Can the connection between quarterback Quinn Ewers and H-back Ja’Tavion Sanders take the next step for the Texas Longhorns in 2023? Sanders posted six games with 60 or more receiving yards a season ago. Ewers threw for over 2,100 yards (2,177) but missed three games due to a shoulder injury.
In the 2022 Red River Showdown, Ewers passed for 289 yards (67.7%, 4 TDs, INT). Sanders’ five receptions in the contest included two scores. The duo attacks in a variety of ways, but specialize in the seams of the field.
The departure of Atlanta Falcons first-round pick Bijan Robinson puts added pressure on the unit. Junior wide receiver Xavier Worthy and senior Jordan Whittington (both featured in video) offer added bounce. The addition of Georgia transfer AD Mitchell could take even more targets away from Sanders. Right tackle Christian Jones (6’6, 322, SR) and left tackle Kelvin Banks (6’4, 312, SO) are bookends on the edges.
For Ewers, there is also the arrival of top-ranked recruit Arch Manning. Can Manning challenge him for playing time as a true freshman? Only time will tell, but it makes for an intriguing narrative that won’t go away if Manning receives playing time in the team’s season opener versus Rice on September 2nd. If Ewers can repeat his impressive performance from a season ago against Alabama a week later, it may not matter.