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 News‘ Kate 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.