Texas QB Sam Ehlinger to Return for Senior Season, Forgo 2020 NFL Draft

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

AMES, IA - NOVEMBER 16: Quarterback Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns throws the ball in the first half of play at Jack Trice Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Ames, Iowa. The Iowa State Cyclones won 23-21 over the Texas Longhorns. (Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images)
David K Purdy/Getty Images

Sam Ehlinger is returning for his senior season at Texas.  

The quarterback announced Monday on Twitter he'll play out his final year of eligibility and spurn the NFL:

Sam Ehlinger @sehlinger3

Dear Longhorn Nation... https://t.co/D20n5TE883

The Longhorns star threw for 3,663 yards, 32 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 13 games in 2019. He also ran for 663 yards and seven touchdowns.

Matt Miller, Bleacher Report's NFL draft expert, tweeted in October he didn't view Ehlinger as a 2020 prospect, and the junior signal-caller was absent in Miller's most recent big board.

Now, the Austin, Texas, native will have more time to bolster his draft stock.

Given his passion for the program, the allure of possibly getting Texas into the College Football Playoff was probably too much to pass up, as well.

It looked like the Longhorns turned a corner when they beat Georgia 28-21 in the 2019 Sugar Bowl. An 8-5 record this season was a massive disappointment considering they sat 10th in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 and Amway Coaches polls.

Head coach Tom Herman responded by firing defensive coordinator Todd Orlando and demoting offensive coordinator Tim Beck to quarterbacks coach. Mike Yurcich, who was Ohio State's passing game coordinator, came in as Beck's replacement.

Joe Burrow's rapid rise is a testament to how the right coaching can unlock a quarterback's potential. Many had written Burrow off, only to watch as LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady helped turn him into a Heisman Trophy winner and the likely No. 1 overall draft pick.

Yurcich might have the same kind of impact on Ehlinger.

Considering Texas will lose its top two receivers, Devin Duvernay and Collin Johnson, the Longhorns will undoubtedly need him to make a jump in 2020 if they're to seriously contend for a College Football Playoff berth.


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