This summer, Kevin Sumlin dismissively quoted the hoary old football platitude that “if you have two quarterbacks, you really have none,” bragging that with Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray on his team, both young, former five-star recruits, the Aggies were in pretty good shape. He maybe shouldn’t have tempted fate; Texas A&M could lose both to stunning transfers in the span of a week.
Last Thursday, Kyle Allen, the centerpiece of A&M’s 2014 class, announced he was transferring after two mostly OK, occasionally frustrating seasons. He had lost his starting job twice, first to Kenny Hill (who transferred after last season) to start 2014, and midway through this year to Murray, before winning it back after three games. It’s a constant quarterback controversy in College Station, and it looked like Allen’s transfer would clear things up.
But yesterday, multiple reports emerged that true freshman Kyler Murray, set to start A&M’s bowl game and enter next year as the unchallenged starter, was considering leaving too. From TexAgs.com’s Billy Liucci:
Murray and his family met with Sumlin on both Tuesday and Wednesday; Murray did not participate in yesterday’s bowl practice, after Sumlin told him to go home and think things over.
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At his media conference yesterday, Sumlin didn’t give much in the way of specifics, but there are plenty of lines to read between.
On Kyler Murray’s status:
“I met with the family before practice and [Kyler] is going through some things, and doesn’t feel well. I told him to stay home today, so I expect him to be back out here tomorrow.”
On if Murray is considering a transfer:
“I don’t know that I would call it considering. We had a discussion about all kinds of things. I’ve talked to a number players since we got back for the dead period. I’ve been gone for two weeks, we had an official visit weekend, and Kyler is one of many players I’ve talked to in the last few days about a lot of different issues. Like I said today, he is going through some personal things and I told him to stay home today and we’ll talk tomorrow.”
On the concerns Kyler Murray has:
“I’m not going to go into specifics about that. Just like other players, I have discussed a lot of different things, both positively and negatively. Not just with [Kyler], but with a number of other players in the last three days. Those are of a personal nature and discussions have been good, so I expect him to be out here tomorrow.”
I would love to know exactly what’s going on here, even though there are plenty of plausibilities. No quarterback likes being jerked around, and since Johnny Manziel left, Kevin Sumlin has proven much more adept at recruiting highly rated QBs that winning with them (or sticking with them). There’s also the murky future of offensive coordinator and QB coach Jake Spavital, who was involved with the recruitments of both Allen and Murray, and who has similarly come under fire as the Aggies’ offense has scuffled at times. There have been conflicting reports that Spavital will either not be retained at season’s end, or will take another job elsewhere. (Sumlin denied those rumors a month ago, but in recent days has instead chosen not to address them, which is absolutely not the same thing.)
Whatever the problems at Texas A&M, literally every other program is salivating over the prospect of Murray becoming available. He was perhaps the nation’s top recruit last year, and is still just 18 years old.