What's the key to having success in the SEC with a young QB? Kevin Sumlin shares his thoughts
Outside of Alabama and Georgia, there may not be a hotter team in the SEC than Texas A&M. The Aggies aren’t winning pretty but they are stringing together one win after another thanks to tough physical play, outstanding special teams and contributions from nearly everyone on the roster.
After opening the season with a loss, few would have guessed Texas A&M would enter the bye with a 5-2 record. Yet here we are. Kevin Sumlin still has work to do to keep his job but the schedule sets up well for a great finish to the season.
Here’s a summary of what the Texas A&M coach had to say during Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference:
- Opening statement: “The open date comes at a good time for us. Some really close, competitive SEC games with the last one at night gives us a chance to catch our breath.”
- What is the challenge of playing a young QB in the SEC? “The first thing with all young QBs is establishing a relationship with them. They all want to tell you what you want to hear. You try to find out what they know, what they aren’t comfortable with in practice before finding out on Saturday. It takes time to develop trust and honesty. That’s the first step to growth. You learn about one another so that you can play to their strengths.”
- At what point do you turn over the offense to a young QB? “Once you played a guy, he has the keys. The trust factor is there once he plays. You can’t say he doesn’t have the keys once he hits the field. It’s a growth process and you have to say diversified but maybe it’s the same play but different presentation of the offense.”
- What do you try to do to stop SEC schools from recruiting in Texas? “I’ll be honest with you, I think there’s been more attention to it since we’ve joined the SEC. The fact that we are in the league bring more attention to it. The SEC has always recruited Texas and recruited it well. We have three cities within a couple hundred miles of College Station that are huge talent bases. This is a center for many different conferences.”
- What are the challenges of playing a young QB early in his college career? “We never recruited a QB that we didn’t think could play early. Some guys do need time to develop physically, but we are all looking for leadership, the ability to throw and the ability to process. That may be toughest to find, how does a guy operate when he’s stressed? In this league, how are you going to act when things break down? We like to see guys in person and we like to have them in camp. Get to know their leadership and communication skills. What kind of fit for what you want to accomplish?”