Don't Forget About Me

WNMO? Seriously, Why Not Miles Onyegbule at quarterback for the Longhorns?

It's a question not many are asking but perhaps they should. Especially since David Ash is out for the remainder of the spring with a Jones fracture in his left foot, and Tyrone Swoopes has yet to prove that he's even close to being a sure thing.

Reinforcements are on the way this fall in five-star Jerrod Heard and, presumably, USC transfer Max Wittek. But until they arrive, why not see what the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Onyegbule has to offer.

So he came to Texas as a receiver and was moved by Charlie Strong's staff to quarterback to "add depth." That's not exactly the highest vote of confidence. But perhaps he can play a larger roll than clipboard holder.

He's shown it before, albeit for only his senior season at Arlington (Texas) High School. But that was only because Matt Joeckel, who announced today that he'll transfer from Texas A&M, was in the class before him.

"If Matt Joeckel wouldn't have been there Miles would have been the QB all throughout," Arlington head coach Scott Peach said.

With Joeckel under center, Onyegbule became one of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex's top offensive talents hauling in 90 catches for 1,239 yards and 16 touchdowns.

But he proved he could sling the ball around just as well his senior season when he completed 98 of 170 passes for 1,267 yards and 12 touchdowns, and also rushed for 1,524 yards and 21 touchdowns.

"I felt like him going to the University of Texas as a receiver was a great opportunity," Peach said. "But, truthfully, I really felt like he could have made a great college quarterback."

For one, Peach understood that Onyegbule was a natural leader, which always carries well at the position.

"All of those kids always looked up to Miles and that's a great attribute for a QB to have," he said.

Secondly, you don't quite realize how big he is until you try and tackle him and he runs through your measly arm tackle.

"Boy he was hard to bring down," Peach said. "So many teams that we played didn't realize that until they went up against him."

Then there's his arm strength, which could be as good as anyone's on the roster. Seriously.

"He had a big arm and threw a great football," Peach said. "We didn't have time to develop his pocket presence. But he's a very smart kid. In time, playing the position, there's no question he could pick up on the position well."

A perfect example of Onyegbule's arm strength was the ease with which he completed their "glance" route.

"It is one of the toughest throws for a quarterback to make because you have to do it off a three-step rhythm and are putting the ball about 17-yards down the field on an inside 45-degree angle move," Peach said. "Miles could put it there on a dime. Not only that but you had to throw it through a small linebacker window, which he could do all the time."

How many of those routes have you completed since he left?

"We haven't completed but two or three since him," Peach said. "The point is, we've had good quarterbacks but they didn't have the arm strength or accuracy that he had with that throw. Anything he threw front side was dynamic and strong."

Arlington's quarterback right after Onyegbule was Josh Greer, who is competing for time at QB for North Texas. That's not bad company.

"I was telling someone the other day that our third down conversion that year was off the charts at like 75 percent," Peach said, "and the reason was because Miles threw the quick game so well and was so hard to bring down."

There's other motive for Onyegbule to perform as a quarterback and to be as much a student of the position as he can be. He wants to coach.

"And he wants to be a college coach," Peach said. "Well Max, his older brother, is a graduate assistant at Kansas. Max is falling in love with the coaching profession. Miles is starting to feel the same way. Now he's absorbing all this new knowledge and this new system under Coach [Charlie] Strong, and how to run a program a different way, and he's enjoyed every minute of it."

Peach still stays in contact with Onyegbule and says he's doing what he can to put himself in the best position to play. He's not satisfied with simply adding depth.

In fact, he spent some of his Christmas break in Arlington working out with Joeckel and former teammate Jordan Davis, who is a senior receiver for Texas Tech.

And because Texas is so thin at the position, he should see considerable time at the spring game on April 19. It's an opportunity for him to prove his worth to the masses in what could essentially be boiled down to a head-to-head competition with Swoopes, though the majority already have him penciled in with a pencil in hand on the sideline this fall.

If he proves himself the victor this weekend, maybe, just maybe you'll begin to ask yourself the question of WNMO?


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