Quarterback is the premier position in football, and everyone is always looking for the next great one. In college football, no team is ever satisfied with who they've got, no matter what scenario they're in (surely there are Buckeye fans who wish they had a fourth or even a fifth spectacular player to add to the three already on their roster who have had major success.) But college football is also rife with turnover, as high school stars try to adapt to the pressures of a bigger game and a bigger world. Coaching turnover adds to player turnover, and it's not at all unusual that quarterbacks transfer more than anyone else. It's a meat grinder.
When Kevin Sumlin took the reins of the A&M program in 2012, transfers were to be expected. In fact it would be an entire football season before we saw any quarterbacks depart. But once they did, it escalated
- Jameill Showers transferred to UTEP in February of 2013 following his redshirt sophomore season. He was eligible to play immediately because he was graduating in June, and was the Miners' starter for the following two seasons, leading them to their first bowl game in four years in 2014.
- Matt Davis, then a redshirt freshman, transferred to Tyler Junior College in August of 2013. He would then transfer to SMU for the 2014 season. He started the last few games of the year and led the Mustangs to their only victory against UConn.
- Matt Joeckel transferred to TCU in April of 2014. He was eligible to play immediately since he had already graduated, but then Trevon Boykin had a breakout season.
- Kenny Hill is transferring now, in January of 2015.
The combination of a head coaching change, a couple of offensive coordinator changes, and a QB coach change, plus a high-profile Heisman QB who left early for the NFL is going to add to the transfer equation. Fans will understand attrition, up to a point. But when you step back and see that four different Aggie QBs have transferred out in just under two years, it may start raising flags in the eyes of some. Do the coaches ask too much? Is the competition too stiff? Or is it just college kids being college kids combined with some bad timing?
Certainly this is already trickling into the world of recruiting, and how it will affect the ultimate decision of the next great Aggie QB, Kyler Murray. Kevin Sumlin has proven that he can attract top-caliber QBs. He has proven that he can develop them into great players. He got QB longevity out of Case Keenum at U of H, now he just needs to get some guys here to stick around. Getting players isn't the problem. Getting them to stay is.
In the meantime, let's not forget we've got a pretty good one under center right now. I trust in Sumlin.