Chat with Sam Khan
Welcome to GigEmNation! On Friday, reporter Sam Khan Jr. stops by to chat about the state of Texas A&M football.
Khan joined ESPN.com in 2012 after nearly seven years with the Houston Chronicle, covering the University of Houston, college sports and high school sports. Khan lives in Houston with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Khan Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:02 PM)
Hello everyone! Thanks for joining. Let's get it started.
IMO Josh Walker is a huge get for A&M. When was the last time a top defensive player held offers from UT and OU and jumped all over his A
Sam Khan Jr. (4:06 PM)
Well Hardreck Walker had an Oklahoma offer when he chose Texas A&M and current Aggie commit Kerrick Huggins has since picked up an Oklahoma offer. You might have to go back to well before I was on the beat to find a defensive player with Oklahoma and Texas offers that chose the Aggies. That's worth looking up and I'll do that.
Coach Kevin (Bright)
How do I get my boys to stop turning it over?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:17 PM)
Sorry for the delay...some technical difficulties (gotta love shaky wifi).Shouldn't you be on a plane right about now coach? All kidding aside, I think it's just something you have to continue to stress in practice week to week, which the Aggies do. Some of it comes with experience, other times its technique. Last week, there were a couple of unforced turnovers, such as the first interception which was a result of miscommunication between quarterback and receiver and another, in which the ball went right off the receiver's hands. The Aggies did a great job of taking care of the ball in the first four games, not so much lately. I think a lot of it will come as Manziel gets to understand the offense more. But with him he's going to take some risks too because he's a confident player. So sometimes, that's just going to be part of the deal.
Have you heard anything new on the Hoza Scott front yet? Still leaning A&M and when can we expect a committment?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:19 PM)
Sam (good name by the way), nothing new on the Hoza Scott front. He still likes the Aggies. Texas, LSU and Alabama all still in the mix as well but the Aggies are his no. 1. He's maintained that he wouldn't make a decision until after his junior season is over and that's still the case.
I know Texas A&M is playing really well as of late with Johnny Manziel at QB, but do you think they should give a very talented back up QB in Matt Davis a chance too?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:22 PM)
Christian, I think the world of Matt Davis (both as a player and a person) because I covered him when he was high school and saw what a talent he was. But he's redshirting this year and if anything were to happen to Johnny Manziel, it's likely that Jameill Showers would be next in line to take snaps. And that being said, I wouldn't mess with the mojo they have with Manziel. Other than making some mistakes that are natural for a freshman, I don't see a reason why Manziel should be removed from the lineup. He's played extremely well, especially for someone who has played just seven college games. I know there's a lot of fans that like Davis, but this is Manziel's show right now and for the forseeable future.
GJ (West Houston)
It seems to me like DaMontre Moore is getting a bit overlooked by some of the media. I've seen some lists for SEC DPOY that didn't even have him in the top three. Seems absurd considering he has been the most productive DL in the country so far.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:25 PM)
GJ, there's a lot of talent in the SEC, but if Moore is not in the top three of someone's vote for SEC Defensive Player of the Year, it's my opinion that they aren't paying close attention. You could argue competition level for some of his production, but two of his best games this year came against the Aggies two toughest opponents - Florida and LSU. I don't see how he can't be considered a frontrunner for that award. He has played at an extremely high level and honestly, right now, he's playing like an early round NFL draft pick. I know that our draft experts at ESPN have certainly kept their eyes on him because of the way he has played.
It seems like A&M has about four remaining HS guys (Manning, Mitchell, RSJ, and Savaiinaea) that they are still going after to wrap up this 2013 class. Is there anyone else that has been kept under wraps that they're still pursuing and do you think they land any of these four?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:29 PM)
Of the high school 2013 guys there are some others besides those four that they're still pursuing. Mackensie Alexander, a 5-star cornerback from Florida, is one of them. He was at the LSU game last week and still has other visits to take but he's one they're chasing. Also, Oklahoma LB commit Jordan Mastrogiovanni is one they're still recruiting. He also attended the LSU game. Another name of someone who will visit later in the year is Upland (California) DE Joe Mathis. As for the four you mentioned, I do think they land one or two of those. I'd guess Ricky Seals-Jones is one of the ones they land and if I had to guess another, I'd flip a coin between Manning and Savaiinaea (I'll say Manning).
Danny (Newport Beach, CA)
Mr. Khan, I don't want to get ahead of myself here with a road game at Auburn but from what you've seen from Miss St (and we'll know more after their game tomorrow) what do you think the keys to an A&M victory in Starkville is (aside from turnovers)? I see that being the biggest "swing" game left on our schedule and a W could get us to a 9-3 record going into bowl season. Cheers!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:38 PM)
Danny, I think you partially answered the question in that tomorrow will give us a better feel for Mississippi State. The Bulldogs schedule has not been strong, so it's hard to know how good they truly are. That being said, you can only win the games on your schedule and they've done that, so they deserve credit for it. One thing I like about the Bulldogs is that they play with a lot of confidence and they don't appear to fear anybody. The biggest keys for the Aggies to go in there and get a win next week will be, in my opinion, establishing their ground game and making the Bulldogs respect that, getting off to a quick start and like you said, taking care of the ball. I agree with you in that it's the biggest swing game of the season for the Aggies.
