Kevin Sumlin prepares for the Texas A&M Aggies next season with an all too familiar question looming. Who will be the next Aggies’ quarterback?
The question has troubled Sumlin in the past. The magic of Johnny Manziel brought three top recruits to the team the next three seasons. But all three have since left the program.
Kenny Hill started by leading the team to a 5-0 start, but a three game losing streak forced Sumlin to bench the four-star recruit. He then transferred to TCU at the end of his sophomore season.
Next up was the five-star recruit Kyle Allen. He played 20 games between his freshman and sophomore year before Allen too transferred out of Aggie land. Two weeks later, the other five-star recruit, Kyle Murray, suddenly transferred to Oklahoma after playing just eight games.
TAMU transfer QBs
-Kenny Hill -> TCU
-Kyler Murray -> Okla
-Matt Davis -> SMU
-Kyle Allen -> Houston
If you wanted a list…
— Christian Page (@_ChristianPage) December 30, 2016
The record echoed the inconsistency at the position. The Aggies just finished their fourth straight non-winning record in conference play and their third straight 8-5 record overall.
Going into next season, Sumlin again will have a new face starting at quarterback.
Something Sumlin seems to have a grasp on is recruiting. The Aggies had another successful recruiting class that bought the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in Kellen Mond. The five-star recruit is the early favorite to start in Week 1. Jake Hubenak and Nick Starkel will be his biggest competition.
Hubenak is the most experienced quarterback on the team, playing in 11 games. But the senior has only started a handful of games, winning just one. Starkel will get his first opportunity on game days after being redshirted his first year. The 2016 three-star recruit is a pro-style quarterback that lacks the mobility outside the pocket.
Mond appears to be the better option for offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. Trevor Knight had success in Mazzone’s offense just last season as a mobile quarterback. Going with the pocket passers Starkel and Hubenak means running a different offense.
Sumlin will have his hands full dealing with an unexperienced offense this season. Adding to losing Knight, the offense lost three starting receivers and two offensive linemen. Sumlin will hope to avoid another 8-5 season, but it is not out of the question for the youthful Aggies to repeat that record once again.
We can see where the new Aggies stand on April 8th’s spring game.
Stephen Elliott is a NCAA football and Cowboys columnist at EndZoneScore. Reach out to him on Twitter: @WhoisStephenE.