The Texas Longhorns are unsettled at the quarterback position. David Ash is out with a broken foot. Tyrone Swoopes is still trying to get a grasp of the new offensive scheme. True freshman Jerrod Heard will not be on campus until the summer.
These should be good signs for former USC Trojans quarterback Max Wittek. Wittek has been visiting schools across the nation as he narrows his choices on where he will play for the next two seasons. Rumors are that he is leaning towards Texas. Considering that Texas has only one healthy quarterback, it would seem like a prudent move on Wittek’s part.
Upon closer review, he may want to rethink choosing Austin as a final destination.
Ash was given a medical redshirt for the 2013 season in which he missed all but three games. This leaves Ash with two years of eligibility. He is expected to make a full recovery from his foot injury and is currently the favorite to be the starting signal caller on Aug. 30 against North Texas.
No problem, right? Wittek can still come in and beat out Ash for the job this summer. Not so fast, my friends.
Heard comes to Texas with lofty expectations. He will also show up with a better understanding of how to play the position. Heard spent his spring break attending a quarterback camp held by renowned quarterback guru George Whitfield. Whitfield has spent the last ten years helping players like Ben Roethlisberger, Andrew Luck and Johnny Manziel refine their skills. The fact that Heard gave up his spring break to work with Whifield shows his commitment to being a great quarterback. Spending a week perfecting all aspects of his game will only help Heard when he arrives on campus in June. Even if he redshirts this season, it may be hard to keep him on the sidelines in 2015.
The wildcard is Swoopes. The sophomore saw limited action in 2013. He will be running the first team offense in the annual spring game following Ash’s injury. Ironically, Swoopes will be the quarterback with the most exposure to the new offense. Whether this gives him a leg up on the competition is yet to be seen. One thing is for sure; Swoopes is an excellent athlete who can make plays with his legs, not unlike a former Longhorn named Vince Young.
Texas fans are hoping Wittek chooses Austin and throws his hat into the muddled quarterback race. The reality is this doesn’t seem so cut and dry. Wittek doesn’t want to join Texas as a depth player — he wants to start. And he wants to start for two years. The problem is Wittek never put up great numbers at USC. He wasn’t good enough to win the job. The question Texas fans have to ask themselves is, can Max Wittek be better than the quarterbacks on the roster or is he simply just another body to add to the depth chart?
It is suddenly starting to look like Texas may not be the best landing spot for Wittek after all.