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Sam Ehlinger "Back to Basics" Learning With Indianapolis Colts

Sam Ehlinger won't be the starter Week 1, but the Indianapolis Colts have a good one with the Texas alum

Sam Ehlinger woke up Saturday morning and called it "his Christmas morning." The first two days of the NFL Draft have come and gone, but he knew this would be the day teams were targeting him. 

Ehlinger waited through Round 4. No buzz. Round 5 came. Phone silent. The day flew by as players like Caden Sterns and Ta'Quon Graham heard their names called earlier. 

He never lost hope that soon, it'd be his turn. Just as the sixth-round moved into the compensatory selections, Ehlinger's phone range. 

A 463 area-code was on the other line. Indianapolis had just made him a Colt. 

CONTINUE READING: Pilot Point ATH Ish Harris Names Texas As Top-5 Finalist

"To even be considered in the NFL draft is an unbelievable blessing," Ehlinger told reporters following his selection Saturday. "It's something I've always dreamed of. From an emotional standpoint, I'm just so thankful. I know that very few people get to have this opportunity." 

Ehlinger was chosen with the No. 218 selection in the 2021 NFL Draft. Colts GM sees value in adding proven winner to a franchise looking to win now with the starters at hand. 

He'll have the chance to learn under Carson Wentz and compete with former fourth-round pick Jacob Eason for the role of QB No. 2. Perhaps if Wentz's struggles, he'll compete for QB No. 1. 

"I'm looking forward to just learning and playing at the professional level. Learning what it takes to be successful," Ehlinger said. "What better guy than Carson Wentz be able to learn from." 

Ballard is banking on Wentz's "yips" to be left in Philadelphia. The Eagles and the former No. 2 selection had a falling out just before the start of his extension.

Indianapolis though believes that with the return of former Eagles OC Frank Reich, Wentz will be back to 2017 MVP form. 

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The Colts though are always looking for winners to build that mentality inside Lucas Oil Stadium. Ehlinger exudes that with his persona, mentality and overall production with the Longhorns. A four-year starter played in 46 games, helping Texas go 4-0 in bowl victories. 

Reich's offense will trust the run early and often. The team features names like Jonathan Taylor, Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines to bolster the ground-and-pound approach. Add Ehlinger to that mix since he's been known to break off for big gains under center as well. 

Ehlinger rushed for 1,907 yards and 33 touchdowns in four seasons, topping out at 663 rushing yards in 2019. 

"I always had a good feeling on the Colts," Ehlinger said on the draft process of landing in Indianapolis. "I always had a great conversation with them. I knew it was a great landing location for me." 

READ MORE: To Win a Title, Longhorns Have to 'Be Like 'Bama' in the NFL Draft

The question now is what will Eghlinger's role be? There's no chance barring an injury he trots out as the Week 1 starter. That doesn't mean he won't have a role on the offense. 

Teams are always looking to add an extra element on offense. With the Colts, keeping the run game alive is something that could play in Ehlinger's favor. No, he's not Taysom Hill 2.0, but there's a chance he can be a run-first option when called to play under center. 

"They have a winning tradition," Ehlinger said on his new club. "The obviously have great players on both sides of the ball and so, to be able to have the opportunity to learn from them, that's what I'm trying to go into with it and learn as much as possible to what it takes to be successful." 

Successful in the NFL is one thing. It's a different sport at the collegiate level. Ehlinger won't hold the records set by Colt McCoy during the former Longhorns time in Austin, but he comes pretty darn close. 

He'll finish his time at Texas second in passing yards (11,436) and touchdown passes (94) and fourth in wins (27). Those numbers soon won't be forgotten, let alone replaced by the "next guy" found in DKR.

The legacy he'll bring to the NFL is one thing. The one found already in Austin has been cemented. Leaving for the next chapter, the Westlake alum can look back on his time in Austin, knowing Texas is in a better place then when he found it. 

"I think everything is headed in the right direction," Ehlinger said. "I think that they have a lot of good talent in place, some great coaches and I can't wait to see what happens this season.

"We didn't win a championship which was our ultimate goal but, I think that things are trending in that direction."

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