Over the next couple of days, the denizens of Good Bull Hunting Recruiting Headquarters will be breaking down the members of each position group, including the most probable last-minute switches. Today, let's see how Texas A&M managed to nab the #1 quarterback prospect in the country.
Armed with the ammunition of Johnny Manziel's 2012 Heisman victory, the A&M offensive staff aimed high in their 2014 quarterback quest, offering Brandon Harris of Bossier City, Louisiana, and Justice Hansen of Edmond, Oklahoma. Both considered the Aggies as finalists - and Hansen came tantalizingly close to committing in April of 2013 - but ultimately the signal callers decided to stay in their home states, with Hansen pledging to the Sooners in April, and Harris choosing LSU in July.
The Aggies' other offer was to Scottsdale, Arizona phenom Kyle Allen, a 6'3", 190-pound junior who sported early offers from just about every power football school in the country. After trimming his list to a final five that included Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and UCLA, Allen committed to Texas A&M in June. Kyle is a consensus five-star recruit and is rated by 247Sports.com Composite as the 10th overall player and #1 pro-style quarterback in the country. He doesn't have a huge arm, but he's extremely accurate, a plus athlete, and shows great instincts in the pocket. In his three-year varsity career, Allen threw for over 8,200 yards with 86 touchdowns and 32 interceptions.
#WEST QB @KyleAllen_10 custom @adidasFballUS RGIII cleats. #ArmyBowl #GigEm pic.twitter.com/HlQaApio3W— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) December 31, 2013
Best Case Scenario: Kyle Allen becomes an All-American, leads the Aggies to multiple College Football Playoff berths, is drafted #1 overall and upon signing his first major professional extension decides to give a large portion of it back to A&M. Would that be a positive outcome? Allen is already in College Station and begins spring practice with a new offensive coordinator and very little roster depth, meaning he will have every opportunity to start from day one.
There have been only 23 Rivals '5 Star' quarterbacks in the past decade, and Allen has the arm, athleticism, and intelligence to thrive in the Sumlin/Spavital attack the moment he steps onto the field.
Worst Case Scenario: Speaking of those 23 5-star QBs, some of their names are Kyle Wright, Anthony Morelli, Ryan Perrilloux, and Jimmy Clausen. This is, after all, a sport that ranked Dayne Crist ahead of Andrew Luck, and drafted Tom Brady 197 spots lower than Ryan Leaf.
Summary: Quarterback projection is a roll of the dice, regardless of competition level. Kyle Allen certainly appears to have every tool necessary to succeed, but who knows how quickly he will pick up the offense, how he will handle the speed of SEC defenses, or whether the jarring aesthetic shock of leaving the Valley of the Sun for the Brazos Valley will lead to rabid homesickness.
Either way, the Aggies have signed the nation's #1 quarterback and captured the recruiting momentum that naturally comes alongside. Allen is currently enrolled in school and is already learning the offense. The anticipated QB battle between Kyle Allen and Kenny Hill will be interesting to follow in Spring practice.