The Texas Longhorns announced on Sunday that junior quarterback David Ash would not play against the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday due to lingering effects from a concussion he suffered against the BYU Cougars in Week 2 of the 2013 season.
According to NCAA medical redshirt regulations, Texas would be able to apply for a medical redshirt for Ash for the 2014 season given he has played in less than 1/3 of the team’s scheduled contests (3). Doctors would also need to state that Ash is medically unable to play for the remainder of the 2013 season for the medical redshirt to become a reality.
Texas has succeeded in obtaining medical redshirts for other high-profile players, including junior linebacker Jordan Hicks (who coincidentally is injured again and will miss the remainder of 2013) so there isn’t a lack of precedent.
The reasoning behind applying for a medical redshirt for Ash and formally turning the keys of the QB position over to senior Case McCoy is two-fold. In seeking the redshirt for Ash, the Longhorns are doing what is in his best interest physically, both to ensure his short-term health and his long-term career on the Forty Acres which could theoretically be two more seasons assuming the redshirt is granted.
While looking out for Ash’s best interests, Texas also would earn a side benefit of an increased level of potential depth at the quarterback position. Due to the transfers of sophomores Connor Brewer and Connor Wood, there is a gap between the upperclassmen quarterbacks (McCoy/Ash) and the only underclassman on the roster, true freshman Tyrone Swoopes.
Denton Guyer four-star dual-threat prospect Jerrod Heard arrives in Austin sometime in 2014 to add depth on the back-end, but with the gap between the underclassmen and upperclassmen, it’s possible Texas may need to pursue a junior college quarterback to serve as a competitor to Swoopes in spring practice of 2014 for the back-up position and provide some mid-level depth.
With a medical redshirt for David Ash, the three-year QB depth chart for Texas takes on a new look which is entirely positive. It’s time for Texas to do what’s best for David Ash and look to the future while putting full faith in Case McCoy to do what he does to ensure 2013 finishes on a strong note.
Kris Hughes is a Senior Writer and Business Analyst for Rant Sports.