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. (4:01 PM)
Hello everybody and welcome to the GigEmNation chat! Thanks for joining. Let's get right to it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Bowl Game will Texas A&M will Play in this season?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:03 PM)
According to our Brett McMurphy, it appears it will be the Capital One Bowl. It's not official yet and won't be until Sunday, but according to him and his sources, the Capital One Bowl plans on choosing Texas A&M.
Mike (San Diego)
In the history of the Heisman only 3 defensive players have won and a freshman has never won. Do you think with those facts the Heisman is a given with Manziel's numbers, the Conference he plays in, and the fact that he beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:06 PM)
Mike,I don't know that I'd go so far to say "it's a given," but I think Johnny Manziel is the frontrunner at the moment and I don't know if anybody can knock him from that perch between now and when the ballots are due. Based on the buzz you hear from across the country, it seems like he has won over a lot of folks, despite his freshman classification. And I think it's because of the last couple things you mentioned: the conference he plays in (the SEC) and the "Heisman moment" he had against Alabama.
How good are our chances with Ja'Quay Williams? Also, when does he announce his decision?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:07 PM)
Michael, I think the Aggies chances with him are pretty solid, though it's hard to know for sure because he hasn't done too many interviews so it's hard to tell for sure. But I think the Aggies' chances are as good as any. He told our Kipp Adams that he's announcing his decision on Sunday. He takes an official visit to South Carolina this weekend and after the trip is over, he'll make the announcement.
John Mac (Cypress, TX)
Cotton bowl official today on tex Ags said tu officials want Cotton Bowl officials not to pick Aggies if it works out, looks like Ags are headed to better pastures once again anyway With Cap One but why is tu acting like a 12 yr old little girl
Sam Khan Jr. (4:10 PM)
John Mac, you'd have to ask the Longhorns. I'm not sure what emotions are like in Austin these days. If that's true and they would rather not play Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl, my guess is (and this is just a guess, mind you) that they don't want to risk a loss to the Aggies on a big stage. The Aggies are beginning to make some serious waves in the state on the recruiting trail and has beat Texas out for some highly-touted prospects in the 2014 class already. Perception statewide could be changing and if Texas were to play the Aggies and lose, that would only fuel that fire. That's kind of the way I see it. If that's not the reason, what could it be? It would be a sellout crowd at Cowboys Stadium and a matchup that EVERYONE wants to see.
Jon (Houston, TX)
I know journalists aren't supposed to get wrapped up in the emotions of the teams they cover, but be honest. How much fun has it been covering TAMU this year? 1st year in the SEC, upset over the Evil Empire of CFB, and maybe even a Heisman winner.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:12 PM)
Jon, we are objective journalists but that doesn't mean we don't enjoy our jobs. I got into sports journalism because I had a passion for sports and telling great stories. Texas A&M is a great story with everything surrounding it and the fact that the Aggies were embarking on their first SEC season was attractive to me when this opportunity presented itself. Watching Johnny Manziel, a potential Heisman Trophy winner, perform this year has been boatloads of fun. And it has been compelling to see the Aggies surpass expectations. There's no question it has been fun to cover, particularly on game days.
Mack Brown (Austin)
Sam, if A&M returns Joekel, Moore and Matthews next season, are they a top 5 team?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:13 PM)
Mack, if they return all three of those guys, they might be a preseason top-3 team. Seriously. That would be huge for Texas A&M if all three of those guys came back. You would be discussing the real possibility of a BCS championship game run. They were 5 points away from being in that conversation this year.
Everyone (Outside of Texas)
MANTI TEO! MANTI TEO! MAINT TEO!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:14 PM)
Hey, dude can play. I have nothing but respect for Te'o and have enjoyed watching him play on TV when I've had the chance this year.
Jeff (Clearwater, FL)
is it signed, sealed and delivered... we get our first freshman heisman winner?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:15 PM)
I don't think it's signed, sealed and delivered quite yet. But I'd be a bit shocked if it was someone other than Manziel at this point.
Class of '09 (Whoop!)
