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NCAAF Expert's Ranking For Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger

Texas QB Sam Ehlinger celebrating.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01: Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns celebrates after defeating the Georgia Bulldogs 28-21 during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Texas' Sam Ehlinger is entering his third season with the Longhorns, and his second as a full-time starter. There are sizable expectations for both he and the team.

Texas showed some of its potential with a 10-win season last year, beating Oklahoma and Georgia in the process. Ehlinger, meanwhile, proved himself to be a formidable dual-threat quarterback as a sophomore.

He started all 14 games for UT, throwing for 3,292 yards and 25 touchdowns. On the ground, he gained 482 yards and found the end zone 16 times.

When Athlon Sports released its rankings of all 130 starting quarterbacks on the FBS level, Ehlinger's name was high on the list. He came in third, behind only Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence.

Ehlinger was ahead of Oregon's Justin Herbert and Georgia's Jake Fromm, both of whom could be first-round picks in next year's NFL Draft.

The Longhorns return only seven starters from last year’s 10-win team, so coach Tom Herman and his staff have some retooling to do on both sides of the ball. However, having an All-Big 12 quarterback like Ehlinger certainly eases a lot of concerns.

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If Ehlinger stays healthy, Texas will once again make a run at the Big 12 title.

Ehlinger must stay healthy this year, which won't be an easy task considering the amount of hits he takes. He has rushed the ball 278 times in his two-year career.

If he remains on the field and continues to progress as a passer (his completion percentage rose from 57.5 to 64.7 percent from this freshman to sophomore seasons), there's no reason why Ehlinger can't live up to this preseason ranking and have Texas in the thick of the Big 12 hunt.

You can read Athlon's full rankings list here.