Allstate Sugar Bowl - Texas v Washington
Getty Images

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers will bypass the 2024 NFL Draft return for a third season with the Longhorns in 2024, he announced Thursday on Instagram. Ewers, who checks in at No. 30 in CBS Sports' NFL Draft Prospect Rankings, helped guide Texas to a breakthrough season in 2023. The Longhorns won their first Big 12 championship since 2009 and reached the College Football Playoff before falling to Washington in the Sugar Bowl semifinal. 

Ewers displayed considerable growth during his second season as QB1 after his Longhorns debut in 2022 was plagued by an early season injury and inconsistency the rest of the way. He ended the 2023 season with 3,479 yards passing and 22 touchdowns against six interceptions, and he rushed for an additional five touchdowns.

Ewers missed two starts midseason after suffering an injury at Houston, but the Texas won both games amid his absence as backup Maalik Murphy filled his place. Murphy has since transferred to Duke

With Ewers' decision now official, it's unfinished business for the former No. 1 overall recruit in the country as the Longhorns seek a return to the College Football Playoff in 2024, still in pursuit of their first national championship since 2005. The 2024 campaign also sees Texas make a much-anticipated move to the SEC alongside rival Oklahoma, and it will force Ewers and the Longhorns to be at their best with the competition significantly raised from the Big 12. Adding to an already difficult slate is a nonconference road game against reigning national champion Michigan in September. 

"I want to be the quarterback who worked every year to get better," Ewers told ESPN. "The quarterback who loved his teammates, the quarterback who won a lot of football games and brought Texas football back to the top of college football where it belongs."

Another year of development for Arch Manning

Had Ewers declared for the 2024 NFL Draft, it would have given way to the dawn of the Arch Manning era on the Forty Acres after the former top prospect in the 2023 recruiting cycle spent this past season as Longhorns' third-string quarterback. Instead, Manning will presumably have to wait another season before he gets his chance at being QB1 -- at least if he intends for that opportunity to come at Texas. 

Given that Manning only played sparingly in 2023 -- he didn't appear in a game until the final week of the regular season -- it may very well serve him and the rest of the Texas offense best to spend another season learning behind Ewers before his time comes to experience the limelight. The Longhorns' leading four receivers from 2023 all declared for the draft, so having a veteran quarterback like Ewers still in place should mitigate any extra growing pains that would come with a quarterback change on top of that. Not to mention, there's the adjustment to the SEC. 

Playing time aside, Manning still figures to be one of the most instantly-recognizable names in the sport in 2024, just as he was during his redshirt season. But from a competition standpoint, the starting job at Texas is all but a lock to go to Ewers for a third straight season.