When Ja’Quinden Jackson went down in the UIL 6A Division I semifinal, that was the deciding blow in the playoffs. Even with Zach Evans suspended, the North Shore Mustangs were too tough for Duncanville to overcome with Dematrius Davis running the show. The more interesting battles, especially for Texas fans, were in the quarterfinals and semifinals, where both Duncanville and North Shore faced blue chip quarterbacks with Texas commitments or offers in Lake Travis’ Hudson Card and Southlake Carroll’s Quinn Ewers.
Heading into 2018 there just wasn’t a ton of optimism about the Texas Longhorns. The 2017 team was expected to be pretty good because Tom Herman was inheriting a solid offense from Charlie Strong, albeit one that had depended on departing running back D’Onta Foreman, and a lot of NFL talent across the defense. The first Todd Orlando defense made good but Herman’s offense collapsed after losing starting tackle Elijah Rodriguez and tight end Andrew Beck in fall camp and then losing the star tackle Connor Williams in the third game of the season.
Texas’ Sam Ehlinger isn’t the only quarterback entering his senior season in the Big 12. Kansas State signal-caller Skylar Thompson, who emerged from both a depth chart battle and a head coaching change as QB1 in Manhattan, has one more year under Chris Klieman to ascend the record books, get his first win versus the Longhorns and contend for a conference title.