On Tuesday at SEC Media Days, Texas A&M got its turn to meet the press in Hoover, AL. As you may have heard, not much is expected of the Aggies in 2016 thanks to a tumultuous offseason. However, things have settled down in Aggieland right before the start of fall camp, and there's some signs for optimism as Texas A&M prepares to begin another year.
Texas A&M was the fourth and final team to take the spotlight on day two of SEC football media days. Entering his fifth season at A&M, Kevin Sumlin may have his most mature team to date, and two of the most important leaders on the Aggies were in Hoover on Tuesday.
Sumlin had a big smile on his face this morning as he arrived at the Wynfrey Hotel for his 5th SEC Media Days. The Aggies head coach has reason to be happy; he's got maybe the best defensive player in the nation in Myles Garrett, and for the first time a true veteran quarterback in graduate transfer Trevor Knight.
"He's a guy that could come in with not just game experience but big game experience and that's hard to find for both of us. It's been a good match," Sumlin said.
So after four years of starting underclassmen quarterbacks, Sumlin finally gets a senior leader to run the offense in Aggieland, and it's an offense that Knight is comfortable running.
"The offense that we run at Texas A&M is very similar to the offenses that I would run in the past at Oklahoma, whether it would be under Josh Heupel who is now at Missouri or with Lincoln Riley who is still there at Oklahoma," Knight said. "We do a lot of the similar things. And the SEC is known for being a defensive conference and that's going to be a challenge every week but a challenge that i look forward to."
While Knight is clearly the Aggies offensive leader, Texas A&M's defensive general Myles Garrett was also in Hoover. The All-American has 23 career sacks in two seasons at A&M. Garrett says simply, that he hopes the Aggie defense can improve on what they did last year. As for Kevin Sumlin, he was asked today how he feels about his name being mentioned with other coaches on the "hot seat."
"For me, it comes along with the territory. I knew what I signed up for when I took this job," Sumlin said. "I think what it says is how far we've come as a program in five years. We like where the bar is. If that's the case, that's the case. It doesn't affect me day to day or anything I do. Not one bit."
Last season the Las Vegas odds makers set the Aggies over/under win total at 8; they were spot on with the prediction. This year, Vegas has set A&M's over/under at just 6 wins. Sumlin was asked about that today, and he calmly said "I'm not a betting guy," then flashed his signature smile.
Maybe he knows something that we don't.