Veteran Ash eager to get UT season started

BY foxsports • July 23, 2013

DALLAS – Last year the Texas Longhorns showed up at Big 12 media days without a quarterback to represent the team.
    
The Longhorns weren't sure at the time who would win the job.
    
This year there are no doubts as junior David Ash is back to lead the newly revamped up-tempo offense for the Longhorns.
    
Ash started 12 games for the 9-4 Longhorns last season and closed out the year by leading the Longhorns to a come-from-behind victory over Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl.
    
The Longhorns have loftier ambitions than the Alamo Bowl this season and having a veteran like Ash calling the shots in one of the big reasons why.
    
"When you think about the importance of that player (the quarterback) at all levels of our game, it is really, really key, and that's why we're so excited to have David with experience, with maturity, with confidence not only in himself but in his team," Texas head coach Mack Brown said Tuesday. "He's leading the team much better, and they believe in him right now. Sitting here the last two years, I haven't been able to say that."

Ash and the Longhorns have done a lot to prepare him for a big junior season. He's been able to talk to former Texas quarterbacks Vince Young and Colt McCoy about his game since last year. Young stressed that Ash has to be the team leader while McCoy helped Ash with the fundamentals, footwork and his approach to the game. Ash has also been able to go to co-offensive coordinator Major Applewhite, another former Texas great, for advice whenever he needs it.

While he has support from former UT greats, he also has a team around him that believes he can lead them to victories.  Brown stressed the importance of that to Ash before the Alamo Bowl last season when he asked him why Tom Brady was his favorite professional quarterback.
    
"He said ‘You have to make your teammates buy into you the way everybody buys into Tom Brady,'" Ash said. "You have to do something that makes them think something good's about to happen."
    
Ash made enough good things happen last year after winning the starting quarterback job over Case McCoy.

He threw for 2,699 yards and 19 touchdowns and ran for another 237 yards. But he wasn't as consistent as he wanted to be. He had three 300-yard games but also struggled against Oklahoma before he injured his wrist and again in a loss to TCU. Ash said Tuesday he suffered broken ribs early in that loss and did not play in the next game against Kansas State.
    
While Ash put up nice numbers last season, he has a chance to easily surpass those numbers this fall. The Longhorns are picking up the pace offensively and would like to have 15 to 20 more offensive plays a game.
    
That's 15 or 20 more plays for Ash to contribute, which is something he's looking forward to.
    
"I love putting up yards," Ash said. "I love being explosive as an offense. Fifteen or 20 more chances gives you 15 or 20 more to make things happen."
    
And this year the Longhorns already know who they'll be leaning to for that to happen.


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