Kevin Sumlin hasn’t taken playing two A&M QBs off the table

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When it comes to the quarterback position at Texas A&M entering summer camp, there’s only one absolute certainty — Kyle Allen is the starter under center.  What happens after that is somewhat up in the air.

Allen, a five-star member of A&M’s 2014 recruiting class, started the last half of his true freshman season and finished his initial FBS season on a high, throwing for nearly 300 yards and accounting for five touchdowns (four passing, one rushing) in earning Offensive MVP honors in the Liberty Bowl win over West Virginia. Kyler Murray, though, is the heralded four-star 2015 signee who many think can, and will, challenge Allen for the starting job right out of the gate.

At the SEC Media Days Tuesday, Kevin Sumlin was, of course, asked about his quarterback situation.  While the head coach seemed to intimate that Allen is indeed the favorite to be the starter, and there will be a competition between all of his quarterbacks, a package involving the true freshman Murray is most certainly on the table.

From the Dallas Morning NewsKate Hairopoulos:

Would he play two quarterbacks:
“I really haven’t done it before. We’ll see. We’ve never started out that way. That doesn’t mean that we won’t. We’ll see where we are in fall. Kyle is confident right now and should be. … Kyler is a guy who all he’s done is won. It’s like anything else. It’s not like Kyler didn’t know Kyle Allen was the MVP of the bowl game. That didn’t stop him. He’s coming to compete, and that’s what makes both of those guys who they are. Kyle is the same way. He committed before Johnny’s [Manziel] junior year. He didn’t know what was going to happen. Those guys aren’t going to back down from each other. That’s going to make us a better football team. We’ll make a decision.”

The guess here is that, when A&M opens the season with a neutral-site clash with an Arizona State team that finished 2014 season ranked 12th by the Associated Press, the decision will be that Allen takes the field as the starter and Murray will bide his time, with perhaps a small package of play at Sumlin’s disposal. After that, Sumlin and his offensive staff will determine in which direction the position will head based on the play of both individuals, Allen specifically.

In Allen’s five starts, he tossed five interceptions — one in each game — in going 3-2. If Allen can get a handle on the turnovers — and there’s no reason to think there won’t be a big jump in that area from freshman to sophomore years — Murray won’t sniff the starting job. If the season starts to head south because of Allen’s play? Sumlin & Company could have a decision at the position to make, one that would be somewhat similar to last year when Kenny Hill‘s season went off the rails after it began with way-too-early Heisman hype, leading to Allen’s ascension to starter perhaps earlier than most thought.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.