Kyle Allen opened up Tuesday regarding his transfer from Texas A&M to Houston in an interview with CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd.
Allen argued the atmosphere around the program isn't conducive to success, citing Johnny Manziel's rise to prominence as creating systemic issues:
I think the culture was a big part of it, and I think that stems from Johnny's era there—the way that they let Johnny and [others] act there. They [could] do that and still win games because they had Johnny … and five offensive linemen playing in the NFL right now.
A lot of people were riding off that, "I can do whatever the hell I want and win on Saturday.
On paper, Allen should've thrived in College Station. He was the No. 1 pro-style quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class, per 247Sports' composite rankings. Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin was also successful in developing both Manziel and former Cougars quarterback Case Keenum in his first head-coaching job.
Instead, Allen struggled somewhat, throwing for 3,532 yards, 33 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in his two years at A&M. The Aggies also posted an 8-5 record in each of those seasons.
Sean Porter, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker and Texas A&M alum, offered his thoughts on Allen's comments:
Sean Porter @onlyoneSP
"They could act like that & still win games". Act like what. WINNERS. Watch the tape. We didn't stumble into those wins. That's work & more.2/9/2016, 10:45:46 PM
Sean Porter @onlyoneSP
Best facilities in the country + upgraded stadium. + Sumlin pulling in top recruits. Embrace that. Take ownership. Win.2/9/2016, 10:48:46 PM
Matt Mosley of the Dallas Morning News also wondered if the junior quarterback was being entirely forthright about why he left A&M:
.@mattmosley: I don't buy 'Johnny Manziel culture' as the reason Kyle Allen left Texas A&M https://t.co/pct5EVw96z https://t.co/jTp21kwifw2/9/2016, 7:36:16 PM
Joe Buettner of the Dallas Morning News posited the arrival of graduate transfer Trevor Knight might help in part solve the problem:
Joe Buettner @Joe_Buettner
From what it sounds like, Trevor Knight might be the best thing for that locker room. https://t.co/geSYXKNUPG2/9/2016, 5:16:07 PM
Allen doesn't specifically criticize Sumlin, but he paints the picture of a head coach unable to get the most out of his players, which to a certain extent has proven true.
"Everyone wasn't in a straight line. Everyone was going this way, this way, this way," Allen said. "We had a ton of talent there. I think that, once you get all the right coaches there and get the vision right, you can do a lot of things."
Sumlin has seemingly attracted the requisite recruits necessary to turn A&M into a perennial SEC contender. According to 247Sports' team composite ranking, his recruiting classes finished No. 11 nationally in 2015, No. 5 in 2014, No. 9 in 2013 and No. 16 in 2012.
The last two years have put Sumlin under the microscope, though, after the Aggies failed to build on the success of the Manziel era. The departure of offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will only put more pressure on Sumlin, too, since he'll have one less person on whom to deflect blame should things go wrong.
Whether serious issues exist behind the scenes or not, the head coach heads into the 2016 season on the hot seat, and Allen's comments will do little to help matters. If Texas A&M finishes with eight or nine wins next year, it's possible Sumlin could be out of a job.
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