Texas head coach Tom Herman went all in on 2020 quarterback Hudson Card, offering the 2020 signal caller before he had even become a full-time starter at the high school level. From right down the road in Lakeway the Lake Travis product hopes to follow in the shoes of former rival Sam Ehlinger (of Westlake) as another Austin-area high school product with success in a Burnt Orange jersey. Let’s have a look at some of the reasons that Hudson Card is the lynchpin in the Longhorns’ 2020 class.
Name brand high school
Lake Travis is one of the top quarterback factory high schools in the entire country. Baker Mayfield, Todd Reesing, Michael Brewer, Charlie Brewer and Garrett Gilbert all wore a Cavalier jersey before going on to start at Division I programs over the last 13 years. Some Texas fans might try to forget about the last name on that list, but Gilbert’s struggles at Texas had just as much to do with timing as anything else and he went on to be a successful college quarterback, rewriting most of the passing records at SMU. He’s currently in his fifth year in the NFL.
Not only does playing for the Lake Travis coaching staff, which traces its roots all the way back to current Arkansas head coach Chad Morris, give prospects a leg up because of their pubringing, it also means that he’s been battle tested by playing in some huge high-pressure games already in his career. Whether it was the Alamodome against Converse Judson or NRG Stadium against Galena Park North Shore Card has seen big crowds and talented competition in just one year as a high school starter at quarterback.
There’s also the pipeline factor. Having a talent hotbed like Lake Travis in your backyard should all but guarantee some of that talent lands on your roster, but nothing is certain in today’s ultra-competitive recruiting environment. Just like with nearby Westlake, it’s always wise to have a few guys on the roster from the greater Austin area to keep the talent flowing for the future.
Before Card took his turn under center he was already a superstar high school athlete at wide receiver, where he amassed over 1,000 receiving yards on the way to the state championship game. Tom Herman’s scheme requires a mobile quarterback and Card fits that bill to a T. He’s not track fast, clocking in at around 4.8 in the 40-yard dash at the opening, but he’s got football speed and quickness and looks faster in pads than he does running drills. Even more importantly, he already has the intangible quality that makes a scrambling quarterback a hundred times more dangerous - he keeps his eyes downfield when he’s on the run.
Oh yeah, and he can throw it, too
Make no mistake about it, we kind of buried the lede here. Card can make all the throws he’ll need to at the next level. He fits the ball into tight windows, anticipates routes and does a great job throwing guys open - particularly for a high school junior. There’s still some rawness there, but that’s a good thing as it means there’s room to grow once he gets to Texas.