Don't Let Tyrone Swoopes' Spring Game Stats Fool You, Texas Needs David Ash

Taylor GasparFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2014

Apr 19, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Texas Longhorns quarterback Tyrone Swoopes (18) passes the ball during the Spring Game at Texas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

"I wanted our ones to come out with confidence," Texas head coach Charlie Strong said after the spring game. "When you match up ones versus ones and the offense doesn't score, then they will feel like they're a long ways away."

Quarterback Tyrone Swoopes took the first-team reps Saturday against the second-team defense in the annual Orange-White Scrimmage, but his lack of experience was very apparent throughout the entire first half.

Swoopes completed 44 percent of his passes throughout the first half but shook off the slow start and completed nine of 12 passing attempts in the second half. He finished the game with 229 passing yards and three touchdowns. 

Swoopes' second-half performance was a positive step for the young player, but Texas fans should tread carefully before anointing Swoopes as the guy to lead the Longhorns. The reason for that is simple: Swoopes ran the first-team offense against the second-team defense. 

The spring game was the first time many Texas fans were able to witness the changes Strong and his staff have made for the Longhorns. The defense had a nice showing against the Longhorns offense, but that is not the best news for the quarterback position.

When Strong discussed the Longhorns scrimmages during spring practice, he mentioned that the ones went against the ones and twos versus twos, but the coaching staff chose to change it up for the spring game. 

Swoopes is obviously a talented player, but the best bet for the Longhorns at quarterback is David Ash. Before his injury, Strong commended Ash for how well he was practicing and said he had established himself. 

Texas quarterback David Ash battled injuries throughout the 2013 season.
Texas quarterback David Ash battled injuries throughout the 2013 season.eric gay

"You would have never known that he had the injury by just how well he has been practicing and the way he has been carrying himself," Strong said. "I wouldn't say that he is the clear No. 1, but he has established himself. He did a great job learning the offense and terminology and wanting to lead the team."

Ash's injury history is not something to overlook. He missed the last game of the 2012 regular season due to a rib injury and was sidelined throughout the majority of the 2013 season with recurring concussion symptoms. His most recent injury, a Jones fracture in his left foot, will require surgery. 

Some fans may be eager for incoming freshman Jerrod Heard to get to Austin; however, expecting Heard to start in 2014 is fairly unrealistic. Heard had a fantastic high school career and is obviously an extremely talented player, but the best-case scenario for Texas fans is for Heard to redshirt his first season and learn the college game with Ash leading the way.

With his injured past and, at times, inconsistent play, Ash is still the best option to lead the Longhorns in 2014.


All quotes were obtained firsthand.

Taylor Gaspar is Bleacher Report's featured columnist covering the Texas Longhorns. Follow her on Twitter: @Taylor_Gaspar.