Texas QB David Ash Medically Cleared

Jan 18, 2014 11:50 PM EST

If Charlie Strong wants 2014 to be any different than Mack Brown's final few seasons at Texas, he needs to get better quarterback play.

It's good news for the Longhorns, then, that David Ash has been medically cleared for offseason training after missing most of 2013 due to concussion symptoms.

No one's expecting a Teddy Bridgewater performance out of Texas' quarterback this season, but Strong needs someone to emerge if the team has any hope of competing with the likes of Oklahoma, Baylor and Kansas State for a conference crown.

We'll never know if a healthy Ash would've saved Brown's job, but the quarterback generated considerable hype before the season as the potential answer. He failed to impress in a 40-21 loss to BYU on Sept. 7 before leaving with a concussion in the second half, then missed all but two quarters of the rest of the season.

Ash could repeat his junior season pending an appeal for a medical redshirt, but isn't guaranteed the job over touted freshman Tyrone Swoopes. Brown decided to burn Swoopes' redshirt once it became apparent that Ash couldn't go, but the 6-foot-4, 245-pound specimen attempted only 13 passes and ran 20 times in mop-up duty behind Case McCoy.

Coordinator Joe Wickline and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson are expected to install a new offense this spring, and with a competition likely, it's imperative that both players get to participate in practice.