Texas A&M is entering the 2012 season after undergoing an extreme makeover to the program.
The Aggies have left the Big 12 conference in their dust after some have speculated they could not hang with their in-state brethren, the University of Texas, any longer, and have joined the SEC, the conference that boasts the last six national champions.
The university also parted ways with head coach, Mike Sherman, who is now the offensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins, and hired former University of Houston head coach, Kevin Sumlin to bring his aerial attack to College Station.
As if that change was not enough for one team to undertake in one off-season, the program also has to replace starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill, who entered the NFL draft
He was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the eighth selection in last April’s draft.
With a new conference, new coach, and an opening at quarterback the Aggies may find their new home in the SEC less than hospitable in year one under Sumlin.
However, the decision of Sumlin to name redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel his starting quarterback for the August 30th season opener vs. Louisiana Tech will serve as the face of the program.
The hopes of Sumlin and Aggie fans across the nation will hope will be the start of a four-year run for Manziel that will culminate with some SEC championships.
Manziel dominated in last week’s scrimmage as the former All-American completed 18 of 22 passes to the tune of 212 yards and three touchdowns.
Considered the long shot to start following a lackluster spring game and an arrest in the off-season, but the six foot-one inch 200-pound dual threat made a late charge to secure the job for at least the season opener.
With a knack for rising to the occasion and playing his best when the spotlight is at its brightest, Aggie fans may soon forget about Ryan Tannehill if Manziel can bring the success he had at Tivy High School in Kerrville with him to College Station.
During his senior season in high school, Manziel accounted for 75 touchdowns his senior year and more than 5,000 yards of total offense with only five interceptions.
Sumlin leaves a Houston program where Case Keenum shattered the NCAA passing records and in one game threw for nine touchdowns.
His new protégé may find himself in some record books in four years if Manziel continues his rapid development following his rapid ascension to the top of the depth chart.