Losing Kyle Allen is a disaster, but dumping former high school star Kyler Murray is a necessary move for Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin, even if it makes him look bad.
At no point in his tenure, even when Johnny Manziel was running all over Austin between starts, has the head coach of the Aggies looked any worse than he does today. In about one week he lost his two highest ranked recruits - both quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray plan to transfer. Teenagers are fickle and they often want to bail when it’s tough, but on this one Coach Swag was wise to let Kyler go.
Murray is not worth it; he’s too short (listed as 5-11 but closer to 5-9), and his skills as a passer at Allen High School could be easily forgiven because of his ability to run and elude defenders. Sumlin would be wise to beg Allen to return - he is a big kid that can fling it.
The next year will determine if Sumlin is going to make it more than two years in College Station as the head coach. Right now, the safe bet is that he won’t. The Aggies are flying south. When the 2016 season begins it will be the fourth consecutive year the Aggies will be starting a different quarterback, never a good look for an offense, or a team.
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It would help exponentially if Johnny Football II was on the roster.
A&M’s director of athletics Eric Hyman inherited Sumlin; this was not his guy, even if he likes him. The type of news and developments the Aggies have “enjoyed” of late are the types of headlines the conservative Hyman hates.
Right now is the time Sumlin needs to take control of all of it and double down on himself. If he is going down, do it on his terms. He already has enough money to be set for life, and chances are good he will land at least as an offensive coordinator elsewhere if/when the Aggies can him.
The Aggies are a blah 8-4 and will play Louisville in the Who Cares Bowl? on Dec. 30. The team is 16-9 over the past two seasons, and 11-13 in the SEC in the last three years. There is no sign this team will be much better next season.
The results are beginning to show that Sumlin and A&M’s early success in the SEC are entirely about Johnny Football, and a host of top tier recruits brought in by previous head coach Mike Sherman.
It is more complicated than that, and Sumlin is not some blind dope that fell into success. His recruiting classes have been ranked high, but he coaching in a brutal league where his team trails Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and quite possibly Arkansas shortly.
The Aggies still look like the little brother that doesn’t quite get the same attention as the more accomplished older sibling, much as they were in the Big 12.
Sumlin has some players, but his teams have been erratic and now he has no long-term solution at quarterback. This is not a case of no hope, but the past two seasons and the developments of late at quarterback are not encouraging.
Sumlin makes just over $5 million per season. He signed a six-year, $30 extension in December of 2013. The deal, however, is all but guaranteed - if he is fired without cause he will get all of that cash.
That type of capital should free him to coach without fear. He was hired away from the University of Houston because he is good at his job.
Now would be a nice time to show why he was hired.