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!
Drew (Colleyville, TX)
So with Jake Matthews coming back does this mean he will be moved over to LT? And if so who do you think will be the RT next year? And who do we have on the C depth chart that can take over? Thanks for the chats!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:06 PM)
Drew, yes, Matthews will be moved to LT. That should be a good transition for him and I think he'll do well. As for right tackle, I think you're looking a few possibilities: redshirt freshman Joseph Cheek, who backed up Matthews and played in the "unbalanced line" power running formations could be an option. True freshman Germain Ifedi, who was on the two-deep, is an option. And I wouldn't rule out moving someone out to right tackle that's already in the lineup (maybe RG Cedric Ogbuehi?). As for center, Mike Matthews, the younger brother of Jake Matthews, will be the heir apparent to Patrick Lewis. Matthews is the favorite to start and was the backup this year. Look for him to be a possible three-year starter at C for the Aggies.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Even though you Cover Texas A&M College Football,What is your Favorite NFL Team?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:07 PM)
The Houston Texans (I'm a born-and-bred Houstonian). Hopefully they don't get crushed on Sunday by the Patriots.
lee mcallen tx [via mobile]
Would a&m have been playing in the national championship if they had stayed in the big 12 this season?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:08 PM)
Lee, great question. I think that would have been very, very possible. Seeing them crush Oklahoma makes me think they could have run the table in the Big 12.
So now that McKinney has been promoted to playcaller and co-OC with Spavital, how does that work exactly as far as the offense is concerned? Also, with as many seniors as we have leaving on the defense, how do you think we'll be looking next year? Snyder did well in turning the D in the right direction, especially in the second half of the season, but a lot of those guys are gonna be gone.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:12 PM)
McKinney will call the plays but he'll still coach the running backs and my guess is he'll still be in charge of the running game with OL coach B.J. Anderson like he was this season. Jake Spavital will coach QBs and probably work with WR coach David Beaty in coordinating the passing game. That's how it was set up this year, only with Kliff Kingsbury coaching the QBs and calling the plays while coordinating the passing game with Beaty. As for the defense, I think there's plenty of talent there, but the question is going to be leadership. Where's it going to come from? Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart were leaders and I think the same can be said for Damontre Moore and Spencer Nealy. But the Aggies still have a lot of talent. It may take some time finding someone to be as good rushing the passer as Moore, but Julien Obioha showed some promise this year.
Sam, with Signing Day approaching, I think we're all a little anxious to see how this recruiting class looks in it's final form. Because we are still going after a handful of top-tier guys, I'm wondering do you see any surprise decommits in the near future to help us round out this class? Or alternatively, will the rest of the spots be apparent grade risk guys that don't end up signing?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:15 PM)
Dan, I would look for the Aggies to land one of the top-tier guys they're still pursuing, possibly two. Guys that are grade risks could very well sign with a junior college come signing day instead of the Aggies. Unless they decide to ride out the grade risks in hopes that they qualify, that's my best guess. I don't expect any other decommitments at this point, with the exception of guys that fall into that category.
Sam, Rate our chances at snagging the following guys:1. Torrodney Prevot2. Mackenzie Alexander3. Daeshon Hall4. Maurice Smith
Sam Khan Jr. (4:16 PM)
I would say 1) Prevot, 2) Hall, 3) Alexander, 4) Smith. I hear Prevot still really likes the Aggies so it's a matter of how much they still like him or if they like Hall better than him. Alexander's anybody's guess and I don't see the Smith thing happening. Aggies have a better chance with Georgia commit Shaq Wiggins than Smith.
Which early enrollee will have the greatest impact next year? Which Fall enrollee will have the greatest impact?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:19 PM)
My guess on early enrollee that has the greatest impact is Butler Community College linebacker Tommy Sanders or Hutchinson Community College linebacker. There are spots up for grabs at that position with Porter and Stewart gone so I would expect one of those guys to win one of them. Of the fall guys, I'll go with one of the defensive tackles, Justin Manning or Isaiah Golden. DT depth is something the Aggies need.
Bryan (Dallas, TX)
Who are the immediate impact players coming in this year for the Aggie defense?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:20 PM)
Probably those guys I just mentioned: Sanders, Flowers, Manning, Golden. I wouldn't rule out someone like Brett Wade, the LB from Kennedale, TX, either. Anybody that enrolls early gets a little bit of a jump start.
Any specifics on Sumlin's contract?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:21 PM)
Not yet, but that's something that will probably happen in the coming weeks.
David (Beaumont Tx)
We normally have around 15k for a spring game. What do you think that number will be this yr?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:22 PM)
Maybe 25K? Excitement around the program is pretty strong.
Which elite prospects for 2014 do we have the best chance of landing? Tony Brown? Ed Paris? KD Cannon? Are any of these guys gonna stay in state/sign with TAMU?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:23 PM)
I like their chances with KD Cannon and Jamal Adams and they'll definitely be in the race for Tony Brown. Ed Paris I think would be most likely to go out-of-state. Brown and Paris have their pick of the litter when it comes to offers.
SidekickToHero (East Texas)
With this class wrapping up and the Ags on the cusp of being full, are there any names out there you could see jumping on board at the end? Any commits right now you see them losing?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:26 PM)
Maybe the qualifying risk guys. Other than those, I don't think there's anyone real nervous that's ready to jump off the boat.
Love Me Some Manziel (CS, Texas)
Debbie Downer Alert: Count me as a skeptic for the 2013 season after losing so much talent and leadership to the NFL. I would like to see Manziel make big strides as a passer because I'm afraid he'll eventually get injured on one of his amazing scrambles. Realistically, should 10 wins be another impressive season and one to hope for? Or something less?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:28 PM)
I think Manziel making more strides as a passer is the coaching staff's hope too, for the very reason you stated. That being said, you have to let him be himself and if you take away what has made him great, that's not good. I think 10 wins should be the minimum expectation, even with the talent they lost. They'll start the preseason in the top 5, so you'd have to think a BCS title game run is something they're going to think about and shoot for. Would I be surprised if Manziel got hurt and they didn't win 10 games? No, I wouldn't, because stuff like that happens sometimes.
