Perhaps no team in college football heads into spring practice with a clearer objective than Charlie Strong and Texas. Find a quarterback, and everything will be okay. Don’t find a quarterback and, well, you better look again.
The ‘Horns open spring ball with five quarterbacks gunning for the job — senior Tyrone Swoopes, sophomore Jerrod Heard, redshirt freshmen Kai Locksley and Matthew Merrick and true freshman Shane Buechele.
Only the first two have playing experience, and that experience has been just as much down as up, which is why Strong insisted the job was “wide open” as spring ball began.
“We’ve had two guys that played a lot last season,” Strong told ESPN Monday. “Now you’ve got some more guys that are pushing them. You’re just hoping that at some point that someone will rise up and become the guy there.”
Swoopes had the job taken from him last season, and Heard exhibited obvious points of improvement in the passing game. Locksley is a wide receiver trying to play his way into the quarterback battle. Merrick was originally offered as a preferred walk-on. Buechele is an early enrollee in desperate need of a full year in a college weight program.
If there was an obvious choice here, he would have presented himself already.
But with a new offense to learn and an important season ahead, Strong hopes the answer stands up and presents itself quickly.
“It’ll be enough reps where we’ll know fairly quickly who the guy will be,” Strong said. “I think you’ll be able to see it.”