Texas football: 3 biggest offseason questions facing Steve Sarkisian’s Longhorns in 2021

Steve Sarkisian, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports)
Steve Sarkisian, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports) /
3 of 3
Casey Thompson, Texas Longhorns
Casey Thompson, Texas Longhorns. (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

1. Who replaces Sam Ehlinger under center?

It truly is the end of an era in Austin. With Ehlinger turning pro and former head coach Tom Herman no longer part of the program, it will be up to Sarkisian to cultivate the quarterbacking talent at Texas, as well as hit is hard on the recruiting trails. While he will need to do whatever it takes to get Quinn Ewers to re-commit to Texas, he has to figure who will replace Ehlinger.

There are two candidates in-house in Casey Thompson and Hudson Card. Thompson is the likelier of the two to take over the reins of the Texas offense, although with it being a totally new coaching staff, Card may have a better chance to win the starting job than we previously thought otherwise. Either way, we have uncertainty at the quarterbacking position in Austin in 2021.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. The quickest way for the Longhorns to get better is to have open competition across all positions. If a guy wants to have a starting job with this team, he will have to go out and earn it. Once again, if Sarkisian is about the work and having his players put in the work, then this program can get turned around here shortly. They do not have that far to go.

However, the last little bit, essentially going from good to great, is the hardest part of college football program building. Sarkisian is being tasked to make Texas more or less 1.5 wins a season better than his predecessor. If the Longhorns can regularly go 10-2 or 11-1, it will go a long towards Texas being back. Of course, picking the right next starting quarterback would not hurt.

Ultimately, there are plenty of questions to be answered any time a new head coach comes in to take over a blue-blooded program. Even if Texas has been in somewhat of a trough for the last decade-plus, there is reason to believe Sarkisian can be the guy to get the Longhorns back to what they were during the peak of the Mack Brown era in Austin. All gas, no breaks. Let’s go!

Establishing an identity, offensively and defensively, is paramount for Sarkisian in year one.

Next. College football rankings: Way-too-early Top 25. dark

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.