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Sam Ehlinger was drafted by the Colts this year and is set to make his first NFL start. (Texas Football/Twitter)

Austin native and University of Texas alumnus Sam Ehlinger is poised to start in the first game of his NFL career this weekend.

The news comes after the Indianapolis Colts announced that Carson Wentz has been placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, opening up the starting quarterback spot for rookie Ehlinger.

Ehlinger will get the start as Indianapolis (9-6) hosts the Las Vegas Raiders (8-7) on Jan. 2. This is a crucial game for both teams, as the Raiders look to get into the playoff picture and the Colts look to hold onto their spot.

Ehlinger has only made three appearances for the Colts in 2021, most recently against the Houston Texans on Dec. 5. In his three appearances, he has attempted only three passes and a total of nine yards.

In the preseason, Ehlinger helped lead the Colts to a 21-18 comeback win over the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 21. In the game he threw 10-15 for 155 yards.

Before being drafted by Indianapolis in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL draft, Ehlinger played at UT from 2017-2020. He saw much success during his time at UT, leading the team to 27 wins as the starting quarterback. Under Ehlinger, the Longhorns saw the most success during the 2018 season in which Ehlinger passed for 25 touchdowns, rushed for 16 touchdowns and led the Longhorns to a 10-4 overall record. After losing to Oklahoma in the 2018 Big 12 Championship Game, UT went on to defeat Georgia University 28-21 in the 2018 Sugar Bowl.

Ehlinger was a four-star recruit coming out of Austin’s Westlake High School. He left Westlake as the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns; the records were just broken this year by Cade Klubnik. Ehlinger committed to UT on July 28, 2015.


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