Spring football is peaking from around the corner as February dissolves into March. The state of Texas is primed for a memorable year of football at the FBS level with Baylor and UTSA coming off conference championships, Houston returning most of its key players from a 12-2 squad, and Texas A&M loading up on five-star recruits.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football will look at the 10 best players at each position on the football field starting with quarterback.
1. Clayton Tune, Houston
2021 review: 3,544 yards, 30 TDs, 10 INTs, 68.3 percent completions; 265 rushing yards, 2 TDs
2022 outlook: The Houston offense is poised to explode in the 2022 season with Tune returning alongside top target Tank Dell and star running back Alton McCaskill. Tune was tremendous during the 11-game winning streak Houston put together after losing to Texas Tech in Week 1. Tune threw four interceptions in that loss. He only threw six in the next 13 games. Tune could throw for more than 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2022.
2. Tanner Mordecai, SMU
2021 review: 3,628 yards, 39 TDs, 12 INTs, 67.84 percent completions; 202 rushing yards, 2 TDs
2022 outlook: Mordecai put up video game numbers in his first season at SMU following a transfer from Oklahoma. The Waco Midway product led the nation in touchdown passes for more than half the season. A 1-4 record in SMU’s last five games dampened his terrific season, and he’ll need to learn a new system with Rhett Lashlee taking over for the departing Sonny Dykes. The systems are similar with Lashlee acting as the offensive coordinator at SMU in 2018 and 2019.
3. Frank Harris, UTSA
2021 review: 3,177 yards, 27 TDs, 6 INTs, 66.1 percent completions; 566 rushing yards, 6 TDs
2022 outlook: If we gave out a most improved player of the year award, Harris would have won it in 2021. He stepped up his play and led the Roadrunners to a Conference USA championship and an 11-0 start to the season. Harris took care of the football, played well in clutch moments, and can hurt defenses with his legs more so than Tune or Mordecai. Harris and the passing offense must take another step forward in 2022 with running back Sincere McCormick off to the NFL Draft.
4. Quinn Ewers, Texas
2021 review: Redshirted at Ohio State; took two total snaps
2022 outlook: Ewers took an interesting route to Texas. He was a Longhorn commit at one point in his Southlake Carroll career. Ewers flipped his pledge to Ohio State and reclassified to skip his senior season and cash in on NIL deals. His time in Columbus didn’t go as planned. The former five-star recruit took two snaps, and both were handoffs. Ewers entered the transfer portal and picked the Longhorns and an offense led by Steve Sarkisian. He’ll operate an offense with Bijan Robinson at running back and Xavier Worthy at wide receiver. We’re about to find out if the hype was deserved. Hopefully, Ewers doesn’t end up on the same track as Tate Martell. Ewers is about to play for his third team in three years despite the fact he was supposed to graduate high school this year.
5. Haynes King, Texas A&M
2021 review: Injured during third game of the season
2022 outlook: King was injured against Colorado and the Texas A&M offense never consistently performed well in the passing game. King will be in a position battle with LSU transfer Max Johnson and five-star signee Conner Weigman. King, who was a four-star recruit and state champion at Longview, should possess an advantage given his experience inside an intricate Jimbo Fisher led offense. King is an athletic quarterback with a big arm, which is something Fisher hasn’t had on a consistent basis during his time at Texas A&M.
6. Max Duggan, TCU
2021 review: 2,048 yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs, 63.88 percent completions; 352 rushing yards, 3 TDs
2022 outlook: Duggan never gets the credit he deserves as a talented quarterback with plenty of quality experience. He was held back by the philosophy of the old staff, but that won’t be true with Dykes in town to lead the offense. Duggan could be the breakout player of 2022 if he can stay healthy. His 66.88 percent completion percentage in 2021 was the highest of his career.
7. Gerry Bohanon, Baylor
2021 review: 2,200 yards, 18 TDs, 7 INTs, 62.91 percent completions; 323 rushing yards, 9 TDs
2022 outlook: Bohanon was injured late in the year, which allowed us a glimpse at the potential of Blake Shapen. Bohanon and Shapen, as well as Kyron Drones, should be locked in a quarterback battle throughout the spring and the summer. I’m giving the edge to Bohanon because of his experience and leadership qualities. He didn’t throw an interception in the first half of the season and put the Bears in position to win the Big 12.
8. Tyler Shough, Texas Tech
2021 review: Started four games before season-ending injury
2022 outlook: Shough arrived from Oregon as a transfer with large expectations. He couldn’t fulfill those expectations due to injury. He’ll be playing for his third coaching staff in three years with Joey McGuire’s crew in town. New offensive coordinator Zach Kittley led a record-breaking pass offense in 2021 at Western Kentucky. If healthy, Shough should put up huge numbers in 2022.
9. Gavin Hardison, UTEP
2021 review: 3,218 yards, 18 TDs, 13 INTs, 55.46 percent completions
2022 outlook: Hardison was a boom-or-bust quarterback in 2021. He broke a school record in passing yards despite only completing 55.46 percent of his passes. He also only threw five more touchdown passes than interceptions, and that was with Jacob Cowing at wide receiver. Cowing transferred out of the program in the offseason. Hardison needs to be more consistent and find some new targets in 2022.
10. Layne Hatcher, Texas State
2021 review: Split snaps in 2021 at Arkansas State; 7,427 career passing yards, 65 TDs, 25 INTs, 62 percent completions
2022 outlook: Hatcher transferred inside the Sun Belt from Arkansas State to Texas State, and I’d pick him to be the Week 1 starter for the Bobcats. Hatcher must hold off veterans such as Brady McBride to secure that position. Hatcher was the starter for the Red Wolves in 2019 and 2020 prior to splitting snaps with James Blackman in 2021. His accuracy and big-play ability should provide Texas State with a new offensive dimension.
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