The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 25, 2013

In a league driven by quarterbacks, Ash is the lone star

DALLAS — One would have to go back quite a few years to find a time that the Big 12 Conference didn’t have its fair share of marquee quarterbacks.

But this year, with only two quarterbacks making an appearance at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas — and only one of those two having played in the league — it’s apparent the conference is short of its usual big names under center.

“It’s very surprising to see a down year, but when you have guys like Geno Smith, Colin Klein and just a number of guys, it’s hard to replace players like that,” Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett said. “Coming into this year, when you look at the quarterback position — a player who touches the ball every single play — you have to have somebody in there you can trust.”

So short of quarterbacks is the conference this year that Texas quarterback David Ash, who has been inconsistent the past few years, is considered the veteran quarterback in the league. He is expected to follow the lineage of Vince Young and Colt McCoy.

“We’re a quarterback-driven league, and if you just look at the last 10 years, this league has been known for the best quarterbacks in the country and the best passers and the best offenses,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “So the fact that we’ve struggled at quarterback for two years on and off is a true fact that we’ve struggled as a team some because he touches it every time. He and the center are the only two guys that touch it every time — and the center gets rid of it fast.

“So when you think about the importance of that player at all levels of our game, it is really, really key, and that’s why we’re so excited to have David with experience, with maturity, with confidence not only in himself but in his team.”

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