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. (4:03 PM)
Hey gang...thanks for joining the chat today. Let's get right to it and talk some Aggies football.
Frank (AGGIE NATION)
Hey SKJ can you please sign this chat log??? (you may or may not be compensated)
Sam Khan Jr. (4:04 PM)
How will Brandon Williams fit into the offense?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:05 PM)
Jeremiah, I think Brandon Williams is going to fit in really well. He's tall, fast and explosive. Has a chance to be a threat both carrying the football and as a receiver out of the backfield. He's been recovering from offseason surgery during preseason camp, but should be ready to go on Aug. 31. I think he's going to be a real asset to the offense this year.
Alex (College Station)
Did ya'll ever change the picture of Luke to Jake on the ESPN Pre-season All-Americans list?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:06 PM)
That had not been brought to my attention but if it appears that way, I'll make sure someone fixes it. Thanks.
Mari IL [via mobile]
Is Sumlin on the top of the next college coach to get an NFL offer list
Sam Khan Jr. (4:08 PM)
If you're looking at college coaches who will potentially get NFL looks, Kevin Sumlin is certainly one of the names you hear consistently. Of course, there were reports of him getting overtures from teams this offseason. His reputation among his coaching brethren appears to be pretty strong. People think highly of him. I think what Chip Kelly does at Philadelphia this season will give us an idea of how that style of college coach is viewed, since Kelly also ran an up-tempo spread offense at Oregon, similar to the style of offense Sumlin's teams have run at Houston and at Texas A&M. If Kelly does well, I think it stands to reason people will take a hard look at Sumlin.
NCAA (WATCHING THIS CHAT) [via mobile]
We are investigating this chat as of now
Sam Khan Jr. (4:09 PM)
What's the word on Hoza? I'm from La Porte and went to school with Yusuf his older brother. I excited to see him commit to A&M but is he going to make it?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:11 PM)
Hoza Scott will miss the first three games of this season, according to the coaches at La Porte. Whether he makes it to Texas A&M is up to him. He's aware of what he has to accomplish between now and February to put himself in that position. Obviously, Aggies fans are hoping he doesn't turn into this year's version of Derrick Griffin. It will be interesting to see how this fall goes for him, but he has some things to do to get back in the good graces of the La Porte coaching staff.
Who do you think is next to pull the trigger and commit to the Aggies, eh? (2014 or 2015)
Sam Khan Jr. (4:23 PM)
Hard to say who the next one will be but I get the sense that the Aggies are in a really good position with 2015 CB Kendall Sheffield. He has visited several times this year (March 2 junior day, Friday Night Lights, multiple unofficial visits this summer). He told me this summer that he's in no rush but it seems evident to me that he really likes the Aggies. I don't know when he'll commit but I think it's safe to say the Aggies are in real good shape with him.
Bilbo Baggins (the Shire)
Hi Sam, I enjoy reading your blog.Who are you expecting to have a breakout season that people might not be talking much about now?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:25 PM)
Thanks for the kind words. I think someone who has the potential for a really good season that really isn't talked about much is defensive lineman Alonzo Williams. He found himself in the lineup late last season because the Aggies needed the depth but he started the Cotton Bowl and will start this fall. He has developed nicely and he's going to be a key piece of the Aggies' defensive success up front. I would not be surprised if he had a big year.
Do you think the Aggies will use more read option in their offense this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:27 PM)
It's possible. With Clarence McKinney calling the plays now, you have to think the run game is going to have a significant presence. The Aggies will look to continue to add "wrinkles" to the offense this year that weren't in it last year. They didn't use read option much and I think not putting Manziel in harm's way is part of that. But yeah, I think you could see it occasionally. I wouldn't look for it to become a staple of the attack, though.
Uncle Nate (Kerrville)
Can you give me some career advice since my job as Johnny's personal assistant has hit a rough patch? I am thinking I should of stayed in college....
Sam Khan Jr. (4:28 PM)
Yeah that's probably a good idea. School is cool.
NCAA [via mobile]
Our quick investigation has helped us come to the conclusion that you aren't Johnny Manziel running an illegal chat, but in order to keep our integrity we must punish you. It will come at a later date.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:29 PM)
Call your shot: Does Johnny play vs Rice?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:32 PM)
I'm going to say yes, I think he plays against Rice.
Gary (Ft. Worth)
How do you envision Sumlin and McKinney spliting carries? Lots a depth at the rb position especially with White coming in and impressing.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:35 PM)
I think Ben Malena gets the majority early on because he has been healthy and reliable. Depending on how Brandon Williams recovers from his foot injury, I think he'll start light and increase his load as the season goes on. Trey Williams probably gets a fair amount of touches and Tra Carson gets the short yardage and goal-line carries. I think it's going to be tough for White to get touches, though I did see him working on special teams recently in practice. He's a big running back. I wonder if the special teams work means he doesn't redshirt.
