Saturday's announcement on David Ash's status from Texas head athletic trainer for football Kenny Boyd didn't come as a major surprise, but it was nonetheless a positive bit of news for a team that, without Ash, would have entered 2014 without any quarterback starts.
Instead, the Longhorns return a player who isn't just one of the Big 12's most experienced returning quarterbacks, but also one that the previous staff thought was equipped to become a top quarterback a year ago after strong moments as a sophomore.
But Ash never got that chance. Sometime in the season's second game against BYU, Ash sustained a head injury. It was a shame in that Ash had a hot start to the contest, hitting on nine of his first 11 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown. After that point — Ash played into the fourth quarter — he hit 10-of-23 passes for 116 yards.
After sitting out the Ole Miss game, Ash returned against Kansas State, throwing for 166 yards and a touchdown and running for another 27 yards in the first half. But the training staff evaluated Ash at halftime and determined that he once again showed concussion-like symptoms, and he didn't return for the second half. He sat out the rest of the season from that point.
For the season, Ash completed 53-of-87 passes for 760 yards and seven touchdowns to two interceptions, for a quarterback rating of 156.3. To put his quarterback rating into perspective, it was up slightly from Ash's sophomore year mark of 153.3, and would have been third in the Big 12, just slightly behind Kansas State's Jake Waters (156.8). Ash also rushed 31 times for 152 yards and a touchdown.