When do you think Ricky Seals-Jones makes his decision and if you had to make a guess who he would choose, what does your gut tell you?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:52 PM)
Seals-Jones has gone on record saying that he'll make a decision after his high school season is over. So that will probably be some time in December. If I had to guess, my gut tells me he'll pick the Aggies.
Jeff (South Tejas)
Any guesses on the future of Kyle Field (rumor says regents will vote on plan next month)...
Sam Khan Jr. (4:54 PM)
Jeff, my guess is that they'll do the renovation in stages and not take the games out of College Station. I think the concern over the money that the town would lose if the Aggies played off campus for a year will push decision-makers to elect to keep the games at Kyle while the renovation is ongoing.
Who would win in a fight, Steve Solari or Johnny Manziel?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:55 PM)
Trick question because Johnny Football doesn't fight. He evaporates foes by vaporizing them.
Any word on some of the Aggies that may be dinged up in the Auburn game? Mike Evans sure was grabbing his hammy alot vs. LSU
Sam Khan Jr. (4:56 PM)
Injury info is pretty tight around Aggieland, but my guess is the Aggies won't be missing any key players like Evans or Damontre Moore come game time. Sumlin mentioned guys knowing the difference between being "hurt" and "injured." I don't think any key guys will be out.
Jaxson (White Oak)
Do you see Showers, Joekel, or Davis transferring after the season? They are all underclassmen and with Kohl Stewart and Kenny Hill coming in, the position is a bit crowded.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:58 PM)
Jaxson, I wouldn't be surprised to see one of those guys transfer if Manziel keeps the stranglehold he has on the position now. Stewart's not a given in the 2013 class because of the baseball situation (could be a first-round MLB draft pick). If I had to guess, I'd guess Davis since he's not as deep into his career and degree as the other guys you mentioned are. That being said, I know Davis loves Aggieland too.
Hypothetical situation: A&M closes out the season at 9-3, while Texas loses another game or two and finishes at 9-3 or 8-4. How likely would a Cotton Bowl showdown be?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:01 PM)
I think there would be a decent chance. Cotton gets to choose the first Big 12 team that's not a BCS team, so I guess the question is whether Texas will be that team? Right now, Texas Tech looks on track to be that team, assuming someone like Oklahoma goes to a BCS game.
What are the chances A&M pulls the upset at Alabama?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:02 PM)
Jim, I think the chances are slim. I think the Aggies will be in the game (Ole Miss gave 'Bama some fits with no-huddle, up-tempo offense) but going into Tuscaloosa and pulling out a win against a team of that quality is a tough feat.
Ryan Swope (College Station)
Sam, Where would I be drafted if the season ended today?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:03 PM)
Might have to ask Mel Kiper or Todd McShay, they're the draft experts around these parts. If the season ended today, my shot in the dark guess is later rounds (5-6-7).
AustinAg (Not B/CS)
Any injuries to report for tomorrow's game? I know Swope and Evans have been banged up the past two weeks. Thanks!
Sam Khan Jr. (5:04 PM)
Nothing major or notable that I'm aware of. I think both of those guys will play.
What is the deal with Jamar Gibson out of Baytown. ESPN 150 WR but seems to have little interest from any programs, including Aggies. What gives? All the field issues?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:06 PM)
Off the field issues would be the word. From what I understand, unlikely he'll qualify and I'll have to check but I'm not sure if he's playing varsity ball right now. I know he was ruled ineligible when he transferred schools. It appears unlikely he'll be playing D-I ball in 2013.
Rene (College Station)
Chances A&M puts three guys in top 15 in this years draft? (Moore, Joeckel, Matthews)
Sam Khan Jr. (5:10 PM)
I'd say it's unlikely all three happen to go that high. First, I'm not sure that all three will declare for the draft. But if we are to assume that all three declare, I think it's possible all three are first round picks, but not necessarily top 15. I think the two tackles are in good shape to go high. I would like to see more draft experts evaluate Moore, because it's kind of difficult to gauge where scouts sit with him right now. Clearly, he's winning a lot of supporters because of his play. How that's balanced out with last year's performance, size then whatever he would do at things like the combine are all things that would factor into whether he could vault that high. But I don't see why, if the season ended today, he couldn't be someone picked in the top couple of rounds.
Sam Khan Jr. (5:13 PM)
Alright folks, that will just about do it for this week. Thanks for joining as always and see you next time!