A&M fans are in position to confront a not too unfamiliar feeling when a former starting player entered their name into the NCAA transfer portal. This time it was center Matthew Wykoff.
I will be entering my name into the transfer portal. I am thankful for my time a A&M and the coaching I have received. I will have 3 years of eligibility left.— Matthew Wykoff (@WykoffMatthew) April 12, 2023
Wykoff, a former 3-star player out of Magnolia, TX, started 9 games this past season and received recognition on the SEC all-freshman team. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all just want to say we appreciate Wykoff for everything he’s done and sincerely hope he finds success at his next stop.
So let’s make sense of this from the small, medium, and big picture perspective
Wykoff was pressed into starting duty due to the illness and injury of Bryce Foster, who himself received all-SEC freshman recognition in 2021. On paper that should make us all feel good, but as we all know Bryce is rehabbing from a torn ACL and also spends the spring focusing on track.
On the flip side, Mark Nabou has been rumored to be performing well at that backup center spot, which should minimize the true sting of Wykoff leaving. Nabou, a former 3-star player from Washington, saw some playing time last year and flashed a bit. He’s also got a more typical center build.
If Bryce can stay healthy then we’ll be fine. If Bryce gets hurt then we’ll be iffy. But truth be told we’ve got a true two-deep there so it's better than a lot of other positions. I suppose.
Jimbo Fisher has had a lot of turnover at his OL coaching positions. And the challenge there is that every one of his OL coaches had different ideas of the body types they wanted. Turner liked tackles who could play guard, Henson was used to recruiting guards to play tackle, and Addazio is somewhere between the two.
Wykoff is a talented kid who always seemed like a bit of an odd fit at the center spot with his 6’6 330 frame being more aligned with tackle or guard. As mentioned earlier we’ve got a two deep at that center spot of guys whose body type fits the bill for a center, but it’s hard to not be worried given 1) Bryce’s health and 2) Nabou’s inexperience
Much to my parent's chagrin, I was never good at math. But it doesn't take Good Will Hunting (I believe that’s his full name) to realize that subtraction without addition doesn't lead to good things for a football roster. I’m done hoping that Jimbo figures out the portal because if he hasn't done it so far then he’s unlikely to do it before the 2023 season kicks off. It’s pretty clear that, while talent levels are pretty high, overall roster health is pretty low. We’ve...you know what it’s not we because I didn't do any of this so fuck that...Jimbo has done a poor job of roster management this offseason plain and simple.
I mentioned a while ago that the best thing to do for A&M fans is to unplug and wait for the season to start. I stand by that. We wish Wykoff the best and sincerely hope that the coaches can figure out how to leverage the talent currently on the roster to find a reasonable level of success.