Kyler Murray Named Texas A&M Starting QB: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2015

Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against South Carolina during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015, in College Station, Texas. Texas A&M won 35-28. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

Texas A&M quarterback Kyler Murray lit it up in his first start against South Carolina this past weekend to the point that head coach Kevin Sumlin will move forward with the true freshman as the starter.  

Sumlin made the decision to roll with Murray as the operator of the Aggies' air-raid offense Tuesday, per Brent Zwerneman of the Houston Chronicle.

After starting the year splitting time and serving as the backup to Kyle Allen, Murray got his shot to take the reins last Saturday against the Gamecocks and ran with the opportunity. The 18-year-old phenom was 20-of-28 passing for 223 yards and a score, adding 156 yards on the ground and one more touchdown in a 35-28 win.

Wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones had six receptions for 88 yards in the victory and applauded Murray's performance, per ESPN.com's Sam Khan Jr.: "[I saw] poise. The first couple series in the beginning of the game you could tell he was kind of nervous, but then after he sat back and got stable, he let it rip and let it go and made plays."

ESPN Stats & Info provided context for just how good Murray was in his full-time debut:

A 247Sports 5-star recruit and Texas high school football legend, there were still doubts as to how much Murray would contribute in 2015, considering Allen was the incumbent starter. It wasn't a shock to see Allen beat out Murray in a QB competition and build on a decent freshman campaign either.

But Allen's play began to decline in losses to Alabama and Ole Miss, as he was just 32-of-74 passing with 4.74 yards per attempt, one TD and four interceptions.

The Murray era is beginning perhaps sooner than expected, but he was brought to College Station to be the future face of the program. Due to his dual-threat capabilities and diminutive frame, inevitable comparisons have arisen between Murray and former Texas A&M Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.

That he has managed to hit the field and thrive in his first year on campus is a testament to Murray's potential and preternatural polish, whereas Manziel needed a redshirt year before taking college football by storm.

One point of concern regarding Murray is how he'll hold up against SEC competition should he choose to run as often as he did against South Carolina. Murray needs to add strength if he's meant to continue taking hits, but he's also a cerebral QB who can win from the pocket and doesn't rely on improvisation as much as Manziel did.

Next up on the Aggies schedule is a showdown against conference rival Auburn. The 2015 campaign has been a struggle for the Tigers, but they have a defensive coordinator in Will Muschamp who can at least provide a challenge to Murray from a schematic standpoint.


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