The Texas Longhorns returned to national prominence in Steve Sarkisian’s third season in Austin, and they’ll have the quarterback who brought them to the College Football Playoff as they head into the SEC.
Quinn Ewers will be the guy under center when the Longhorns kick off their 2024 season, meaning highly touted recruit Arch Manning has another year of waiting in the wings.
“Quinn’s our starter,” Sarkisian said Wednesday at his National Signing Day press conference.
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Ewers was eligible for the 2024 NFL Draft but chose to return for his senior season.
“I think it was big for Quinn,” Sarkisian said of Ewers returning for another season. “I think [it was] pretty easy to see from the naked eye the development that Quinn made from year one to year two. I don’t think that Quinn was a finished product yet. And I think there is plenty of room for growth and improvement and development in his game going into year three.
“And I think, naturally, when you get into the College Football Playoff and you look at the team that beat us, that was a sixth-year senior quarterback [Michael Penix Jr.] that played at a really high level in that game. I do think his experience, his maturity are all going to be things that he can benefit from. We’re going to need his leadership.”
Sarkisian praised Manning’s progress in his freshman season, saying he showed a lot of growth in the second half of the year.
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“I think Arch has got an extremely bright future,” Sarkisian said. “We’re very fortunate to have him on our roster. He’s got great leadership skills, got a great skill set. So, those two guys are going to be big for us next fall.”
Manning, the nephew of NFL legends Eli and Peyton Manning, saw limited playing time during his freshman season. He made his Texas debut late in the year against Texas Tech, completing two of five passing attempts.
Before the matchup against Washington in the Sugar Bowl, Manning shut down any chance of the idea that he would transfer.
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“Obviously, there’s always rumors, especially nowadays, but I haven’t looked into transferring at all,” Manning said. “I’m just focused on developing and helping this team any way I can and hopefully one day playing for the University of Texas, like I’ve always wanted to.”
Texas will compete in the SEC next season after winning the Big 12 Championship for the first time since 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report