For the second straight year, Texas has signed a highly
touted, in-state dual-threat quarterback. Last year, it was Whitewright’s
Tyrone Swoopes and this year it’s Denton Guyer blue-chipper Jerrod Heard.
If the Longhorns don’t handle Heard better than they did
Swoopes last year, however, their quarterback woes may continue.
Texas has had three quarterbacks transfer in the last three
years (Connor Wood, Garrett Gilbert and Connor Brewer), moved another to
running back (Jalen Overstreet) and saw the starter at that position miss the
final nine games of last season with head injuries (David Ash).
Heard, who helped Guyer win back-to-back 4A state titles,
could be the future of Longhorns football. Heard would win a battle with
Swoopes if they were the options at quarterback, according to rivals.com
national recruiting analyst Mike Farrell, who says Heard needs stiffer in-house
competition to realize his full potential as a Longhorn.
“Competition is going to determine how good Jerrod Heard
becomes on whether he’s the guy or not,” Farrell said. “Right now, the
quarterback situation isn’t a great one at Texas. If you throw Jerrod Heard in
there too early and he doesn’t have to earn the job, I think there’s a big
problem there. I know if he were only competing with Swoopes, he would win the
job easily. But he does have that potential to be a very good quarterback.”
The Longhorns, especially with a first-year head coach in
Charlie Strong, can’t afford to continue mishandling their quarterbacks.
Swoopes took off his redshirt for some garbage-time snaps in the fourth quarter
of a lopsided win over TCU and never saw the field with Texas leading or
trailing by fewer than 16 points.
“Swoopes should definitely have been redshirted,” Farrell
said. “Burning a year of eligibility on a kid that doesn’t really know how to
play quarterback but at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, if he put together some passing
skills, could be Terrelle Pryor. He’s not as long or athletic but he’s that big
quarterback everybody wants that can run a Cam Newton-type offense with – if he
becomes a threat throwing the ball.”
Adding to the quarterback depth next season will reportedly be
former University of Houston signal-caller Bram Kohlhausen. The Longhorns are
also reportedly in the running for USC transfer Max Wittek, a former four-star
prospect who can play right away and has two years of eligibility remaining.
Recently hired running backs coach Tommie Robinson held the
same position at USC last year and has a relationship with Wittek while Texas
head coach Charlie Strong said Wednesday he would be open to adding a transfer
quarterback. The Longhorns currently have three with Ash, Swoopes and Heard but
Strong wants four or five on the roster.