For the second straight season, Texas A&M is going to wipe the slate clean with its starting quarterback job late in October. Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin will give Kyle Allen, Kyler Murray and Jake Hubenak a chance to win the starting job in practices this week. A starter will be announced on Friday.
Allen has been Texas A&M’s main quarterback this season, but inconsistency has become a major concern for the Aggies. Earlier this week against Alabama Allen was picked off three times by the Crimson Tide in a 41-23 loss. Things did not turn around last week in a road loss at Ole Miss, with Allen being picked off once and completing just 12 of his 34 pass attempts for 88 yards. Murray did not see the field last week in the loss to the Rebels, a week after reportedly having some sort of outburst on the sideline in the loss to Alabama. Murray attempted just four passes, completing two and having one picked off by Alabama.
Eerily enough, Sumlin reopened the quarterback competition almost exactly one year to the day. That decision came after losing three straight SEC games, the latest being a 59-0 loss at home to Alabama. Kenny Hill, who would later transfer to TCU, lost the job as a result, and Allen eventually won the job.
So mark your calendars for October 26, 2016. If this trend continues, Murray will win the starting job at the start of the 2016 season only to lose it in a midseason open competition at that time.
Texas A&M fans and coaches probably breathed a bit of a sigh of relief last week when incoming quarterback recruit Kyler Murray announced he was opting out of the MLB Amateur Draft. In doing so, the stud prospect in both football and baseball remained committed to playing football for Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies. According to Sumlin, there was never a reason to lose much sleep over the decision.
Speaking to members of the media during a conference call Tuesday morning, Sumlin said he had been planning all along to have Murray in College Station wearing pads instead of reporting to a minor league baseball camp. Murray gave his commitment to the Aggies a year ago, but continued to receive high praise from baseball scouts. Now Murray will officially join the quarterback competition, which appears to be a job to be lost by Kyle Allen.
Texas A&M recently added a JUCO transfer under center to pad the depth a little with Jake Hubenak. It is expected that Texas A&M’s 2014 season-opening starting quarterback, Kenny Hill, will follow through on a transfer. TCU has been the most likely destination according to previous reports, but nothing official has been announced.
Texas A&M may have a top-rated quarterback recruit getting started in College Station with Kyler Murray headlining the Class of 2015, but why not throw in one more quarterback if you are head coach Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies did just that Saturday with the addition of JUCO transfer Jake Hubenak. Hubenak announced his transfer decision by saying he has accepted a scholarship offer from Texas A&M.
“It’s amazing, just to think how far I’ve come,” said Hubenak to The American-Statesman. “You look back on stuff and wonder why certain things happen. But on days like today, you remember that things happen for a reason.”
By adding Hubenak to the roster, Texas A&M allows for a transition period for Murray, who can now be eased into the starting quarterback job as opposed to thrown right into the fire of the SEC as a freshman. They cannot all be like Johnny Manziel, after all. Hubenak at least adds some sort of veteran experience to the Aggies at a position that could benefit from it. Hubenak previously led Georgetown to the 2012 Class 4A, Division 1 championship game. Last fall, with Blinn College, he passed for 4,094 yards and 48 touchdowns, suggesting he fits the offensive style Sumlin would like to use in College Station. In between JUCO stints, Hubenak walked on with Oklahoma State. Maybe this time the world of the FBS will be kinder to Hubenak.
Hubenak will have to impress in a short period of time to make any push for the starting job, but he can be a bit of a wild card in the race if younger options like Murray and Kyle Allen falter.