GREENSBORO, Ga. — A quarterback exodus from College Station shocked the football world in December when Texas A&M’s top two signal callers — Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray — decided to skip town.
Their departures severely limited the Aggies’ 2016 options, while giving a pair of major programs extra firepower.
Murray went to Oklahoma. Allen went to Houston. Both will need to sit out one season, but rest assured they will get plenty of chances to see the field a year from now.
Houston coach Tom Herman praised Allen’s talent Monday at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge golf tournament, but stopped shy of proclaiming Allen a future starter.
“He’s a better athlete than most people think,” Herman said. “He’s gonna have to win the job, too. That’s certainly not gonna be handed to him.”
Allen has been on campus since January, eager to start over after his falling out with the A&M coaching staff.
Former Aggies running back Tra Carson implied that Allen and Murray had trouble maintaining a healthy relationship with Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin.
“Playing quarterback for coach Sumlin (has) got to be difficult,” Carson said at the NFL scouting combine in February. “He asks you to do a lot of things. So that’s definitely a tall task and you have to be a tough guy to do that.”
Monday, Herman did not elaborate on Allen’s past troubles at the campus just 100 miles to the northwest. He expects the 20-year-old to put in hard work on the scout team this season, and then compete against rising junior Kyle Postma in 2017.
“He’s gonna have to earn the job,” Herman said.
Before heading to Houston last season, the coach was previously Ohio State’s offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer, and Herman expects Allen — who relies on his arm more than his legs — to be able to move around.
“We’re a pro offense that just happens to take the snap in the shotgun,” Herman said. “So you have to defend the quarterback run, whether it’s a freak like (former Ohio State quarterback and wide receiver) Braxton Miller or (current Houston quarterback) Greg Ward, Jr., or it’s a guy that’s just OK, and can make you yards like (former Ohio State quarterback) Cardale Jones or Kyle Allen.”