The protection for Texas A&M’s next starting quarterback just received a significant boost on Thursday afternoon.
That’s because the team’s starting right tackle Cedric Ogbuehi announced that he would return to College Station for his senior season via his official Twitter page:
I am excited to return to College Station to continue my education and play another season with your coaches and teammates.— Cedric Ogbuehi (@Nuff_ced70) January 9, 2014
The NFL has always been a dream of mine but I want to achieve that dream with my education and as much preparation as possible at myposition— Cedric Ogbuehi (@Nuff_ced70) January 9, 2014
The news came as a shock to many.
Just last week, ESPN’s Alex Scarborough reported that Ogbuehi had reportedly received a first-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. The junior was expected to join fellow offensive lineman Jake Matthews—also projected to go in the first round—in leaving for the NFL.
That could have presented the Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin with several difficulties.
After quarterback Johnny Manziel announced his decision to declare early for the NFL draft on Wednesday, via ESPN’s Sam Khan Jr., the team already had an uphill battle ahead of it in finding a replacement for the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner. Throw in losing two top offensive linemen in Matthews and Ogbuehi, and Texas A&M could have been looking at a nightmare situation.
Thankfully, the coaching staff and fans alike can breathe a sigh of relief.
With Matthews gone, Ogbuehi will move to left tackle. In fact, the opportunity to make the switch most likely played a large role in the Allen, Texas native’s decision to return to school.
That’s because given the position’s demand to protect the blindside of right-handed quarterbacks, left tackles come at more of a premium for NFL teams.
Furthermore, with Auburn’s Greg Robinson, Tennessee’s Antonio Richardson and Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio all declaring early for the draft, Ogbuehi immediately becomes the SEC’s top left tackle prospect in 2015.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of CFBstats.com.