What Vince Young and Colt McCoy were able to accomplish during their careers at Texas seem like a distant past given the current set of circumstances surrounding the quarterback position, where David Ash is only just beginning to turn a corner.
With Ash set to handle the reins for at least the 2013 season, his place in the line of starting quarterbacks is solidified, but this discussion is all about the future.
The battle among a group of three youngsters will be one to watch this spring, as one of them could potentially emerge to be the next starting quarterback for the Longhorns. With Case McCoy entering his senior season as the incumbent backup to Ash, his future is coming to a close, leaving the Texas program with a plan to develop the next guy.
For all intents and purposes, let's entertain a little bit of best-case scenario, meaning Ash stays until the end of his senior season in 2014.
What do the cards look like?
The Next in Line: Tyrone Swoopes
At 6'4", 245-lbs., Tyrone Swoopes already has the size and athleticism to compete at the college level, but he will need time to adjust to the speed as well as develop a much more consistent and accurate arm to complement his open-field efforts.
With Ash staying until the end of the 2014 season, that gives Swoopes more than enough time to learn the ropes without the pressures of competing at one of the highest levels in the college game.
Already enrolled to get a semester's jump on the rest of the 2013 class, Swoopes is on the learning curve with spring football in full swing.
Rated the No. 4 player and the No. 2 quarterback in the country by MaxPreps, Swoopes will have a high standard to meet when he becomes ready to take on more responsibility. But for now, his development is all about the future.
Fortunately for Texas, it has some more chips spread around its depth.
A Backup Plan: Jalen Overstreet
The dual-threat quarterback is becoming more and more prevalent in today's game, and Texas has another in stock behind Swoopes.
The 6'2", 212-lbs. Jalen Overstreet has drawn some comparisons to Sherrod Harris, a strong dose of athleticism, but an arm that is definitely behind the rest of his abilities.
Swoopes is the more raw athlete, but Overstreet will turn some heads before it is all said and done. And with a year already under his belt, the Tatum, Texas native could have a small mental edge.
At the end of the day, while both may compare on the athleticism scales, the one who can grasp a better command of Texas' new, up-tempo offense may end up being the next guy in line.
The Unforeseen Future: Jerrod Heard
For a guy that is not even out of high school yet, Jerrod Heard is already making some waves as the next big thing at quarterback for Texas.
At 6'2", 180-lbs., Heard does not have the biggest frame, but he compensates with great athleticism in the open field, efficiency as a passer, a strong arm, better legs and good leadership qualities.
That scouting report looks good on paper, but it will have to translate in the college ranks when he arrives as part of the 2014 recruiting class.
Heard finished his junior season in high school with 2,090 passing yards and 2,138 rushing yards with 52 total touchdowns.
So what exactly does Texas have in its hand?
The Longhorns have a line of dual-threat quarterbacks looking to command an up-tempo style offense that caters to decision-making and athleticism, something they hope to have in hordes by the time their futures arrive.
If the right pieces at quarterback are already on campus, or due to arrive in Heard's case, the Longhorns will have to do extremely well to develop that talent as well as surround it with the proper weapons.
Statistics from mackbrown-texasfootball.com, maxpreps.com, scout.com
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