A&M’s Sumlin: ‘We don’t have a starting QB right now’


With the exception of how smoothly the transition from the Big 12 to the SEC will go, one of the biggest questions facing Texas A&M as it prepares to enter its first season under head coach Kevin Sumlin is just who will replace starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

At the moment it’s a four-player battle, with sophomores Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel, redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel, and true freshman Matt Davis all officially in the mix to take over under center for Tannehill.  Coming out of Saturday’s scrimmage, and with the spring game looming the Saturday after next, the conventional wisdom is that Showers — the only player at the position who has attempted a pass at the collegiate level — has all but wrapped up the title of Tannehill’s successor.

While that may, or even will, be the case, Sumlin was quick to put the kibosh on the notion that any player, including Showers, has an edge at this point in time.

We don’t have a starting quarterback right now,” the coach said following the ninth of 15 spring sessions Monday. “What you saw Saturday is we’ve got some capable guys but they have to understand their strengths and weaknesses. … That’s not to say Jameill couldn’t do it. We’ve had a little more time than the public did in the hour and a half they saw the other day.”

It should be noted that Showers and Manziel took the major of reps during the scrimmage over the weekend, with Joeckel directing three series and Davis on the field for one.  Based on the tack Sumlin’s decided to take at the position, it’s highly unlikely Sumlin will name a starter coming out of the spring, although he and his offensive coaching staff could pare down the list of contenders entering summer camp.

(Photo credit: Texas A&M athletics)

Wake Forest WR Greg Dortch cleared for spring practice

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Unlike how his 2017 season ended, Greg Dortch‘s 2018 offseason is trending much more positively.

In Wake Forest’s late-October win over Louisville, Dortch went down with what turned out to be a season-ending abdominal injury. Four months after sustaining the injury, and with spring practice right around the corner, the wide receiver has been medically cleared to fully participate in practice.

Despite missing the last month of the regular season as well as the postseason, Dortch still led the Demon Deacons in receiving yards with 722. His 53 receptions and nine receiving touchdowns were tied for tops on the team as well.

In the game in which he was injured, he set the school record with four touchdown catches.

Jeff Brohm stays in-house for new Purdue assistant

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When it came to filling out his Purdue coaching staff, Jeff Brohm didn’t have to look very far.

Kevin Wolthausen, the football program confirmed in a release, has been hired as the 10th of Brohm’s allotted 10 Boilermakers assistant coaches.  Per the school, Wolthausen will be working with the team’s special teams and defense.

This marks a positional homecoming of sorts for Wolthausen as he spent the 2012 season as the defensive line coach at Purdue.  Last season, Wolthausen served as a quality control coach for both special teams and defense for the Boilermakers.

In between his two stints in West Lafayette, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator and linebackers coach at UConn in 2016; the two years prior, he was the Huskies’ defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

In 2013, Wolthausen was the special teams coordinator at Florida International.  The 60-year-old long-time college football assistant has also spent time on staffs at Louisville, Arizona, USC, Arizona State and Oklahoma.

Neal Brown completes Troy staff with FCS co-DC

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For the most recent addition to his Troy coaching staff, Neal Brown has dipped into the Football Championship Series.

The Sun Belt Conference program confirmed Tuesday that Brandon Hall has been hired by Brown as his new linebackers coach.  Hall had spent the past four seasons as the co-defensive coordinator at FCS Jacksonville State.

“Brandon is an outstanding defensive coach and has experience coaching at a lot of different levels,” a statement from Brown. “He is relentless on the recruiting trail and already has developed strong relationships in the areas that we believe are key. Looking at his track record, it comes as no surprise that Brandon helped build one of the top defenses in the FCS at Jacksonville State over the last four years.”

Prior to JSU, Hall had spent time at Arkansas State, Auburn and Oklahoma.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to join this program and coaching staff,” Hall said in his statement. “You can’t help but get excited as a coach when you look at what Coach Brown and the rest of this staff has done over the past three years with the Troy program. My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of the Trojan Family and continuing the strong tradition of Troy football.”

Longtime UCLA staffer Angus McClure’s hire one of two announced by Nevada

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The departure of a longtime UCLA staffer has officially been confirmed.

Late last week, reports surfaced that Angus McClure was leaving UCLA for a position at Nevada.  Tuesday, the Mountain West Conference football program confirmed that McClure has been hired as Jay Norvell‘s new offensive line coach.

McClure had been with the Bruins since 2007, serving at various times as position coach for both sides of UCLA’s lines as well as special teams.  Most recently, McClure had served as recruiting coordinator for the Pac-12 school.

McClure and Norvell have a prior working relationship as they were both on the same staffs at Nebraska and UCLA.

In addition to McClure, David Lockwood was announced as Nevada’s new safeties coach.  Lockwood was on the UNLV staff last season after spending the previous three years as the cornerbacks coach at Arizona.

“I think we made our staff stronger with these two veteran hires,” Norvell said in a statement. “I’m excited about the experience and expertise that we have added to the Wolf Pack coaching staff.”