Aggie (CS, TX)
Will Sumlin get any attention from the NFL?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:29 PM)
I haven't heard anything like that to this point. But if he has another great season or two, maybe makes a title game run, who knows?
John Cocktoasten (Dallas, TX)
Sumlin has produced four current head football coaches. Are there any other current head coaches that equal or better that mark?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:31 PM)
Bill Belichick? (I know, NFL). I'd have to look it up, but Bob Stoops has had several go on to be head coaches elsewhere. Mike Leach too.
Which positions are our main strengths and weaknesses going into the 2013 season?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:33 PM)
Strengths: Quarterback, running back, left tackle, cornerback. Weaknesses: Defensive end, right tackle, kicker, middle linebacker. And they'll have options at the "weaknesses" but just not guys with a ton of experience, except Bertolet as a kicker and Obioha at DE.
Keith (Plano, TX)
Latest on whether Stewart will sign or go in the MLB draft?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:34 PM)
I'm planning to make a trip to visit with him in the next week or two for a story, so once I do, I'll have an update. I doubt he'll say either way, but I'll keep y'all posted.
How many years does JFF stay in College Station? Is he a future first round NFL pick?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:36 PM)
I think he stays three more years. I'm not a scout, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but my guess is his height will preclude him from being chosen in the first round. Drew Brees was a terrific college QB and because of his height, he wasn't chosen in the first round.
Which recruit do you believe will make the greatest impact on the field in 2013?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:36 PM)
I think it'll be one of the junior college linebackers, Tommy Sanders or Kenny Flowers.
Going into spring ball, what do you see as the weakest position for the Aggies?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:38 PM)
I would say middle linebacker. Unless they were to move Steven Jenkins over there (which I wouldn't anticipate), there's not a ton of experience over there. Justin Bass played some and he was listed as Jonathan Stewart's backup on the final depth chart of the season. Good news for the Aggies? They're bringing in a small army of linebackers in the 2013 recruiting class.
Which current commit is our next decommit?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:40 PM)
I don't think there will be one, but if I had to guess, maybe one of the receivers if Sebastian LaRue jumps on board.
SidekickToHero (East Texas)
Any word on any attrition this year. I have heard names like Nate Askew and Jordan Richmond may not be back. Any news on this?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:40 PM)
Nothing official that I've heard to this point.
Mark (Edinburg, Texas)
Do you know who are qualifying risks, if any?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:41 PM)
Derrick Griffin is the main one. I've heard rumors about Victor Davis being a possible risk as well.
Phillip (a stadium near you)
With around 35 verbal commitments at this time for the 2013 class,How is Texas A&M going to work the numbers if all the commitments sign on Feb 6?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:43 PM)
Actually there's 34 right now. That's how many they can sign, period. They brought in 9 at mid-year (and all those count back toward 2012). They can only sign 25 in February. That's what will happen. I wrote about it again this week for those curious. You can find the story here: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post?id=5356
Which WR recruit will have an immediate impact on offense or ST?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:45 PM)
I would guess Ja'Quay Williams has a chance to come in and contribute quickly. I wouldn't rule out Ricky Seals-Jones or LaQuvionte Gonzalez as potential early contributors, either.
Caselikestowatch (San Antonio, TX)
A&M is not short on QBs. Do you anticipate any transfers or certain players utilized at another position. For instance, Tannehill played WR before supplanting JJ.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:48 PM)
Jameill Showers or Matt Joeckel wouldn't be candidates to play other positions, so I wouldn't anticipate that. Both are redshirt sophomores, so I would imagine that if either is close to graduating academically, they would explore a transfer at that time, so they wouldn't have to sit out a year. Matt Davis, the true freshman who redshirted, really loves Texas A&M so I don't know that he's a transfer candidate. But he's also a competitor and I'm sure he wants to play. Is he willing to play another position? He has enough speed to play another position I think. It's a matter of whether he's willing to do that or if he wants to continue to compete as a QB. My guess is at least for next year he'll remain at QB. Beyond that, we could see something different if there's no sign of him playing.
Who is the starting running back next year? Any idea how the 4 headed beast (Malena, Williams x2 and Carson will work)?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:50 PM)
I assume Malena will still start. Trey Williams will get some touches as well. Brandon Williams could begin the season as a guy that spells Malena, but the potential for him is great. He's a terrific athlete and even though he's thin, he can be a physical back. My early guess on Carson is that he becomes a short-yardage, between-the-tackles guy since he's carrying about 230 pounds.
Is Jamiell Showers staying in Aggieland?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:53 PM)
Only he knows. My guess for now is yes.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:54 PM)
I would want to be able to fly, definitely.
Aggie (CS, TX)
Better prospect Kenny Flowers or Kenny Powers? #EastboundAndDown
Sam Khan Jr. (4:54 PM)
Kenny Flowers, because he could probably knock Kenny Powers into the middle of next week.
There has been a lot of anti-bevel talk out there. Do you know of any plans to get rid of the bevel? What about orange water coolers? Do you think Sumlin needs a mustache?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:57 PM)
1) No, 2) As long as Gatorade is providing drinks, it's orange baby and 3) Yes. Have you seen his Oklahoma mugs with a 'stache? It's gold!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:58 PM)
Alright folks, that's going to just about do it for this week. Thanks as always for the questions and participation and thanks for reading GigEmNation. Until next time, take care.