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Arch Manning will compete with Quinn Ewers for Texas QB1 job

Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

It took but one spring practice for Texas Longhorns head football coach Steve Sarkisian to officially announce that freshman Arch Manning and sophomore Quinn Ewers will duel it out for the starting quarterback position.

Sarkisian reportedly did say this while mentioning all positions would be up for grabs, something football coaches tend to do when heading into camp as a way to keep everyone keyed up.

But let’s be honest, this announcement should come to the surprise of no one, including the impressive Ewers.

Here’s what ‘Sark had to say.

“I’m not worried about who’s going to be on the cover of what magazine next week. I’m more focused on is, is each guy focusing on what they need to do to develop to be the best player that they can be? Quinn has an entire year of a head start, but I don’t want to hold Arch back. I want to see how far he can take this thing and what it can look like.”

Texas HC teve Sarkisian on QB competition (ESPN)

This is actually a tremendous quote from Sarkisian. It’s almost refreshing to hear this type of candor from the head coach of a major college football program rather than a vague, non-answer to a question everyone Longhorns’ fan in the world is likely asking.

Related: Arch Manning to the Texas Longhorns is official

Quinn Ewers, Arch Manning will battle it out for starting QB

arch manning, texas longhorns
Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Sarkisian was wise to just let it rip right from the jump because when it comes to the position of quarterback and one of those top recruits has “MANNING” across the back of their jersey, it comes with a different kind of hype.

If we’re being 100% honest with ourselves, Ewers probably should have seen this one coming and entered the now-friendly transfer portal where he very likely would have had a slew of options as the guaranteed starter for the 2023 season.

It’s not as though Ewers came into Austin with low expectations, though.

In fact, he was seemingly well on his way to some very quick Longhorn lore in last season’s opener against Alabama until injuring his shoulder in the first quarter. The kid was slinging it at the time, completing 9-of-12 passes for 134 yards and generally looking phenomenal against a great Nick Saban squad.

Ewers has since shaved away his iconic mullet and — since it’s 2023 — has resulted in all sorts of hot takes on social media.

It’s just where we are, folks.

But Sarkisian is well aware of that and even addressed that, too.

“All of a sudden, now the guy gets a haircut and cleans his beard up a little bit and everyone thinks Quinn’s real serious right now. But that’s human nature. It’s never been a question of him taking this serious. He wants to be really good. He wants to be a leader on this team. He wants to win a championship with these guys. And that doesn’t change what he does day to day, but appearance is what it is. And so I do think him recognizing that shows some maturity.”

Sarkisian on QB Quinn Ewers

You could take this a number of ways. But Ewers getting a haircut might almost come across like a self-induced need to appear “more professional” in order to land the starting job, which is absolutely wild because we are talking about football, not accounting.

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At the end of the day, whoever performs the best and at the most consistent rate will land the starting quarterback job.

Competing with a talent and name like Arch Manning just might mean Ewers can’t afford to make too many mistakes — if any at all — mullet or not.