Sam,How many starters will we have coming back next year on defense (considering Moore leaves early)? Thanks!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:18 PM)
If you take Damontre Moore out of the equation, assuming he enters the NFL draft, here's who comes back on defense that started toward the end of the year: Julien Obioha, Kirby Ennis, Steven Jenkins, Deshazor Everett, De'Vante Harris, Howard Matthews. Even though he didn't "start" every game, I would put Toney Hurd in that category too because he played so much. So that's six or seven guys, depending on how you want to count them. If you count all of the above names I listed, that's seven starters back.
Ryan Munger (Durham, NC)
Why is the Cotton Bowl so against a Texas-Texas A&M match up?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:20 PM)
Unless they've said it publicly (maybe they have and I haven't heard) but I don't think the Cotton Bowl officials are against such a matchup. I think Texas is. It would be a game of big-time interest if it were to happen, so I would think the Cotton Bowl would love to have that matchup. But if Texas doesn't want to play in it, then there isn't much that can be done about it.
Since Manziel is a system QB with 2 really bad games on the resume, how can you justify giving him the Heisman over someone who raised his team up like Teo?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:23 PM)
Tom, with all due respect, I think the "system quarterback" argument is a tired one. If you can't see the difference between guys like Timmy Chang at Hawaii, who put up great numbers simply because they threw so much, and someone like Johnny Manziel, who clearly is a superior athlete (such a good athlete that he could escape Alabama defenders) then I can't help you. I've seen a lot of quarterbacks play in this Air Raid-style system, or whatever Kliff Kingsbury wants to call it and if you watch enough, you can tell the difference between really special, talented QBs who thrive in it and guys whose numbers are good because of the offense. Manziel, in my opinion, would succeed in most schemes you place him in. And Manziel doesn't have "two really bad" games on his resume. LSU was the only one you could consider "really bad" and name me a quarterback that has had great success against LSU's defense? I won't knock Te'o, because Te'o's a great player and he deserves whatever accolades he gets. But to call Manziel a system quarterback I think is silly and shortsided.
David (Austin, TX)
Reports of Shaq Wiggins planning a visit to A&M in February...does this mean Jaquay Williams is going to commit to the Aggies this weekend since they were reported to be a "package" deal?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:25 PM)
David, Shaq Wiggins' visit won't happen until right before signing day (Feb. 1), but there's no doubt that it appears they'd like to play together. I wouldn't be shocked if it happened. Williams will announce on Sunday so we'll know a bit more then.
Is there enough quality in the 2013 class that it's not just quantity over quality?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:26 PM)
Kyle, I think that's always going to be a balancing act, quality vs. quantity. But there's no doubt this team needs depth. Just look at where the Aggies stood defensively in terms of how much personnel they played and you can see that. If the Aggies add the cherry on top of the class in the form of Ricky Seals-Jones, I think it's a top-10 class. And they have room for the entire class, so there's no sense in leaving scholarships left unused. I think you'll see the quantity be much smaller in 2014 as a result, but the quality will still be high.
Will Johnny's arrest hurt him in the Heisman voting given the awards focus on excellence with class and integrity?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:29 PM)
Bill, I can't speak for all the voters, but I wouldn't be surprised if it mattered to some of them. Will it matter enough for him to not win the Heisman? I doubt that. It was a mistake, Manziel was candid about admitting that, and I think voters will probably take into account that it was a 19-year-old young man who made a silly decision, which many at that age do. If he had multiple incidents that followed it that were similar in the aftermath, then I would think it would impact his candidacy. But since he's been on the straight and narrow since, I don't think it will have a big enough impact to hurt his chances of winning.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:30 PM)
Also, just an FYI to those of you sending questions, if you type "A&M" twice (with the ampersand) it cuts the rest of the text off so I won't be able to see your question.
Ryan Munger (Durham, NC)
Of the 4 remaining ESPN 150 recruits that has A&M in their top choices (Seals-Jones, Manning, Mitchell, Savaiinaea), choose A
Sam Khan Jr. (4:32 PM)
Ryan, I'm guessing Ricky Seals-Jones is most likely to choose the Aggies. I would say Mike Mitchell is the least likely of the four. I'd put Justin Manning and Isaac Savaiinaea about even, both coin-flip propositions.
