David Ash may be Texas’ starting quarterback for 2013, but the player who raised the most eyebrows in the Longhorns’ annual Orange-White scrimmage was the one who has only been on campus a few months.
The talk of Austin was freshman signal caller Tyrone Swoopes, an early enrollee and four-star member of Texas’ 2012 recruiting class. Though Swoopes appeared in only one series which resulted in a field goal, his 21-yard scramble against Texas’ first-team defense had the some 46,000 fans in attendance buzzing.
After the scrimmage, it was confirmed that Swoopes had emerged as the No. 3 QB for the Horns behind veterans Ash and Case McCoy, but ahead of Connor Brewer and Jalen Overstreet.
Ash, for the record, went 17 of 24 for 162 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions while McCoy went 7-of-11 for 80 yards.
The plan for Texas could be to redshirt Swoopes to give him time to learn whatever offense the Longhorns are running this year, but Mack Brown said that’s not a guarantee.
“We are trying to get the best quarterback that we need,” Brown said. “And obviously Case will be gone in a year so someone needs to be ready to go.”
Swoopes is raw and no one is — or should be, anyway — labeling him as the future of the program right now, but the freshman is off to an impressive start.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah