Quinn Ewers Transfer Decision Gets Interesting Twist After Texas Tech Makes Notable Hire

Quinn Ewers Transfer Portal Texas Tech Zach Kittley

Getty Image

The Air Raid is returning to Lubbock, Texas and it might pay dividends with one of the nation’s most sought-after recruits. Quinn Ewers, who essentially restarted his recruitment by entering the transfer portal last week, could end up choosing the Red Raiders.

Ewers’ situation is unprecedented. After skipping his senior year of high school to reclassify and enroll early at Ohio State, the No. 1 overall prospect in 2021 made a fortune in deals for his Name, Image and Likeness without attempting a single pass, and is now on his way out.

As the dust settles (he only entered the portal on Friday), early suitors from his home state have become the favorites. No matter where he ends up, Ewers is reportedly headed back to Texas.

Of the 12 FBS programs in the Lone Star state, three schools have emerged as his top choices: Texas, Texas Tech, and TCU. He will not be going to Texas A&M.

Texas is considered the favorite until proven otherwise. Head coach Steve Sarkisian has recruited Ewers since his days at Alabama and Ewers grew up as a Longhorns fan.

More than likely, the chance to bring the Texas program back is too great to pass up. However, after a notable hire at Texas Tech, things get a bit more interesting.

Why would a former No. 1 overall recruit chose the Red Raiders?

The answer is five-fold.

  1. Coaching change could prove successful. Earlier this offseason, Texas Tech made a splash in-state by hiring Joey McGuire as head coach. McGuire has deep ties to the state of Texas and has great relationships within the state. He knows people around Ewers well and that could prove valuable. The Red Raiders also made a big move by hiring Zach Kittley as offensive coordinator (we’ll get to that) and is rumored to be considering hiring Ewers’ high school coach.
  2. Name, Image and Likeness opportunity would be lucrative in Lubbock. The Red Raiders’ alumni and fanbase is deep and strong. With a No. 1 recruit on campus, Ewers would be in a position to be the biggest celebrity since Kliff Kingsbury and Michael Crabtree, unlike in Austin, which is bigger than a college town. He would rake in the money.
  3. Immediate playing time is almost guaranteed. At Texas, Ewers may have to sit behind Casey Thompson in 2022. At Texas Tech, Ewers would be the favorite to win the starting job from the moment he arrived on campus.
  4. The Red Raiders have an elite alumnus at the position. Patrick Mahomes and Ewers know each other through training. They have been in relatively frequent communication over the last few years and Mahomes has said before that he will make a push for Ewers to get to Lubbock. At the very least, Ewers is listening.
  5. Offense, offense, offense.

The fifth and final point might be what lands Ewers at Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are set to explode offensively in the next few years after hiring Kittley.

He also has the Mahomes seal of approval.

The bottom line is that Kittley puts up numbers.

The 30-year-old began his coaching career with the Red Raiders as a grad assistant coach and assistant quarterbacks coach under Kingsbury. Kittley learned Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense (which he learned by playing under Mike Leach and coaching under Dana Holgerson), made it his own, and made it pay off.

After leaving Texas Tech, he turned Houston Baptist’s offense into one of the best in the nation as the offensive coordinator. His success has been astronomical in such a short amount of time.

In 2018, the Huskies averaged 27.4 points and 394.3 yards per game. His quarterback, Bailey Zappe, threw 23 touchdowns and broke the school career and single-season records for completions, attempts, yards and touchdowns.

In 2019, HBU put up 426.6 yards per game and had the third-best passing offense in the nation. Zappe led the country in completions and attempts per game, ranked second in passing yards per game and led the nation with 35 regular season touchdown passes.

During the COVID-19-shortened year, Zappe completed 65.6% of his passes for 1,833 yards and 15 touchdowns in only four games.

And then, ahead of the 2021 season, Kittley accepted the same role at Western Kentucky and brought Zappe with him. What he has done this year is crazy.

The Hilltoppers averaged 43.1 points per game (2nd in Division-I) after averaging only 19 in the year prior. Kittley throws the ball a lot and it has turned Zappe into a legitimate NFL prospect.

Zappe is currently on pace to break the NCAA single-season records for passing yards and touchdown passes with one bowl game left. Though 13 games, he is currently 443-of-640 for 5,545 yards and 56 touchdowns.

Why wouldn’t Ewers want to plug right into an offense where he could throw the ball close to 700 times per season? Doesn’t that sound fun?