In a perfect world, Texas Longhorns true freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes would be able to redshirt this season. In fact, I’m a huge proponent of every freshman quarterback taking a redshirt season as they learn a new offense and adjust to the speed of the college game, and Swoopes (who came from a very small school) is a project who could benefit even more by siting out. However, allowing him to take a redshirt season isn’t a luxury that this year’s Texas team can afford.
With the transfer of quarterback Connor Brewer this summer and the move of Jalen Overstreet to running back in August,the Longhorns entered into the season with senior Case McCoy and Swoopes as the sole back-ups to starter David Ash.
With Ash already missing his 2.5 games this season due to a head injury, including the Horns’ match-up tonight vs. the Iowa State Cyclones, his availability this season is in serious question. Sure, he will likely be able to return to the field soon, but head injuries are not anything to take lightly and he’s already suffered two this season.
McCoy is slated to start tonight in Ames, but the word out of Austin is that Swoopes will see some action in the first few series. Though many fans are concerned about burning his redshirt (and understandably so), the Longhorns really don’t have much of a choice at this point in the season.
The truth of the matter is this: No one knows how long Ash will be out, and even if he returns next week, the staff is going to have to be very, very careful with his health from this point forward.
McCoy has shown that he can lead the team sufficiently, but he isn’t a difference maker and the offense is much more limited with him under center. And what if he gets hurt? Texas certainly wouldn’t want to trot out a true freshman with zero game day experience with a conference game on the line.
No one knows if Swoopes is ready or not. If truth be told, he probably isn’t. But isn’t it better to get him ready now than to throw him into the fire later?
If Swoopes does indeed see some action on the field tonight, the staff will have made the right decision. Yes, in a perfect world he could sit this season out and it would all be moot, but anyone who is a fan of college sports knows that football doesn’t always go as planned.