Thursday, May 1, 2014
Sumlin discusses QB outlook
By Sam Khan Jr.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has overseen a few quarterback competitions in his head coaching career and is doing so again this season. Going into the spring, the Aggies had three players vying for the starting quarterback job. That number is down to two now after senior Matt Joeckel transferred to TCU earlier this month.
The candidates left standing are young, but promising, prospects: sophomore Kenny Hill and true freshman Kyle Allen. On Wednesday Sumlin discussed how the number of repetitions and outlook has changed -- if at all -- with the competition narrowed to just two players.
"I don't know that it changes the dynamic very much," Sumlin said. "Yeah, they're going to get more turns at this point just from a sheer numbers standpoint you're going to raise the number of reps [for Allen and Hill] but you also have to be careful that the number of reps is not too high because those guys still have young arms and aren't used to throwing that many balls.
"So we'll keep track of that and work them through this summer with reps and try to increase their strength but also their knowledge so that when we get to fall that they'll both have an opportunity to compete to see who's going to run out on that field the first snap against South Carolina."
Hill has the benefit of game experience, having played in a backup role last season as a true freshman. Allen, the nation's No. 1-ranked pocket passer in the 2014 recruiting class, had to learn quickly after enrolling in January. The Aggies threw the playbook at the young prospect out of Scottsdale, Ariz., but he handled it well.
"I think that with the [offensive] installation we were able to move along a little bit quicker with him [Allen] than we have in the past," Sumlin said. "We changed some things in how we did things from a meeting schedule standpoint early this spring and really were able to get quite a bit of the installation in and meeting with players before we actually started the practice process because of the number of guys offensively and defensively that are going to have to play for us. I think he's handled it. The thing now is he's got the tools, he's got the basis of the offense, he's got the progressions and what we expect out of him."
The summer will be important for both quarterbacks as they are tabbed with leading summer workouts.
"I said before, the summertime is a great time for our quarterbacks to continue to improve, to continue to lead because they run the 7-on-7s, they run the offseason program and we've had success doing it that way," Sumlin said. "With the new rule and with us being able to meet with the players too [in the summer], I think that's going to accelerate a lot of young players' growth through the summer. I think both of those young guys, both Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen, are going to continue to compete through two-a-day practices."