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On Texas Football: Quinn Ewers' growth and transfer portal targets

Steve Habel01/04/23
Article written by:On3 imageSteve Habel


On3 image
Quinn Ewers (Will Gallagher/Inside Texas)

Inside Texas’ Bobby Burton and Eric Nahlin got us caught up with the State of the Program in their most recent YouTube posting on Wednesday, giving some evaluation of the Longhorns’ play in the Valero Alamo Bowl, the play and growth of Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, and targets for the Longhorns in the transfer portal among other items.

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Nahlin said the Texas defense played well, especially in the first half, but was uncharacteristically poor against the run in the second half of the 27-20 loss to Washington in San Antonio.

“That game to me is not a concern going into next season,” Nahlin said. “I expect Texas to have the run defense as strong next season as they did this year. My takeaway is in the bowl game the pass defense was quite good. I think that it’s going to remain that way next year with the additions that they’re making.”

The thing that hurt Texas most in the Alamo Bowl loss is that the defense could not get off the field on third down. That meant the Longhorns’ offense didn’t get enough possessions.

Ewers also showed progression during the season but there were times it wasn’t showed as often as liked, according to Burton.

“But Ewers always showed some signs that he can make some throws that no one else can,” Burton said. “He wasn’t necessarily getting through his progressions fast and he was having some problems in the pocket.”

Burton said that Ewers answered a lot of his concerns with his play in the bowl game, and Nahlin concurred.

“Absolutely – even in plays that didn’t work out you could see Quinn just moving his feet, getting out of the pocket, throwing the ball away, scrambling and taking the quick yardage,” Nahlin explained. “He was a lot quicker in the pocket. He looked way more comfortable than we’d seen him for a very long time. I came away and way more optimistic over Quinn than had in months.”

Nahlin said the play of Casey Cain was solid if not spectacular because the Texas attack used him in the ways that suited him the best.

“Cain was running more routes conducive to what he can do by finding space,” Nahlin said. “The fact that there were more receivers for the defense to cover made it easier for him to get open. I don’t know that you want to go in with to next season with Cain as the No. 2, but he can be reliable target receiver that can help the team move the sticks. You know those can be invaluable.”

There is some question that Longhorns’ standout wide receiver Xavier Worthy will be coming back for the 2023 season. Worthy had two very visible drops on deep throws in the Alamo Bowl.

Nahlin said Worthy has shown no indication that he is looking to leave via the transfer portal but hasn’t yet said he is staying.

“The expectation before the Alamo Bowl was that Worthy really would come back and I’m not sure that anything’s changed,” Nahlin said. “I haven’t heard that that has changed. So my working assumption right now is that he’ll return. But you know, there’s still plenty of time for things to change between now and Jan. 18, the last day that players announce that they are in the portal.”

Texas is looking to fill some needs at safety through the transfer portal. Jalen Catalon from Arkansas and Thomas Harper from Oklahoma State, both starters and solid players before being derailed by injury, are among those players the Longhorns have interest in.

Burton and Nahlin also had a recap of the players signed by the Longhorns that participated in the Under Armour NEXT All-American game in Orlando on Tuesday and those ready to strap in up in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio on Saturday.