Hi Sam, love the new hat. With all the success on the field and the recent firings in the SEC, who are you thinking might be a surprise commit for the 2013 class?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:34 PM)
Dustin, thanks for the kind words. Thought I'd change it up a bit. I don't know if there are any true "surprises" that I could put my finger on at the moment. Ja'Quay Williams would fall in that category but he won't be a surprise anymore now that he has visited and is clearly interested. The closer you get to signing day and once new head coaches are in place at other schools, I think you'll see some shakeups.
David (Austin, TX)
Mackensie Alexander is a big-time DB out of Florida that the Ags were reportedly still in contention for. Where do the Ags stand with him? Who would Ags take: Shaq Wiggins or Alexander?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:35 PM)
David, Alexander took a visit earlier this year and there's still mutual interest there but because he doesn't do hardly any interviews, it's hard to tell. If the Aggies had their choice, I think they'd take Alexander out of those two, but I think it's an either-or proposition. If they can get either one, I think they would be cool with it.
SidekickToHero (White Oak, Tx.)
I know we are at 31 commits right now with 6-8 of those enrolling at semester. There are a lot of players still on the radar including RSJ, Mike Mitchell, Isaac Saaviinea, Ja'Quay Wiggins, Justin Manning and a few more. How many of those can Coach Sumlin actually sign?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:36 PM)
The Aggies can take probably about 34 players in this class. I wrote a story about it for GigEmNation on Thursday. Check it out and I break down the numbers: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post?id=4222
Sam Khan Jr. (4:37 PM)
And those of you who click that link and aren't Insiders, we have a nice holiday offer for you. $1.66 a month. Check it out! http://es.pn/V61DZ6
Samuel, How old are you? You looked like a pretty young whippersnapper in that post-Mizzou vid
Sam Khan Jr. (4:38 PM)
Haha, that's because I shaved. No facial hair makes me look like a teenager. I'm 30.
What are our chances with RSJ and Isaac Savaiinaea? Should we be worried about UCLA?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:40 PM)
Patrick, I think RSJ is the Aggies' to lose. LSU is still recruiting him hard but I think Texas A&M has the edge. Savaiinaea I think is a true coin-flip. He could go either-or. He loved the atmosphere in College Station but it's a long way (9 hour flight) from home. He also said UCLA, climate-wise, kind of reminded him of home. No matter who he picks, I won't be surprised. He's been pretty upfront and really likes both places.
It's pretty clear Texas wants no part of us. Just how bad do you think A&M would beat them?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:42 PM)
If they played, I think the Aggies would win by a couple of touchdowns. I wouldn't underestimate the emotion from the players on Texas' side because I'm sure they would be hearing the whole time about how the Aggies would beat them from the national folks. But I always pick the team with the best coach-QB combo and right now, that's the Aggies.
David (Austin, TX)
Justin Manning and Mike Mitchell both look to be headed to other schools (OU & Ohio St). Any chance Ags can land either of these two top defensive recruits?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:43 PM)
David, I wouldn't rule out their chances with either. I think Mitchell eventually picks Ohio State though. Manning wouldn't surprise me if he picked Texas A&M. I think their chances with Manning are better than they are with Mitchell.
Between RSJ, Manning, Savi, and Mitchell, how many of these do you think A&M lands?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:44 PM)
Evan, I'd say 1 or 2. RSJ and either Manning or Savi.
RT (College Station, TX)
So what's the deal with Shaq Wiggins? Is he considering A&M now or is he still a pretty solid Georgia commit?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:45 PM)
When I last talked to Wiggins, before he set the A&M official, he said he was "100 percent to Georgia." So that sounds solid. But he's still taking a visit and a lot can change between now and then.
Kidding aside, I used to read some of your high school stuff in the Houston Chron, and now you've moved up to covering A&M for ESPN... what is your ultimate career aspiration in this business?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:46 PM)
Ultimate? Being one of the two dudes on Pardon the Interruption. That'd be the ultimate, I think. Writing any kind of national column (think Rick Reilly, in the days when he did the back page column for Sports Illustrated), that would be a dream for me, too.
