The preseason hype surrounding the Texas football program this year has a lot to do with the addition by way of the NCAA Transfer Portal of redshirt freshman quarterback Quinn Ewers. The former Ohio State Buckeye and perfect-rated quarterback recruit Ewers comes to the Forty Acres with a lot of pressure on his shoulders to make an early impact in 2022.
Most Longhorns fans assume that Ewers is the destined starting quarterback, regardless of what happens in the position battle in fall camp with junior Hudson Card. And that does make sense to a certain extent since head coach Steve Sarkisian and the Longhorns likely weren’t going to make such a big move in the transfer portal to get Ewers to sit for a season after he left Ohio State.
Some of the hype surrounding Ewers heading into the regular season shows up in preseason quarterback rankings around the college football landscape. One example of this came about in the preseason FBS quarterback rankings from Athlon Sports this offseason in their national preview magazine (listed out thanks to On3).
Athlon ranked Ewers as one of the top 30 quarterbacks in the FBS heading into the 2022 season. More specifically, he rang in at No. 29 on this list of the more than 130 projected starting FBS quarterbacks.
Texas football QB Quinn Ewers cracks top 30 in Athlon Sports’ preseason FBS ranking
That slotted Ewers right above the likes of (in order from top-to-bottom) Florida State’s Jordan Travis, Boston College’s Phil Jurkovec, and UTSA’s Frank Harris. Above Ewers on the list (also in order from top-to-bottom) is the trio of SMU’s Tanner Mordecai, Michigan’s Cade McNamara, and West Virginia’s JT Daniels.
If this list was put together based mostly on talent and potential for the upcoming season, then Ewers likely should be ranked higher. But if the overarching factor in this ranking is proven production within a certain system, then it’s easy to see how Ewers fell in line below the likes of Daniels and McNamara.
Here’s how the Big 12 quarterbacks were ranked by Athlon heading into the 2022 season:
- Spencer Sanders, Oklahoma State
- Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma
- JT Daniels, West Virginia
- Quinn Ewers, Texas
- Adrian Martinez, Kansas State
- Max Duggan, TCU
- Blake Shapen, Baylor
- Tyler Shough, Texas Tech
- Jalon Daniels, Kansas
- Hunter Dekkers, Iowa State
It does seem like Athlon snubbed Oklahoma’s Gabriel a bit by having him ranked below Sanders and that he was slotted outside the top 15. The common sentiment tends to be that Gabriel could be the best quarterback in the Big 12 this season, at least based on proven production in college and that he is one of the top 10 or 15 best at the position in the FBS in 2022.
Texas finished up last season with a record of 5-7 (3-6 Big 12), missing out on bowl season for the first time since 2016. Ewers and the Longhorns will open up the 2022 regular season at home on Sep. 3 against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.