Austin Longhorns

Will This Be Sam Ehlinger’s Final Season As A Longhorn?

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Sam is apparently contemplating entering the 2020 NFL draft, forgoing his senior year at Texas. As a fan, this of course would break my burnt orange soul. While there’s a lot of football left to be played in the 2019 season, it’s clear Sam is just now hitting his stride.

The 2017 class has been able to turn the ship around here in Austin, but Sam is the focal point, the captain of that ship. If he were to in fact leave early, it would no doubt be a crushing blow to how far Texas has come these past few years to being back.

While I hate already looking towards next season, especially when we clearly still control our own destiny this season, I just do not think this team or coaching staff is ready for what is to come if he were to leave early. Plus, one more year of Sam would allow for the perfect transition into his replacement, Hudson Card.

However, no matter what Sam may be thinking now, how this season plays out is sure to have an impact on his mindset in regard to his decision on declaring for the NFL draft.

Lets say we win the remaining regular season games, win the Big12 and then go on to win a National Championship, then of course the writing is on the wall, Sam will leave. Even if he just wins the Big12, I think he still leaves. Why wouldn’t he? There would be nothing left for him to do or prove in college? I get Sam considers himself more than athlete, he’s in McCombs, but he can always later come back and get his degree.

On the flip side, if Sam has a season ending injury or a heart breaking Big12 loss, I think he is a lock to come back for his senior year in order to finish the job. He’s just to damn competitive not to. No matter what Sam may say now, I just cannot see him going out like that.

If I were an agent though, I would be telling Sam to get the hell out of college. First of all, he’s good enough to go pro now. Personally, I’m willing to bet anyone who will take it that Sam will get drafted top three rounds if he leaves after this season. While people may disagree with me on his draft position, no one disagrees he will get drafted. So, why risk getting hurt playing college ball?

With UT’s offense centered around Sam and him running the ball essentially once every five plays, it’s inevitable he will suffer some sort of injury in the next two years. It’s just not logical for him to keep putting himself in harms way of an ACL/shoulder injury that drops his draft stock significantly or even worse, a career ending injury.

Also, why not get paid as soon as possible. In the NFL, you want to get your three year rookie contract done, so you can start making the real, veteran money. Sam might as well declare for the draft, if needed ride the bench for a couple years, get out of his rookie contract while still young and healthy and start raking in the dough. It just makes too much sense both football and financially for Sam to leave early.

At the end of the day, I am just a Sam stan who desperately wants to see him succeed and fulfill what he was born to do, bring Austin another National Championship. Sam deserves it. Austin deserves it. Coach Herman deserves it. I deserve it. And Bevo sure a fuck deserves it. So, Sam, if you are reading this you have my permission to do whatever is best for you and your family but PLEASE bring us a Natty first.

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