Arch Manning v. Maalik Murphy: Who be the Texas backup quarterback?

Austin, Texas - With Quinn Ewers leading Texas football as the starting quarterback this fall, will Arch Manning or Maalik Murphy be the backup this season?

With Quinn Ewers leading Texas football as the starter quarterback this fall, Arch Manning (l.) and Maalik Murphy are battling it out to be named backup.
With Quinn Ewers leading Texas football as the starter quarterback this fall, Arch Manning (l.) and Maalik Murphy are battling it out to be named backup.  © Collage: Josh Hedges & Tim Warner / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

When head coach Steve Sarkisian named Ewers to the starting quarterback position during spring practice, he left fans with one major question regarding the team: who will be backup?

Redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy and true freshman Arch Manning are currently the two passers battling to be Ewers’ understudy.

Lately, Sarkisian has been enthusiastic about the high level of talent in this year's quarterback group, with Murphy and Manning obviously at the top of his mind.

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"I’d say that competition’s rolling along," Sarkisian said. "Maalik’s done some great things for us, too. And I love it because I think that room, in general, is playing at a higher level than it was in spring. No question. And a higher level than it was a year ago at this time."

Ewers also revealed his feelings about his two teammates, saying: "I think they've both grown a lot. Arch is kind of getting used to the offense and getting used to what it looks like. With Maalik, he's also in Year Two like I am. He's doing the same things I am doing. Learning the offense better. Able to check protections and stuff like that."

Maalik Murphy to edge out Arch Manning for backup position

Maalik Murphy (c.) is further in his progress than Arch Manning and is expected to clinch the backup position.
Maalik Murphy (c.) is further in his progress than Arch Manning and is expected to clinch the backup position.  © Tim Warner / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

While Arch Manning might be attracting most of the preseason attention – Quinn Ewers included – Maalik Murphy is the one probably edging this race at the moment.

He has consistently amazed with his remarkable abilities on the field and physical prowess.

Although he lacks the playing experience of Manning, Murphy is deeply familiar with Texas football due to his time spent with the team.

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Having entered his second year with the program, Murphy has already gained valuable experience training within the Longhorns' offensive system.

Ewers himself acknowledged that Murphy's progress has slightly outpaced Manning's and even suggested he's already at the level of a starting quarterback.

While it is destined to be a tough battle for that starter position, fans can expect the backup question to be answered soon as the Longhorns prepare to kick off their season in two weeks.

Cover photo: Collage: Josh Hedges & Tim Warner / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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