At the end of day two at SEC Media Days, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin took the microphone in Hoover for the fourth time to discuss the prospects of the upcoming season for the Aggies.
Last year, Texas A&M raced out to a 5-0 start that included wins over Arizona State, Arkansas and Mississippi State before stumbling down the stretch on the way to an 8-5 season. Texas A&M’s focus next season to will be to maintain the early success they had last into the later stages of the season.
“I like where we are. I like the chemistry of this football team,” Sumlin said. “I like where the locker room is. I like where their mind is.”
The most notable development of the offseason for the Aggies came when quarterbacks Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray both announced their intent to transfer before last year’s Music City Bowl. Allen and Murray both started for Texas A&M last season.
Filling the void under center for the Aggies will be graduate transfer Trevor Knight, who comes to College Station after losing his starting job at Oklahoma to Baker Mayfield.
It didn’t take long for Knight to make an impression on his new team, and he did enough in the spring for Sumlin to name him starting quarterback for the upcoming season.
“What went into the decision of naming him the starter after this [the spring]?” Sumlin said. “It’s pretty simple. He earned it.”
According to Knight, the transition from Norman, Oklahoma to College Station, Texas could not have been any smoother.
“My transfer process has been pretty unique. It’s been different in a lot of ways, but looking back on it, it has been perfect,” Knight said. “I did get to step and the culture at A&M, specifically the team, wrapped their arms around me and let me know I was a part of the family. I got to become a leader of the team pretty quickly, which was very unique.”
While much of the attention on offense surrounds Knight, it’s the other side of the ball where you can find Texas A&M’s, and arguably college football’s most dominant player, defensive end Myles Garrett.
Garrett’s impact has been felt since the day he arrived in College Station and in 2015 as a sophomore he led the SEC in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles. As impressive as Garrett has already been during his college career, he still has an idea of how he can improve heading into the upcoming season.
“Just keeping the hands off me. Getting off the edge and run defending,” Garrett said. “I know my coaches tell me I could get better at that, and I have been working on that for the last two years.”
Sumlin was highly complimentary of his standout defensive lineman but was also quick to give credit to Garrett’s partner in crime, defensive end Daeshon Hall.
“The best thing to happen to Myles Garrett is Daeshon Hall,” Sumlin said. “If you go back to the opener against Arizona State last year and everybody is talking about Myles Garrett. “The fact that Daeshon Hall had four sacks against Arizona State changed the protection a little bit, and got Myles back on track to having the kind of season he had.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Texas A&M press conference without a mention of former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, whose troubles since leaving College Station have cost him a spot in the NFL. Sumlin briefly addressed his relationship with his former star quarterback.
“Here’s the bottom line: He’s an Aggie and he’s always going to be an Aggie,” Sumlin said. “I have exchanged text messages with him and that’s been the extent of it.”
Source:: The Crimson White Sports