Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger publicly announced Thursday he would be returning for his senior season.
The former Austin Westlake star announced it on his Twitter page, calling it “Chapter 4”.
When word got out he requested an evaluation from the NFL Draft advisory board, people started to question if he would return.
The NFL Draft advisory board is a service college players use to help determine their potential draft stock. The board gives three grades of first round, second round or stay in school. Players use this to help determine if they should forego their final year of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.
In the case of Sam Ehlinger, he probably just wanted to see where he stands.
Most people knew he would return for his final year. We’ve all seen the videos of Sam throwing the “horns” up, and wearing the burnt orange as a kid. His dream has always been to be a Longhorn and play at Texas, and he said before he would play all 4 years.
Ehlinger has come a long way since his freshman year from a development standpoint. His first season was incredible but also inconsistent.
At this stage in his career, he played backyard football and did what he had to for a win. His biggest knock was turnovers and his accuracy.
The next year as a sophomore, he made huge strides in his development. He went nearly the whole season with just one interception and actually broke the record for most pass attempts without an interception in Big 12 Conference history.
By seasons end he was at five interceptions, 3292 passing yards, and a 64 percent completion percentage, becoming one of only six quarterbacks in college football history to pass over 3,000 yards and have more than 15 rushing touchdowns in a single season, and the others who accomplished it won the Heisman Trophy.
His junior season had high expectations. With the jump he during his first two seasons and Heisman talk buzzing around his name, everyone expected a big year from Ehlinger.
However, the Longhorns’ lack of success shadowed what was actually a good season statistically. He improved his pocket passing ability, accuracy, arm strength and down-the-field passing, beginning to get noticed nationally for his passing ability. He ended the season with 3,663 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns.
Ehlinger helped bring Texas back from dark times at the quarterback position.
Since Colt McCoy left after the 2009 season, Texas hasn’t had great quarterback play and has been searching for their guy.
With one more year left for Ehlinger, Texas fans should enjoy it. You never know what’s next when your team loses its quarterback, and right now, the Longhorns have a good one.