Texas A&M Football: What We Learned About Kyle Allen in Spring Practice
The Texas A&M football team's spring season is complete, but the competition for the starting quarterback job will continue into the fall. True freshman Kyle Allen exceeded expectations early in his Aggie career and is widely considered the leader in the competition to replace Johnny Manziel.
Allen graduated from high school early and enrolled at A&M in January. Instead of getting ready for his senior prom, he has been trying to complete passes against SEC defenders.
Allen is competing with sophomore Kenny Hill and fifth-year senior Matt Joeckel for the starting quarterback job. Allen and Hill were thought to be ahead of Joeckel in the competition, but then Hill was suspended after being arrested for public intoxication.
Whether or not Allen will start his first career collegiate game will be decided about two weeks before the Aggies' season opener on August 28.
This is a look at what Allen showed the coaches and fans during spring practice.
The Job Is Not Too Big
It is common for freshmen to struggle to make the adjustment from high school to college. Living on your own, tougher classes and an unfamiliar environment make the adjustment hard for the average college student.
That is compounded when you add the commitment of 20 hours per week of practices and meetings. It is easy to understand why a lot of college athletes choose to redshirt their first year in college in order to make the adjustment to the demands on their time.
Allen has made the transition from high school to college look as smooth as possible up to this point. He jumped right into spring practice and competed tooth and nail with a sophomore and senior who both have more experience in the system than Allen.
Allen did not appear nervous or unprepared to compete at this level. He is obviously mature for his age and has had very good coaching as he came up through the high school ranks. Allen has not been overwhelmed with the prospect of starting at quarterback in the best conference in the nation.
Allen has proven to be a quick study since he arrived on campus. He has a high football IQ and has been able to grasp the Aggies' offense in a very short period of time.
A lot of quarterbacks run spread offenses in high school, so Allen's ability to learn Kevin Sumlin's offense in less than two months is nothing short of phenomenal. He has soaked up knowledge both in the meeting room and on the field.
Allen has impressed observers with his approach to the mental aspect of the game. His ability to quickly grasp complicated concepts will offer him the opportunity to be truly special in college.
Allen is physically ready to play college football right now. The 6'3", 205-pound quarterback is prepared to take the pounding from SEC defenses.
Allen has an arm strong enough to make all the throws required in the Aggie offense. He can connect on the quick outs and push the ball down the field.
Allen is not as elusive as Johnny Manziel, but he is fast enough to offer the Aggies a running option from the quarterback position. Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will be able to utilize a lot of the same zone-read concepts with Allen that he used with Manziel.
Every quarterback has their strengths and weaknesses, but Spavital will not have to tweak the offense too much in order to adjust for Allen.
Sumlin's Run of Elite Quarterbacks Will Continue
In his career as a head football coach, the quarterbacks who have lined up under center for Sumlin have averaged 380.4 yards per game. That means the average Sumlin quarterback will throw for 4,500 yards in a 12-game season.
Allen's presence on campus ensures that Sumlin's streak of producing outstanding college quarterbacks will continue. If Hill or Joeckel do not win the job, Allen is ready to step in to the starting role and lead the Aggie offense.
His presence on the roster ensures that the Aggies will have a solid trigger man in place to lead A&M in the post-Manziel era.