In the fall of 2012, the Texas A&M Aggies saw a lot of changes. The Aggies were brand new members of the Southeastern Conference. They had a new head coach in Kevin Sumlin. And they had a new starting quarterback, a little-known redshirt freshman named Johnny Manziel.
Of course, that story had a happy ending. Not only did Manziel prove that he could do the job, he excelled, all the way to winning the Heisman Trophy. He led A&M to an upset of the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide along the way.
Manziel is now gone, but could history repeat itself, at least as far as the quarterback is concerned? Sumlin is looking to replace Manziel, who is now with the Cleveland Browns in the NFL. And one of the two candidates for the job is a freshman.
Kyle Allen comes to College Station as one of the top quarterbacks in the Class of 2014. Allen does not fit the mold of Manziel. Instead, he is more of a pro-style quarterback. So while A&M might miss out on the playmaking ability that Manziel had with his legs, they will likely get a better pocket passer in Allen.
The job is not yet Allen’s for the taking. Kenny Hill returns to College Station after playing sparingly last season. Hill completed 16 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown last season while backing up Manziel. However, Hill was cited for public intoxication in the offseason, which could be a factor in Sumlin’s decision.
Hill would bring more of the Manziel style to the offense. He’s mobile and would be able to create plays with his legs. But he’s not the passer that Allen is, so it remains to be seen which quarterback Sumlin will choose.
Sumlin had success with a freshman two years ago, and will not be afraid to make that call, even though Allen is fresh out of high school.
Tim Letcher is a contributing writer for RantSports.com and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter @TimLetcher , on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.