Texas Longhorn Quarterbacks: A Journey Into Two Dimensions of Fame

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Texas Longhorn Quarterbacks: A Journey Into Two Dimensions of Fame

The Texas Longhorns have a proud and storied past on the gridiron.

Over the decades, UT football has presented rugged linemen, dependable runners, and spectacular quarterbacks to a variety of all-star teams.

When the jolly crowd in Austin can put all three together, a championship is often the result.

As the current occupant of the No. 3 position in the BCS ranking system, the situation appears ripe for another Texas opportunity to lasso the national title.

If the Longhorns are successful, expect much of the subsequent discussion among fans to center on Colt McCoy and his place as the greatest quarterback in UT history.

For full disclosure, please note this writer predicted on the Bleacher Report in August Texas would win the BCS Title this season and McCoy would win the Heisman Trophy.

Let there be no question concerning the high regard for Colt McCoy in this corner.

But, the University of Texas football tradition is far more than young McCoy. Respect for the hallowed halls of Austin and the rich history of the football program runs much deeper and further back in this reviewer, a native Texan.

Many have witnessed the greats who took the field deep in the heart of the Lone Star State, however, the passing years have not been as kind to some as to others.

Plain speaking, a lot of people who could tell the story of the past 70 years of Texas quarterbacks are simply not around anymore.

Having attended Longhorn football games since a first-grader in 1939, it is a curious case of good fortune this writer is available to pass along observations made through the past seven decades.

The responsibility of the signal caller position has changed over time. In fairness to various generations, we should view the position in no less than two different eras.

Prior to the mid-1960s, players were expected to "go both ways," meaning they played both offense and defense like a baseball or basketball player.

These were football players, not specialists. The game of this era was the same as the youngster of today who plays in his neighborhood or backyard.

From the mid-1960s to present day we have seen the rise of the age of the specialist. This performer is not expected to play but one position on "one side of the ball" the entire season, if not his career.

In some circles, this era of specialists is called the age of the "modern player."

Let the journey begin.

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