An All New Texas A&M
By BJ Bennett
Follow us at Twitter.com/SouthernPigskin. Become a fan at the SouthernPigskin.com Facebook Page
As the Aggies prepare for the SEC, they will do so with a new-look top-to-bottom.
It's been an off-season of change for Texas A&M -- and not just in terms of their move to the SEC. As the Aggies prepare for year one in college football's top conference, there are other key points of transition.
New Head Coach
Kevin Sumlin has taken over in College Station after going 12-1 last season with Houston. He went 35-17 in four years with the Cougars, compiling a 24-8 conference record. Last season's team finished in the top 15 in the USA Today Coaches Poll and set a new school record with 13 wins. Sumlin has developed a reputation as one of college football's top offensive minds. Prior to his first head coaching job, Sumlin was an assistant at Oklahoma for five years, serving as the co-offensive coordinator in 2006 and 2007. Before starting in Norman, he was the offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Texas A&M for two years under famed Aggie head coach R.C. Slocum. Sumlin also has spent time at Purdue, Minnesota, Wyoming and Washington State. He played linebacker collegiately for the Boilermakers.
Sumlin has assembled a completely new staff, an impressive collection of rising stars and veterans. Philosophical and schematic change will be considerable. Former Texas Tech quarterback Kliff Kingsbury will serve as the offensive coordinator after helping to compile big numbers under Sumlin at Houston. Former South Florida defensive coordinator Mark Snyder will lead the other side of the ball. Snyder has head coaching experience with Marshall and was very successful as the defensive coordinator under Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Helping him will be former Boise State assistant and now co-coordinator Marcel Yates. Brian Polian comes over after stops at Stanford and Notre Dame. Former Aggie Terry Price brings SEC experience from Ole Miss and Auburn. Matt Wallerstedt (Air Force) and David Beaty (Kansas) round out the staff with Houston holdovers Clarence McKinney and B.J. Anderson.
Gone is first round NFL Draft Pick Ryan Tannehill, now with the Miami Dolphins. The face of the Aggies has moved on to the next level, leaving a major void under center. Tannehill compiled over 4,000 total yards last season, scoring 33 total touchdowns. He finished his career with 5,450 yards passing, 369 yards rushing, 1,596 yards receiving and 57 career scores. Sophomore Jameill Showers (6'2'', 219) may the frontrunner to emerge at quarterback. He completed 4-of-5 passes for 80 yards last season. Out of high school, Showers chose Texas A&M over, among others, Houston.
Design firm Populus is leading the study phase of the renovation of Kyle Field. Options are being considered and weighed, but the big picture plans appear to be incredible. Minor construction projects are underway. From AggieAthletics.com: ""We feel the Kyle Field stadium redevelopment is wholly unique in that together we have the opportunity to help define a new path for Texas A&M's future in what could become one of the most significant redevelopment projects in all of American sport," said Populous Senior Principal Earl Santee, AIA, who will personally oversee the project. "Our plan for this project is innovative, comprehensive and full of passion. We will seek to define the meaningful moments of Aggie Football: the traditions, the fans and the environment that create a one-of-a-kind experience."
It's the same basic premise, but Adidas and Texas A&M have unveilved new Lone Star TECHFIT uniforms. From AggieAthletics.com: "...Inspired by the team's jerseys from the 1970's, the Aggies' new look pays homage to the rich tradition of Texas A&M football and celebrates the bright future in College Station." Pictures below.