Robert (Salt Lake City)
This 2013 class is absolutely stuffed to the gills, what with all the midterm and JUCO guys. How many spots are realistically left, and other than Seals-Jones, who remains as the top targets?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:48 PM)
Robert, the Aggies can probably take about three more total. They can probably take two more mid-term guys. Top targets left listed here in my Thursday story: ( http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post?id=4222 ) but it's basically the same guys you're seeing mentioned in the chat today (RSJ, Manning, Savi, Mitchell, Williams, etc.)
Any chance some of these Auburn commits waver? Say, maybe Rueben Foster?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:49 PM)
When there is coaching changes, there's always that chance. Right now it looks like Georgia has the best chance to flip Foster. All that good stuff is in Blue Chip Battles today ( http://insider.espn.go.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/8683763/recruitingnation-ranks-top-10-recruiting-battles-football-nov-30 )
LT Dan (Pacific Ocean)
What's a realistic expectation for next season based on what you know about who's leaving and who's staying? Is a natty a possibility?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:51 PM)
LT Dan, none of those decisions have been made yet by the three juniors who are going to be draft prospects (Joeckel, Matthews, Moore). Those decisions probably won't be made until January after the Aggies' bowl game. My guess is at least one of the three stays. If one of the tackles stays, I think the Aggies will have a chance to make a BCS title game run. They have eight home games next year, with the first four at home (including Bama). If they can start 4-0, and you figure they'll start with a preseason top-10 ranking, they'll be in prime position to control their own destiny.
What ever happened to Sunny Odogwu? It seems like there was a lot of talk about him when A&M first offered but haven't heard anything since.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:52 PM)
The spot that would have gone to Odogwu (essentially a junior college or post-graduate offensive tackle) is essentially taken by recent commit Jeremiah Stuckey now. It seems that interest waned as the season went on.
Would you rather:A) field a defense with a Manti Teo clone at every linebacker positionB) field an offense with Johnny Manziel at QB
Sam Khan Jr. (4:55 PM)
Wow, great question. My initial thought is to say Te'o, because defense wins championships. But Manziel is so hard to game plan for and he forces teams to change their defense. Based on only their seasons this year, I'll say an offense with Manziel at QB. But it would be a close choice.
When you get the next NCAA Football video game, do you create your own player? Or just play as Manziel because he will have all the best stats anyways (except for place kicking of course)?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:57 PM)
You know Rand, when I play NCAA Football (which once the season starts, is rare because I'm so busy) I normally play with Houston, because that's my alma mater. I don't get into the creating players stuff too much. When the Cougars had Case Keenum, I was a bad boy in NCAA. My current copy of NCAA 13 has been collecting dust since August because of work.
Assuming A&M makes it to the Capital One bowl, who do you think provides the most exciting matchup? Michigan or Nebraska? Or somebody else?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:58 PM)
I think either one is a great matchup. Michigan, in my opinion, would be pretty compelling because of the two dynamic QB element and Nebraska is a former Big 12 mate.
So the Aggies currently have 31 guys committed for 2013, which is already a big number. It seems we are still going after about 3-4 HS guys, and few more juco players as well. How much bigger can this class get? And is it possible that Sumlin and staff are covering their bases, knowing that a number of guys currently listed as commits won't actually be playing for us next year for whatever reason?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:59 PM)
There's no doubt there's the possibility for a little attrition in the class. There always is every year for several schools across the country, whether it's grades, decommits or anything of the like. I think the Aggies will add about three more.
Since when has 233 total yards, one rushing touchdown, and over a 75% completion percentage against a top 5 defense considered a bad game?
Ken (Richland, WA)
This Manziel Heisman talk reminds me of something from my time at A&M. The Heisman -Killers t-shirt. The wrecking crew took out Tim Brown, Andre Ware and Ty Detmer. Could having the Heisman be a burden in some ways in his next few years at A
Sam Khan Jr. (5:00 PM)
Ken, the "burden" thing is up to Manziel and how he handles it. Tim Tebow won the Heisman as a sophomore and still managed to play at a high level. It appears that Manziel comes from a good family and has a good support system, so I think he'd deal with it just fine. But there's no doubt it creates a target on his and the Aggies' back for opponents. Coaches will be hyping up their players to beat the "Heisman" winner.
What are the chances the Aggies get the Sealy High WR
Sam Khan Jr. (5:01 PM)
I think they're pretty good. I give the Aggies an edge over LSU in the race right now.
