Quinn Ewers, Arch Manning set to compete for Texas quarterback job

Quinn Evers had some strong moments in his first year as a starting quarterback in Texas, but he’s not guaranteed a starting position in 2023.

That’s because UT now has another five-star quarterback on campus: Arch Manning.

Manning, Peyton and Eli’s nephew, was the No. 1 recruit in the class of 2023 and entered Texas early to participate in spring training.

After the first day of the Spring Ball on Monday, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian told reporters that all positions, including quarterback, were open.

“I don’t care who is on the cover of which magazine next week,” Sargsyan said. “I’m more focused on whether every guy is focused on what he needs to do to be the best player he can be. Quinn has a whole year head start, but I don’t want to delay Ark. I want to see how far he can go with this thing and what it can look like.”

Like Manning, Evers was the #1 recruit in his class. Evers was originally a 2022 nominee, but he was reclassified for 2021 and enrolled at Ohio State. He only spent one season at OSU before returning to his home state by moving to Texas. Evers was verbally committed to UT before moving to Ohio State.

Evers’ freshman campaign was all over the place. He threw for 2,177 yards, 15 touchdowns and six interceptions, completing 58.1% of his attempts as the Longhorns went 8–5.

Sarkisian said Evers is feeling much more comfortable as he begins his second year in the program.

“I thought Quinn had a really good winter. In fact, he was a real freshman at this time last year. He had a lot on his mind. That’s how he felt for most of the year. This winter it seems natural. He throws the ball well. I think he is becoming a leader. I think what he did, he serves for Arch and shows how it looks and how to go about your business,” said Sargsyan.

Quinn Evers cutting his infamous mullet

In addition to his high rookie status, Evers received a lot of attention for his mullet haircut. However, he recently trimmed a mullet, and a reporter asked Sarkeesian if this was a sign that Evers was taking things “more seriously.”

Sarkisian said there was no noticeable change in Evers’ approach, but acknowledged that they both spoke about how a person’s appearance can change how they are perceived.

“Quinn is a great kid. He is an excellent teammate. He is really teachable. But one thing we talked about is that sometimes your looks get ahead of you. And then you have to almost overcome yourself,” said Sargsyan.

“Suddenly this guy cut his hair and brushed his beard a bit and everyone thinks Quinn is very serious right now. But that’s human nature. There was never any question of him taking it seriously. … He wants to be a leader in this team. He wants to win the championship with these guys. And it doesn’t change what he does day in and day out. some maturity in his approach to what he does.”

Arch Manning takes on second team representatives at first practice

Sargsyan said the team’s passing game should improve from last season, especially in third place and in the red zone. He hopes that a healthy competition between Evers and Manning will bring out the best in both players and ultimately raise the level of play on the field.

“This competition should ultimately bring out the best of both of them. This is what we are trying to create in our program for each group of positions. When you have this, your level of play is constantly growing and growing,” said Sargsyan.

With Malik Murphy sidelined by injury, Manning took over the second team representatives for practice on Monday. Sarkissian said his first practice was takeoff and landing, as you would expect from any freshman.

“For Arch today, Day 1, there were a few pieces he would like to bring back. And there are a few other plays that he has done, and they’re all like, “Wow, that was a damn good play,” said Sargsyan. “He is a real freshman, he should still be in high school. He has a worker mentality and wants to be really good at this game.”

Sarkeesian has a 13-12 (9-9 Big 12) record in two seasons in Texas. UT will open the 2023 season at home against Rice on September 2.


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