” According to head coach Charlie Strong and 2015 quarterback signee Kai Locksley, the Longhorns plan on achieving half of that aim by huddling less to increase the tempo. However, it’s not yet clear whether the offense will technically qualify as a spread attack.Becoming a fit for Wallace in that regard could be crucial to his recruitment given his other ties to Texas — he was high on the Longhorns early in the process and his older sister attends UT and works in the football offices. Additionally, former DeSoto head coach Claude Mathis sent numerous prospects from the Metroplex powerhouse down I-35 to Austin during his tenure."
While Buechele fits the mold of what Strong had in Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville, players like Wallace and Gaines bring a different dynamic to the table when it comes to ways to hurt a defense. While they are still raw as passers, their upside is higher due to the fact that they are dynamic as athletes. I can see Gaines and Wallace being the kind of quarterbacks that are able to have their number called on designed quarterback runs and be able to pull the ball down and run when there is nothing there. Needless to say I am intrigued by having a quarterback that gives a coordinator multiple options when it comes to play calling.
I think Charlie Strong needs to strongly consider taking another quarterback in this class. I don’t think Texas is in a position currently to be able to rest on its laurels when it comes to quarterback recruiting since currently they do not have a proven starter that can take them to the next level. While there is a possibility that Jerrod Heard could take the starting job by the horns this spring or that Swoopes improves drastically, I think the coaching staff would be wise to continue to press forward like the answer isn’t on campus.