Tannehill's full-time move to quarterback at A&M a little surprising

August, 25, 2009
8/25/09
11:38
AM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin


Ryan Tannehill is headed to quarterback for the foreseeable future for Texas A&M as a backup to starter Jerrod Johnson.

That decision tells us a lot where coach Mike Sherman is putting his priorities these days and where he thinks Tannehill will have most value for his team.

Tannehill, who grabbed 55 passes to set a Texas A&M freshman record last season, was the team's most dependable receiver last season. But the emergence of Jeff Fuller in recent months has given the Aggies another strong play-making receiver.

Sherman values having some continuity behind Johnson at quarterback. If he has any questions, he just needs to remember what happened last season when starter Stephen McGee went down with an injury in the second game of the season.

Still, it will be surprising not to see Tannehill catch a few passes this season as well as throw them.

Kansas had a similar situation the past two seasons after Todd Reesing beat out Kerry Meier for the starting job. Meier went to wide receiver and snagged a school-record 97 passes last season, while still being listed as Kansas' No. 2 quarterback.

I don't think we will see Tannehill used that much at wide receiver. Sherman comes to college football from the NFL, where the need for a dependable backup quarterback is sacrosanct.

But Tannehill is too much of a valuable athlete to sit on the bench for very long.

Tannehill helped push Johnson in camp. The Aggies are looking for added production at the position after Johnson's erratic finish last season after a strong early start.

In a season where Texas A&M will need all of the offensive playmakers it can muster as it attempts to climb out of the Big 12 South cellar, Tannehill will be important for them somewhere.

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