SEC

Sumlin expects long competition between Texas A&M QBs

Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen, MVP of last season’s Liberty Bowl, can expect a battle from Kyler Murray deep into fall drills, coach Kevin Sumlin said.
Texas A&M quarterback Kyle Allen, MVP of last season’s Liberty Bowl, can expect a battle from Kyler Murray deep into fall drills, coach Kevin Sumlin said. AP

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said he expects the competition for the starting quarterback job between sophomore Kyle Allen, last year’s MVP of the Liberty Bowl, and freshman Kyler Murray to carry deep into fall drills. Murray, son of former A&M quarterback Kevin Murray, did not lose a game while leading Allen High School to three consecutive Class 6A state championships.

“Those two aren’t going to back down from each other. That’s going to help make us a better football team,” Sumlin said.

A&M center Mike Matthews said Allen “learned a lot” during his first season on campus and has developed the respect of teammates.

“In the off-season, he’s become a leader for us,” Matthews said. “He’s really stepped it up for this program and we trust him.”

Garrett on guide cover

Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett, a sophomore from Arlington Martin, is on the cover of the school’s 2015 football media guide. But as a second-year player, he did not represent the Aggies at SEC Media Days.

“I’ve got them for at least three years. I told Myles he’ll get to go,” coach Sumlin said in explaining his decision to bring two seniors and a fourth-year junior to Hoover, Ala., for Tuesday’s session. One of the Aggies’ attendees, Matthews, said he looks forward to seeing what Garrett will do after logging an SEC freshman record 11.5 sacks in 2014.

“He’s a great player, a freak,” Matthews said. “He’s going to do great things for us this year, I guarantee that. He’s got the ability, no matter what the play is, to disrupt that play even if the play is run the opposite way from where he’s lined up. He’s that fast and he’s that athletic.”

Looking ahead

A&M offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, a fourth-year junior, said school officials have paid the premiums on a loss-of-value insurance policy for him after he chose not to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. A&M did the same last year for offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, a practice permitted under NCAA rules. Sumlin said NFL evaluators gave Ifedi a grade of late second or early third round if he had been part of this year’s draft.

Medical move

Steve Shaw, SEC supervisor of officials, said league administrators will have an independent, conference-appointed trainer sitting in the press box for all games to watch for potential injuries involving head and neck trauma. The trainer will watch the game from the replay booth in front of a monitor, with communication access to both benches.

“These guys will have the same screening component as football officials,” said Shaw, who called the move a “rules experiment” for this season. “They’re going to be observing for head or neck trauma. When they observe that, when a player demonstrates symptoms that they’re trained to recognize and the snap becomes imminent … then they will communicate to the replay official, ‘Hey, we need to get No. 12 for the offense out of the game.’ We’ll stop the clock just as any other injury timeout. We will not publicly identify this player. But we will get No. 12 out of the game.”

At that point, NCAA rules governing concussion protocol go into effect for the player leaving the contest.

Spurrier supports ban

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier expressed support for an SEC rule, passed during the league’s spring meetings, than bans schools from taking transfer athletes who were dismissed from their previous school for sexual assault, domestic violence or other forms of sexual violence. The SEC, at present, is the only league with such a rule on the books. Some coaches have argued that the policy could put SEC schools at a competitive disadvantage in the pursuit of transfers.

“I’ve heard some coaches say that. I guess, potentially, it could be a little bit,” Spurrier said. “But the SEC has their rules and we live by them. We all get 85 scholarships. You try to train them, coach them, develop them. That’s just the way it is.”

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

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