As fall practice gets underway, there is really only one thing that fans of the Texas A&M Aggies want to know. It’s the same question that media members across the country are also wondering: who will be the man to replace departed quarterback Johnny Manziel?
For the last two seasons in College Station, Manziel has been the man behind center, leading the Aggies transition from the Big 12 to the SEC. To say that the transition was smooth would be quite an understatement. The Aggies were immediately competitive, Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and Kevin Sumlin became a coaching star in a matter of two years.
Now, Manziel is in the NFL and the Aggies must replace him. And that means a ton of pressure and expectations will be put on the shoulders of the “lucky” player chosen to take that spot.
The two candidates for the job are sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen. Hill did see limited time last season, while Allen is a true freshman.
As if replacing Manziel wasn’t enough pressure, Hill or Allen will open the season behind center, on the road against a Top 10 opponent. A&M opens its season on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks in a nationally-televised, Thursday night showcase game. If Hill and/or Allen are not prepared, the whole nation will be there to see it.
It’s going to be a tough start for Manziel’s replacement, no matter who it is. But Sumlin hopes that it’s a short-term pain for a long-term gain, and that the new quarterback will settle in and keep A&M in the SEC Western Division race this season.
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.