Football

Texas A&M trying to lure a jumbo fish to replace Kevin Sumlin

Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher declined to comment on rumors that he’s a top target of Texas A&M during a Tallahassee radio show Monday morning.
Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher declined to comment on rumors that he’s a top target of Texas A&M during a Tallahassee radio show Monday morning. AP

Texas A&M needs a new football coach and all signs are pointing towards Jimbo Fisher.

Florida State’s head coach was asked Monday morning on a radio show about reports that he is A&M’s top choice to replace Kevin Sumlin, who was fired on Sunday.

“I never comment on jobs,” Fisher said during a Tallahassee radio show. “My focus right now is winning against ULM and playing our season. I don’t get in to the rumors and the rumor mill. If there was ever something to it then at the appropriate time, but right now there’s no reason to comment and I’m focused on beating ULM.”

Fisher is set to make $6.5 million in 2018 for the Seminoles. The Aggies have to pay Sumlin a $10.4 million buyout in the next 60 days whether he takes another job or not.

Candidates to consider:

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State: A proven winner who has won at least 10 games in six of his previous seven seasons with the Seminoles, although that streak will end this season. He has a national championship in 2013 and has SEC ties with a stint as LSU’s OC from 2000-06.

Chad Morris, SMU: In three seasons, he’s turned the Mustangs into a bowl-eligible team. The former Clemson offensive coordinator and quarterback coach is a Texas native who has deep high school ties throughout the state.

Mike Leach, Washington State: Perhaps the former Texas Tech coach would be interested in returning to Texas only to have a louder voice in his fight to recoup salary he claims the Red Raiders owe him from his 2009 firing. He was Kentucky’s OC in 1997-98. Maybe Leach’s unconventional style is the change the Aggies need.

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech: The former TCU offensive coordinator helped turn Memphis around before taking over the Hokies two years ago. He’s 19-7 at VaTech, including 9-3 this season, which includes respectable losses to No. 1 Clemson and No. 7 Miami.

James Franklin, Penn State: He’s helped return the Nittany Lions to national prominence, including 10-2 this season. The Aggies might see that as their blueprint. He has SEC history with a very respectable three-year tenure at Vanderbilt in which his teams went 9-4 in 2012 and ’13.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State: The 37-year-old has turned the Cyclones around in his second season with upsets over Oklahoma and TCU. Campbell, however, is still mostly unproven, especially in a massive program such as A&M. The Aggies want to win and win big and Campbell has yet to win more than nine games in his five full seasons as head coach, including four years at Toledo.

Stefan Stevenson: 817-390-7760, @StevensonFWST

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