Texas quarterback David Ash has faced a lot of adversity during his first two years on the forty-acres. But this off-season has been different for Ash. It's the first time he has been the guy to lead the Longhorns on and off the field. It's the first time he has been taking the majority of reps in summer workouts, and it's the first time he has been in the position to teach fellow teammates how things work as a Longhorn.
"It feels different being the guy and knowing you have the support," David Ash said. "You don't have to worry so much about keeping your job as much as you just have to worry about winning games.
"I remember my role as a freshman was to come in to 7-on-7 and beg for a rep. Last year it was kind of like Case (McCoy) and me trying to coordinate things and trying to go back and forth in the summer. Now this year it has just been my deal. I've taken everybody on. I've had to organize stuff. I kind of have to be the offensive coordinator and the coach during the summer.
"You can learn something but probably the best way to learn it is to teach it. I think being able to teach it to guys, not only does it help me to learn it better and have to be on top of my game, but that communication also helps my offensive lineman, my running backs and my wide receivers know that I know what I'm doing and you can be confident in that because I know it."
David Ash has taken his role as a leader to help underclassmen, primarily incoming freshman quarterback Tyrone Swoopes.
"It's kind of cool how things have turned coming in and not getting a lot of work in the summer for my first year. Now I'm at a stage where I have to teach the next quarterback and being at a place where I can teach him and can give him reps. And get him ready to play for whenever it is his turn to play, he will be ready. Hopefully whenever I get done, Texas is at a level where it needs to be and Tyrone can step in and keep rolling.
"Tyrone is physically gifted. He's smart. He's a quick learner. It's hard to say until he gets out there and you see him but I think he's learning and I think he's fully capable of being a great quarterback."
Being a vocal leader is not something that comes naturally to Ash. Rather than ignoring it, Ash looked to former Texas and NFL quarterback Vince Young for guidance.
"Being in contact with someone who has done it and knowing, if he can do it, then I can do it too. He (Vince Young) was always giving me advice and I really appreciated it. I took a lot of things I took away.
"The most important thing that I took away was I had to be visible to my teammates. He (Vince Young) didn't tell me I had to change who I was or had to be Vince Young or anything. He said be who you are but be visible and be around. He said if you do that then it will all come together.
"I think different people have different levels of loudness. But people can be vocal in different ways. I've always been a communicator. I've always talked to guys. I'm not necessarily a cheerleader. I'm not going to get everybody in and get my pom poms up to get everyone inspired. But I am going to talk to them about what needs to happen for us to win games. I'm going to talk to them about what we need to do if they change the coverage or how we're going to pick up the blitz on the next series. I'm going to be good for that. And I'm going to be vocal in that. That's what I think is important."