Sarkisian praises emerging talent of young QB Ewers

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 23 Texas Spring Game
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AUSTIN, Texas – Freshman Quinn Ewers was named the starting quarterback at Texas because he’s a talent who can “make all the throws,” Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian said Monday.

Sarkisian announced last week that Ewers would get the start over Hudson Card in the Sept. 3 season opener against Louisiana-Monroe and presumably a week later against No. 1 Alabama. There’s little reason to project beyond that because Card was the starter for two games last season and then lost the job after a blowout loss to Arkansas.

“I think Quinn provides the ability to make all the throws in our system. I think he’s got playmaking ability. He’s got natural passing ability,” Sarkisian said in his first public comments since announcing the decision. “It was a tough decision.”

What Ewers doesn’t have is much experience. He hasn’t played meaningful football since his junior year of high school.

Ewers was one of the top-rated recruits going into his senior season at Southlake Carroll High School near Dallas in 2021 and enrolled early at Ohio State. But after a season on the bench in Columbus deep down the depth chart, Ewers headed back to his home state.

He arrived in time for spring practice to start a full-blown competition with Card, who wasn’t ready to concede his second chance. Sarkisian announced his decision Friday, a day before the team held its final closed scrimmage of preseason training camp.

“I think they’ve worked well with one another, but they’ve focused on themselves,” Sarkisian said.

Neither player was made available to the media on Monday.

Texas went 5-7 in 2021 in Sarkisian’s first season in Austin. Quarterback Casey Thompson led the Big 12 in passing touchdowns with 24 but transferred to Nebraska.

Sarkisian said he’s expecting some missteps from his freshman quarterback but put that on the coaching staff to work through.

“I’m a realist. We’re going to have some growing pains, but that’s OK. I still think we’re a pretty good football team with key veterans in key spots that can help alleviate that,” Sarkisian said.

Sarkisian would not commit to playing Card at some point in the first game, but he noted Card was needed several times last season and has to be ready to play when called upon.

“There’s going to come a point in our season, whether it’s one play or one drive or one game, or two games, we’re going to need Hudson Card to (win) a championship,” Sarkisian said. “Hudson’s job is to compete, to either make Quinn better or pass him.”

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.