Texas Longhorn quarterback Sam Ehlinger was asked an interesting question during a recent Zoom meeting with the media on Monday afternoon.
With everything he's already accomplished in a Burnt Orange uniform, does he think he needs a conference title to complete his legacy?
"I think that's that's up for you (the media) to determine," Ehlinger responded. "I know for myself, my mission at the University of Texas was is to to leave the program better than better than it was when I got here."
"And (if) the program is better than then than it was when I first got here, three and a half years ago, then I would say that that that was a success in my mind."
It's a solid answer to a tough question on the part of the Texas quarterback. By that standard his career has already been a raving success, even if he never takes another snap in a Longhorn uniform.
Not even in today's world of frequent lunatic hot sports takes would anyone make the argument that the program isn't in better shape in the Year of Our Lord 2020 than it was back in the spring of 2017 when Ehlinger arrived on campus.
The young man from Westlake has already earned folk-hero status on the Forty Acres. He's earned free drinks for life any time decides to step foot in an Austin watering hole.
Just take a look at last year's 8-5 campaign for an example. Fans enduring the Charlie Strong years at Texas would have killed for an 8-5 season that finished with a blowout bowl win over a potential top 10 team.
Last season those results led to an unruly fan base and a massive overhaul of the Longhorns coaching staff.
Ehlinger's play has helped raise the bar of expectations at Texas. He's re-awakened a dormant, but never completely vacant desire in the Longhorns' fan base to be the best - the best in the conference and even more, the best in the entire country.
Thanks to his play on the field, Ehlinger's senior season comes with the burden of those expectations.
The next few months (hopefully) will decide if Sam Ehlinger is the guy who gets a standing ovation from the crowd when the camera pans to him in attendance at Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium or if he's the guy with his own statue out in front of the building?
Sam Ehlinger's career highlights (so far)
- Beat out a talented incumbent as a true freshman and led the team to its first winning record in three years.
- Broke the Longhorns bowl drought in the same season and has a perfect 3-0 record as a starter in bowl games, including a career-defining win over Georgia in the 2018 Sugar Bowl.
- Led the Texas Longhorns to their first Big 12 Championship Game appearance in nine years in 2018.
- Has a 45-41 win over Oklahoma in one of the all-time great quarterback performances in the history of the Red River Showdown.
- Ranks No. 2 all-time in passing yards and passing touchdowns in program history with 8,870 - ahead of guys like Major Applewhite, Vince Young and James Brown.
- His 2019 season was No. 2 all time in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns.
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