Why is it that Schad and Rovell seem to be the only two contacts these graphers are feeding info? Is it kinda weird no other news agency has any leads on this story?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:36 PM)
No idea. You'd have to ask the brokers that question.
Can you give an overview of the freshman linebackers we should see this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:38 PM)
The freshmen linebackers who appear to be making strides in camp are Darian Claiborne and Shaan Washington. I've seen both line up with the second team. Washington is pretty athletic (played DB and I think some WR in high school) and Claiborne already has good size in terms of weight (225). I also think Jordan Mastrogiovanni, the freshman from Dallas Jesuit, could be seeing some time either on special teams or in that second group. Linebackers coach Mark Hagen had good things to say about all three of those guys this week.
Rock the Good Ag (Texas Hill Country)
Sam, how about the kicking game? Bertolet has a huge leg. But it's delivered some huge misses? Close games could rest on him.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:41 PM)
He has been recovering from offseason surgery so he hasn't been kicking in camp, though special teams coach Jeff Banks said he expects Bertolet to be ready for the first game (and Banks made it clear that Bertolet is the No. 1 kicker still). The positive about Bertolet missing camp is other kickers have gotten a lot of reps -- namely Josh Lambo and Kyle Serres. So Banks is getting a feel for what he has if Bertolet struggles this year and it becomes time to think about a change. However, Banks has said that Bertolet has gotten a lot better this offseason and has worked really hard at improving in several areas. I guess we won't know if he can be more consistent until game time comes.
Gary (Ft. Worth)
Is Kyle Allen an early enrollee? What are the chances he can flip Mark Andrews and bring Tucker and/or Kirk wiith him?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:44 PM)
Kyle Allen is planning on enrolling early. Andrews has family ties to Oklahoma, so I think it'll be pretty difficult to flip him. Casey Tucker's a hard read right now but the Aggies are in the mix. Christian Kirk -- the Aggies are in real good position with him, but he's not in a rush to commit. He probably won't decide until after this season, at the earliest. But they made a big impression on Kirk when he visited in March.
Sam, I interned at the Chron/HS sports a long time ago. I'm glad to see you doing big things!What's your way-too-early record prediction, and do you expect any surprises on the 2-deep?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:46 PM)
What's up Rob? Thanks for the kind words. My prediction is the Aggies go 10-2. As for surprises on the two-deep, I don't expect any major surprises, but I think there's going to be a lot more newcomers/true freshman from the 2013 class in this two-deep than people expect. Just based on how many guys I see when they go 11-on-11 in practice, I get the sense that there's going to be a large chunk of the 2013 class cracking the two-deep.
Rock the Good Ag (Texas Hill Country)
How about Ricky Seals-Jones? Is he working with the first team? Will he have an impact this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:47 PM)
I have not seen RSJ work with the first team to this point. I've mostly seen him with the second group. That being said, I do think he'll have an impact this year. He's big (about 240 pounds now) and can really move. They've been lining him up at the 'Y' (inside receiver) when I've seen practice, and I think that could provide for some mismatches against linebackers and safeties.
Travis (Cockcroft, TX)
How much gigging do you think Johnny M does this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:51 PM)
My guess he winds up playing all season.
What defensive player has the highest career potential in your opinion?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:57 PM)
I think defensive tackle Isaiah Golden has a lot of potential because size-wise, he already stacks up pretty well to others at his position in this conference. I think defensive end Daeshon Hall has a lot of potential as well, if he continues to add weight. He bulked up in the offseason (he's about 240 now, was about 220 in high school) and he moves well for a defensive end. I like the potential of those two.
The Aggies play some real patsies this year, Rice, Sam Houston, SMU, UTEP, Vandy. Why don't they beef up the schedule and get some national respect?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:01 PM)
It takes two to tango. Someone good has to want to schedule you, too. Vanderbilt is a faulty argument because A) it's a conference game and the Aggies don't control the conference schedule and B) Vanderbilt's not a patsy. The Commodores went 9-4 last year and 5-3 in the SEC. That's pretty darn good. And the Aggies play in what many consider to be college football's toughest conference. Alabama and LSU are not patsies. The conference schedule isn't easy, so the Aggies will have their fair share of tests (and should they happen to win the SEC West, they'd have to beat someone like Georgia, South Carolina or Florida to win the SEC).
Sam Khan Jr. (5:02 PM)
Alright everyone, that will be it for today's chat. Thanks for joining, extra thanks if you asked a question. We'll reconvene in a couple weeks right before the Aggies play Rice. Until then, take care!