The general assumption around the Forty Acres — at least prior to yesterday’s annual Orange/White Spring Game — that is, was that senior quarterback Case McCoy would be certain to backup David Ash at quarterback this fall for the Texas Longhorns. A variety of things I noticed during the Spring Game yesterday make this less of a certainty than anyone could have previously assumed.
First off, the talk of the town last evening and this morning is about the strong performance of true freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, whose stock has risen and fallen more often over the past 12 months than the Cypriate economy. The 5-star prospect from Whitewright had an admittedly poor senior season and did not play well at national recruiting event, Nike’s The Opening, but had a resurrection of sorts yesterday, showing the strong arm, pocket presence and graceful speed for his size that made him a high-profile prospect to begin with. Make no mistake, Texas fans want Swoopes in action soon, and to keep snaps away from him would be an exercise in futility by the Texas coaching staff.
At a minimum, any notion of him being red-shirted in favor of Connor Brewer or Jalen Overstreet getting third-string duties — or in a best-case scenario, back-up duties — seems to no longer really be logical.
Speaking of Brewer, the redshirt freshman saw only one series during the Spring Game and didn’t show any definable skill that would suggest he ever sees the light of day in a Texas uniform. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see him transfer before next season ever begins. As I’ve said before, I’ll say again, he’s simply the odd man out. It has little to do with his talent level, but everything to do with what Major Applewhite’s new offense will require from the quarterback position.
Overstreet, on the other hand, has athletic ability and escapability that cannot easily be ignored. How this will factor into the Texas offense is uncertain, but I can assure you, he will see snaps in some capacity. My guess is that Overstreet will be a factor in the WildHorn direct snap formation, and could also be used in the trick play game to get him into space with the potential to make defenders miss and gain some quick yards after catch. We’ll see.
The larger point here, is that Case McCoy has still yet to show enough improvement or the sea change in skill level which Texas fans have been hoping for and Texas coaches have been promising would happen. Instead, he looks like the same old Case.
A strong throw overridden by a bizarre decision — ad nauseum. Texas fans will no longer support McCoy being the backup quarterback for David Ash for its own sake simply because he has game experience if Tyrone Swoopes or Jalen Overstreet could make a greater impact if they are required to fill in for Ash at some point, which in a grueling non-conference and Big 12 Conference schedule will be a certainty.
Case McCoy would be wise to not rest on his laurels this summer and assume his seniority alone will earn him some garbage minutes and maybe that one or two starts by default. In the same sense, a huge opportunity is right in front of Tyrone Swoopes and Jalen Overstreet.
Can one of them seize it?