Why do you think people knock offensive "systems?" That's like saying: "you only won because your team calls better plays that we can't defend."
Sam Khan Jr. (5:01 PM)
It's silly. Everyone plays in a system.
@mvptvnews (San Antonio)
With so much success in 2012, is TAMU concerned about setting themselves up for a "down" year next season?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:03 PM)
Heck no. They aren't worried about next year, they're worried about this year. And if anything, this year heightens expectations for next year. Now you're talking about them possibly being a BCS title game contender. Coming into this season, if someone said that about the Aggies in year two of the SEC, I think many around the country would have laughed. Now, it seems like a real possibility.
With Ben Malena, Tra Carson, Brandon Williams, Trey Williams, and incoming freshman RBs next year, how do you think the depth chart shakes out? Do we see any transfers?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:04 PM)
I'd say 1) Ben Malena 2a) Trey Williams 2b) Brandon Williams 3) Tra Carson. I don't think you'll see transfers. Malena will be a senior. Trey will probably get more touches and Williams and Carson are already transfers. No way they sit out another year to go somewhere else.
Will (Thousand Oaks, CA)
What names would you put on the short list of Texas' top 2014 prospects?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:06 PM)
Tony Brown (S, Beaumont Ozen). Hoza Scott (LB, La Porte). Ed Paris (S, Mansfield Timberview). Nick Harvey (ATH, Lancaster). Demetrius Knox (OT, Fort Worth All Saints). Myles Garrett (DE, Arlington Martin). Solomon Thomas (DE, Coppell). Those are the first that come to mind and there's a lot more. Shaun Nixon, Zac Whitley. The 2014 class is pretty strong in Texas.
Who do you think is a better recruiter: Fran, Sherman, or Sumlin?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:08 PM)
I wasn't around to cover the former two, so I'm not sure how good they were. I will say Sherman brought in some great players because a lot of them are on the field for the Aggies now, including those three juniors who could be first round draft picks. Sumlin is really good though and the combination of his ability as a recruiter, the assistants he hires and their abilities as recruiters and the Aggies resources plus the SEC makes for a mean combination.
Rob (San Francisco)
With the success Manziel has had this year it has to be difficult for any QB recruits/teammates to see much playing time. Any transfer rumors from any current QB recruits or backups?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:09 PM)
Rob, there's always going to be speculation about that but I've not heard anything rock solid about any of those guys wanting to transfer. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen though, because only 1 QB plays.
Rob (San Francisco)
Is Johnny going to try and play baseball for the Ags this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:09 PM)
Not to my knowledge, no.
Rob (San Francisco)
Do the Ags lose any coaches this year?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:09 PM)
It's possible, but I've heard nothing solid yet about any of them taking other jobs at this point.
Trace Jones (Dallas, TX)
Any word on the JUCO DE Za'Darius Smith? Are we only going after him if Damontre Moore leaves early?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:10 PM)
He has a couple of official visits still left in the next couple of weeks. I don't think that's the ONLY reason they're going after him, but it's definitely a contributing factor.
What would you say the biggest need is in the 2014 class?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:12 PM)
O-linemen and D-linemen. In the SEC, those will always be a need. I think they could use more secondary depth and they're addressing that already.
I know there's probably bias among Aggies but nearly all that I talk to about recruiting think Justin Manning is coming to Aggieland. What do you think?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:13 PM)
I wouldn't be shocked. Manning knows how to play the game with the media and fans though, so he's kept us all on our toes. I think OU fans think he's going to Norman and A&M fans think he's going to College Station and TCU fans think he's going to Fort Worth. It's really anybody's guess at this point.
Do you think A&M is a "final destination" for Sumlin and how many years can anyone expect Kingsbury to stick around?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:14 PM)
Jason, that's a great question. I think Sumlin will stick around in Aggieland for awhile. I don't know if it's a "final destination." There aren't too many better jobs out there. Alabama? Ohio State maybe? Perhaps he goes the Bob Stoops route and builds the Aggies up and stays long term. I could see that happening. I'll tell you what: if Stoops ever left Oklahoma, I bet the Sooners would come after Sumlin in a hurry. That would be interesting to see if he'd have any interest there since he has coached there before.
