For his part, Mack Brown was less than inclined last month to even hint that there may be a front-runner in the race for Texas’ starting quarterback job, identifying “getting two ready to play” as the short-term goal for spring practice.
The two would be David Ash (No. 14) and Case McCoy (No. 6), who split the starting job in 2011 after Garrett Gilbert was mercifully sent to the sidelines. Most observers covering the team on a daily basis, however, had Ash labeled as the presumptive frontrunner heading into the spring.
Less than two weeks into the allotted 15 spring sessions, that still appears to be the case. In fact, Ash may have even “strengthened” whatever lead he may have had to the point where at least one beat writer is prepared to project the winner in a landslide. From Cedric Golden of the Austin American-Statesman following Friday’s practice:
Watching the first of two open practices at Royal-Memorial Stadium on Friday, the gap between McCoy and Ash was noticeable.
So who should lead this team into the 2012 season? To steal a line from [Randy] Moss:
Straight Ash, homie.
Ash is the guy and it’s not even close. This shouldn’t be a Simms-Applewhite replay, where Mack was torn between which one to play. If early indications mean anything, Ash will be the man behind center when the Horns open next season against Wyoming.
Writing that Ash “helped himself out with the way he practiced Friday”, and while not going quite as far as Golden, the Dallas Morning News also indicated that the signs are pointing toward the QB who started six games as a true freshman in 2011 as solidifying
If Friday’s practice was any indication of what the depth chart will look like at quarterback, Ash will be the starter, McCoy his backup…
Of course, one practice viewed through the eyes of the media does not a QB decision make. And no starter will be named, or depth chart released, coming out of the spring, meaning the official competition for the starting job will continue (deep?) into summer camp before a starter is named. And, hell, there may even be a chance that true freshman Connor Brewer, who is participating in spring practice as an early enrollee, could emerge as a serious contender at some point between now and the beginning of September.
It’s getting to the point, however, where it would be more than a little surprising if Ash weren’t under center when UT opens the season Sept. 1 against Wyoming.