He Said, He Said: QB Starter at ND Should Be?

Question: Should the coaching staff plan to start Tyrone Swoopes at Notre Dame, even if Jerrod Heard is slightly ahead coming out of fall camp, simply because Swoopes has some experience in a big-game atmosphere, having played in the UCLA and OU games last year?

Chip Brown’s Take

If Jerrod Heard is the better player in camp and is answering the questions correctly in the meeting room and on the field, I think you have to start him against Notre Dame.

Heard has a big-stage personality that will ultimately endear himself to teammates - as long as he's delivering on the field.

I think Heard gives you bigger plays in the running game in the new offense, which is a huge consideration.

Maybe Tyrone Swoopes will play faster this season if he's truly more comfortable in the new offense - and not play slow by having to think his way through a play instead of reacting. But even so, I think Heard gives you more upside as a runner.

And make no mistake, Texas is going to have to run the ball this season to have success. The Horns will have to run the ball well enough to keep the clock moving and give a defense replacing a lot of senior leadership to get its bearings.

Heard will also have to stop staring down receivers before he can get on the field as a starter. Otherwise, his time as a quarterback at Texas will be short-lived.

But the bottom-line is, I wouldn't put a glass ceiling on Heard and start Swoopes no matter what. If Heard's not ready, then start Swoopes and bring Heard in for a series to start the second quarter and see what happens.

Heard is probably somewhere between James Brown and John Chiles as a quarterback. And the only way to find out is by playing him. His alpha-male personality and confidence may surprise everyone - possibly in a good way on Sept. 5.

William Wilkerson’s Take

I’m of the belief that Texas should start Tyrone Swoopes in this situation because of the year of experience he has under his belt.

I know, I know: His track record on the road isn’t stellar. But he did have his moments.

He threw for 334 yards and two touchdowns, while running for another against Oklahoma.

Swoopes also tallied 305 yards and two touchdowns at Stillwater in frigid conditions to beat the Cowboys.

I know these numbers don’t mean much when you look at what he did (or wasn’t able to do) on the road at Kansas State or in Houston against Arkansas. But the experience counts for something.

If Heard ends camp “slightly ahead” of Swoopes I would roll Ty out for at least the first series or two before throwing Heard in there.

The only way I’d start Heard is if he is the overwhelming front-runner at the end of fall camp. If it’s close, I think Swoopes at least deserves the first crack at the job before (ultimately) relinquishing duties to the redshirt freshman.

Call me crazy. It wouldn’t be the first time.


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