Despite making a huge jump as a player during his breakout sophomore campaign, Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers is running it back for (at least) one last ride in Austin. In a classy video announcement where he used actual pen and paper as opposed to some fancy graphic situation, Ewers revealed he’d be returning to college football for the 2024 season.
Those who saw Ewers fall just a little short in the Longhorns’ 37-31 loss to Washington in the College Football Playoff semifinals may doubt that he can ascend even further to be the No. 1 pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. For those who aren’t fully familiar with Ewers’ background, let’s break down just how special of a talent this guy is, and why his quest to bring a national championship to Texas may ultimately mean he hears his name called first on draft day.
Ewers skipped his entire senior year of high school to get a head start on his college gridiron journey. He was the No. 1 recruit in the country, yet chose to reclassify and take on the ultimate challenge of enrolling at Ohio State. Think about this for a second: The Buckeyes were watching some redshirt freshman named CJ Stroud sling it all over the yard every day in practice, and yet still felt like Ewers had a real chance to beat him out in training camp. At least, that’s my assumption based on Stroud’s version of events surrounding Ewers’ arrival in Columbus.
Cj stroud talking about why he has a chip on his shoulder and how he felt disrespected when ohio st brought quinn ewers in 2 weeks before his first game. pic.twitter.com/XHIfHADIJy
Anyway, Stroud wound up in the Lone Star State as a pro, and just led the Houston Texans to an AFC South title as an NFL rookie. Needless to say, after one year at Ohio State with Stroud firmly clutching the QB1 job, Ewers got the itch to return to his home state and play for the team he grew up cheering for. Problem was, he didn’t take the opportunity seriously by his own admission, suffered a shoulder injury in the Alabama game, and the Longhorns barely finished in the top 25 with an 8-5 record.
For someone who’d never been through much football-related adversity, it was the wake-up call Ewers needed. It’s been well-documented how he cleaned up his act, shaved his trademark mullet, and made drastic improvements to his diet. That translated to the field, as Ewers saw his completion percentage spike (58.1% to 69%), along with his yards per attempt (7.4 to 8.8), and he ran for five TDs with a 22/6 TD-INT ratio. Just a far more efficient player who posed more of a threat to run as well.
While Shedeur Sanders is a legit contender to be 2025’s No. 1 draft pick, and another returnee like Georgia’s Carson Beck could be a dark horse, I’d bet on Ewers right now, barring a quantum leap from Alabama’s Jalen Milroe as a passer. Ewers would’ve likely been a second-rounder this year. That’s quite a compliment considering how loaded the 2024 QB class is perceived to be and how much obvious room Ewers still has to grow.
With Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, JJ McCarthy and Michael Penix in this year's draft and all potential 1st round picks; Quinn Ewers waiting on next year's Draft is a really smart move by him. https://t.co/PpgSjzgZQV
Coming back to Austin and trying for a natty was the no-brainer move for Ewers. He can still enter next year’s draft with four years of college football under his belt at 21 years old. Ewers got to learn under Ryan Day in an offense that features a lot of NFL principles, and watched Stroud prepare every week. Now, he’s under the tutelage of one of the most innovative play-callers at any level in Steve Sarkisian. That background sets Ewers up optimally for success at the next level.
It’ll be really neat to see how Ewers progresses in the next 365 days or so. If he can just stay the course and add a little more muscle onto his listed 6-2, 195-pound frame, this wunderkind with the lightning-quick release has future No. 1 overall pick written all over him. Scary to think he has room to improve on throws of 20+ yards when he has dimes like this one in the bag:
Quinn Ewers dropping dimes like he's got holes in his pockets 🥶