Would you rather trade places with Johnny Football when he beat Alabama or when he went out on Halloween ;)
Sam Khan Jr. (5:15 PM)
Trace Jones (Dallas, TX)
Besides RSJ, which guys do you feel like would be the best commits to truly round out this class?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:16 PM)
I think Justin Manning would be a nice get for them to round it out. They already have several DTs but you can't have too many. Getting another linebacker, like a Savaiinaea or Mitchell or even a Tommy Sanders, would put the icing on the cake.
Trace Jones (Dallas, TX)
With the exception of DE Jay Arnold, we haven't grabbed any other DEs...is Arnold that good or are we solid on depth at DE?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:18 PM)
They're still recruiting ZaDarius Smith, a juco DE, but Moore's the only potential departure. No DEs graduating, so there's some depth there.
How do you think the season has gone for Trey Williams? A 5 star recruit who's shown flashes but in the games I've watched (haven't been able to catch them all) he's been used sparingly. Also, Christine Michael have any NFL hopes? He was a 5 star but injuries...
Sam Khan Jr. (5:20 PM)
Kyle, I think it's been an alright season for Williams. I'm sure he'd like more touches but all three were going to get touches and Sumlin stated that from the start. There's not a ton of true freshmen that come in and get the lion's share. I think it was probably a good learning year for Williams, getting a grasp of what he can do and how to adjust to the college game. As for Michael, he definitely has NFL hopes. He's built well - strong and fast. An NFL team will definitely take a chance on him.
You forgot Bo Jackson Ken in WA....
How big of an emphasis on linebackers for the 2014 class for the Aggies?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:21 PM)
They've got five commits in the current class at LB and could add another, so I don't think there will be a huge emphasis. I could see them taking a couple in 2014.
Will (Thousand Oaks)
Thanks for staying after hours, Sam!
Sam Khan Jr. (5:21 PM)
One of the big reasons that came out for the pulling of Zimmerman's offer was that a player that was expected to go to the NFL is staying. Have you heard anything about this?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:23 PM)
I've heard similar rumblings but I've been trying to confirm that with A&M folks. It seems a little early for any of those guys to have decided, because the deadline to declare isn't until January. If I have solid information that it turns out to be the case, I'll definitely report it. But so far, that doesn't seem final, even if that's what was told to Zimmerman.
If all three juniors leave for the draft do you see the Aggies having a down year i.e. 7-8 wins and if so would year 3 be the year that fans should expect a serious Nat Title run because of depth development or do you believe we shouldn't skip a beat in year 2 regardless of who goes for the draft early.
Sam Khan Jr. (5:26 PM)
Interesting that 7-8 wins is a "down year" now for the Aggies. If Aggies fans were offered that for this season and were guaranteed that they would have that many, I think a lot would have taken them. But I digress. To answer your question, losing all three of the draft-eligible juniors would certainly be a blow to national title run hopes. How big a blow? It depends on how quickly the other offensive tackles develop. You'd be talking about a young offensive line going against the rigors of the SEC. But that being said, if the Aggies don't get to 10 wins next year, I could see year three for the Aggies and Manziel being a year they could make a serious run. I think even if all three go into the draft, though, the Aggies will still be a preseason top-10 team because of Manziel and if you're ranked that high, you're a contender so long that you keep winning.
James (Midland, TX)
Do you think A&M's ability to turn 3* and 4* athletes into Heisman Trophy contenders (Johnny) and 1st round draft picks (V Miller, Tannehill, D Moore) has an effect on recruits' decision-making process?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:28 PM)
James, there's no doubt that recruits pay attention to that kind of stuff. That's why the SEC membership is such a big deal for A&M, because recruits know how many players are drafted by NFL teams out of the SEC. If a player knows he can A) play B) win C) be on TV and D) get drafted, then it's hard for a recruit to pass on that. The Aggies are showing this year that you can do all four of those things in College Station.
Sam Khan Jr. (5:30 PM)
Alright folks, that will about do it for the chat today. Lots of great questions and participation this week. Thanks as always for joining in and for reading our content at GigEmNation. If you're not an insider, be sure to check out our special holiday offer (50% off the regular price): http://es.pn/V61DZ6Thanks again and see you next time!