Shawn Watson Talks Longhorns Quarterbacks

What's it going to take for Tyrone Swoopes or Jerrod Heard to win the team over? Longhorns quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson weighs in.

- Texas is transitioning into an uptempo, spread offense this season. Recruiting played a big factor in the decision to change the offensive scheme.

"It played a big factor. It's easy for these kids to come in and play in speed offenses because that's what they play in high school. You see it all across the country."

- In addition to the recruiting aspect, another element of the scheme change is because of the current talent on the roster.

"Good coaching is sitting down and seeing what the skill set of your team is. It's everybody, the entire unit on offense. It really starts with the quarterback position. Who are your quarterbacks and what can they do? Today we were talking about high school football in the state. If this was 10 years ago, a lot of the kids today would probably be high school tailbacks. But now they are high school quarterbacks. The quarterback is able to make a lot of athletic decisions. So you're putting a real athlete, who can carry the football into the game as the quarterback. Depending on how proficient of a passer they are varies, but you can still create a passing game with a guy who is more of a runner because of all of the different options there are in football today."

- Watson feels more confident in the direction of the offense because of the depth he has at quarterback. He believes the team has the opportunity to take off once the quarterback position is right.

"It absolutely can (take off). We have our offensive line in a better, more solidified position. I really love our skill pieces. We have a very fast football team. I really love our running back room. They might be the strongest position on our team, from top to bottom. I'm excited about the new guys, like DeAndre McNeal, John Burt and Ryan Newsome. They're going to add to that receiver core. I love what happened to Marcus Johnson and Petey (Jacory Warrick) had a great spring. We have a lot of great pieces around the quarterback position. Now we're looking for a guy who can manage us, be the point guard and run an efficient show."

- Freshman Kai Locksley came to Austin in the summer, but that does not mean he will be an automatic redshirt candidate.

"I think what you have to do with a freshman quarterback is you have to see if this guy is going to play for you. It's part of their development. If you redshirt a guy, they go down and work with the defense. I don't necessarily want to do that with Kai. I want to keep him up, work with him and get him caught up to speed by challenging and stretching him. Right away, I'm going to see what he can do and see how we can add him to the mix."

- Watson believes a starter will emerge prior to the season opener against Notre Dame.

"I know it will get done by then (season opener). I have a good feel for where the guys are at right now. I thought Jerrod really came on in the spring. When he came on in the spring, and the lights kind of went on for him, I felt really good about where we were headed. Competition between those two guys has really made our offense better. Now they know the efficiency will give them the winning edge, so our offense gets more efficient and better. And they know they cannot turn over the ball. They have to be a good decision maker in the passing game and in the run game."



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