Most Texas Power 5 programs have put out a help wanted at the quarterback position. Texas Tech, TCU, Texas A&M, and Texas will all be working through who's going to start under center. Where there are quarterback battles, there will also be, these days, transferring. It's a loser leaves town match for a lot of hotshot prep quarterbacks.
Let's break a few of these scenarios down. For the people.
Texas has a luxury with two experienced, talented quarterbacks. Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele are both back, but if Ehlinger continues to hold the upper hand, Buechele will either focus on baseball full time or find a different locale. Buechele will miss a little time after undergoing hip surgery. Ehlinger is the better dual-threat quarterback, something Texas desperately needs; he led the Longhorns in rushing last season with a whopping 381. Casey Thompson and Cameron Rising are early enrollees who'll be in the mix to either backup or watch intently.
The Frogs lose Kenny Hill but welcome back sophomore Shawn Robinson who looked useful as a true freshman. Robinson will be unopposed this spring, but the fall will usher in Justin Rogers, the highest rated recruit to ever sign with TCU. Rogers is recovering from knee surgery. He's a dynamic high school standout, but then again so was Robinson. Robinson is big, fast, and possess an excellent arm; he just needs to master the nuance of the position. If Rogers edges out Robinson, then he'll have earned the job. Robinson, from DeSoto, may not hang around to watch from the sidelines.
If A&M's season had gone to plan, Nick Starkel would have started for A&M in 2017. Things rarely go to plan, Starkel injured his foot against UCLA, and Kellen Mond's development ramped up. Mond played ok for a young player thrown into the starting role. Once Starkel got back on his foot, he came back into the starting position. We'll see which variety of quarterback Jimbo Fisher prefers because the two are pretty different. Starkel is the better passer, he pushes the ball downfield more efficiently, but not overly impressively. Mond is a better runner, accuracy has been the issue in his brief A&M career, but getting out of bad plays with his legs hasn't.
Nic Shimonek did just about everything a Tech quarterback does historically; he threw for a lot of yards and a lot of scores. He was top 15 in the FBS in both categories. Tech's two replacement options, McLane Carter and Jett Duffey will fight it out this spring to run the machine that is the Tech offense. If neither pans out to Tech standards, it'll be the first time since 1998 that a Tech quarterback hasn't thrown for gobs of yardage. Carter started against Texas and didn't really set the world on fire. His arm strength didn't overwhelm anyone, and Shimonek had to come in and save the day and maybe Kliff Kingsbury's job. Duffey's had a rough run at Tech with off-field issues, but his on-field abilities are impressive. He's the best athlete in the mix, and his arm is big time. He's only thrown two collegiate passes, so if he wins the job, the game will come at him pretty fast in the fall.