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Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Four downs: Is David Ash the right pick?

By Sean Adams

Every week Sean Adams takes a look at some topics around the Texas Longhorns and college football.

First down: Is David Ash the right choice?

David Ash
Quarterback David Ash will start for the Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl, but the future of the position is unclear for 2013.
Does David Ash have "it?" Can we even define what "it" is? Do we go with the Royalism (named after Texas legend Darrell K Royal) of, "If you have to ask the question about whether he has 'it,' he doesn’t." The questions are everywhere.

Can an introvert win at Texas? Which big-time quarterbacks have had a high level of success with the personality trait of being an introvert? Eli Manning is the only one I can think of. The fact that I have to ask that question and search for the answer should give us an indication of the actual answer.

With all of that said, Ash is still the best choice right now for the quarterback position at Texas going into the Valero Alamo Bowl. He is the quarterback with the most experience, the most success and the skill set to complete the task.

He needs to trust himself and trust his preparation and he will be just fine. New quarterbacks coach and play-caller Major Applewhite will be a great communicator with him over the next week and Ash should have a solid game plan going into the game vs. Oregon State.

Second down: Quandre the Giant at Safety

With depth issues at safety going into the Alamo bowl, Quandre Diggs has been practicing at safety. Texas will lose its best defender in Kenny Vaccaro and that leaves Adrian Phillips and Mykkele Thompson as the de-facto starters for 2013. If play on the field is an indicator, that might scare some people. While both have had bright spots, neither has shown to be impact hitters or emotional leaders.

Diggs, however, could be a leader in the defensive backfield. He can put himself in a place to lead the defense and make sure everyone is lined up and ready for their assignments.

He is aggressive, stands tall to every challenge and is as physical as any cornerback in the Big 12 . There is a reason why he will be a four-year starter for the Longhorns.

With the depth better at cornerback than at safety, this becomes the easy choice for a guy who is already a made man on the defense.

Third down: New does not mean bad

Some players will feel like they have a better shot at playing time next year whether it is true or not. Applewhite will bring great energy to the Alamo Bowl.

He will be aggressive as is his nature and will test every part of the Oregon State defense. Applewhite being the new play-caller will pay dividends right away.

Will it be enough to win? That is a question that will need some help from the defense but I fully expect the Texas offense to score some points and play an exciting brand of football under Applewhite's watch.

Fourth down: Texas quarterbacks

As the NFL regular season winds down to a close on Sunday, there will be nine starting quarterbacks who hail from the state of Texas. There will be seven backups who played their high school ball in Texas.

That is a total of 16 quarterbacks that cut their teeth in the game of football on Friday nights in Texas. Crazy enough, only one of the 16 quarterbacks played at the University of Texas and that is the Cleveland Browns' Colt McCoy.

The state is ripe with great signal-callers every year and while the best of the NFL best have not made their way to Austin as of late, they have littered the country and represent the state of Texas well.