Longhorns quarterback David Ash has grown as a leader, decision-maker

Ash is not yet in the class of former Texas stud QBs Colt McCoy, Vince Young or Major Applewhite. But he could be soon enough.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 7, 2012

You won't mistake David Ash for Colt McCoy.

He's not Vince Young or Major Applewhite. He's not yet one of those iconic Texas quarterbacks.

But he's not Garrett Gilbert either.

Heck, he's not even the David Ash of a year ago.

The Longhorns' struggles at quarterback are over. Problems that plagued Texas these past two seasons have been solved by Ash, and that has never been more evident than heading into Saturday's showdown with the Sooners.

He's coming off a pair of outstanding outings. Against Oklahoma State and West Virginia, he completed nearly 79 percent of his attempts and averaged 286.5 yards.

“He's always had a great arm,” receiver Jaxon Shipley said, “but he's making a lot better decisions this year.”

Best for Texas, Ash committed just one turnover in those pressure-cooker games vs. OSU and WVU.

He was a turnover machine a year ago.

No more.

“He has really grown up,” Texas coach Mack Brown said after his team's game at OSU. “He's the leader of this football team.”

I don't pretend to know if Ash is the Longhorns' leader, but there's absolutely no doubt that he's grown up a ton.

That was evident during one telling sequence against the Cowboys. Early in the third quarter, Tyler Johnson intercepted an Ash pass. It was the quarterback's first pick of the season, and it led to an OSU touchdown that cut Texas' lead to one.

On the Longhorns' next possession, Ash was perfect. He completed each of the six passes that he threw, including a 7-yard touchdown pass.

There's little chance that would've happened a year ago.

“Last year, he had bad body language,” Brown said. “He was hard on himself.”

Now?

“He came out and knew he made the poor throw ... but he moved on and forgot it.”

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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