Kevin Sumlin’s decision as to who will be his next starting quarterback won’t just be critical for the team, it may determine whether the head coach will remain at Texas A&M beyond this season.
Entering his sixth season in College Station, Sumlin is being forced to deliver after three straight 8-5 seasons and back-to-back bowl losses. That much is clear based on athletic director Scott Woodward said in late May on The Paul Finebaum Show.
“Coach Sumlin knows he has to win,” Woodward said. “He has to win this year. He has to do better than he has done in the past.”
On Thursday, Sumlin spoke with Will Johnson of 12th Man Studios about what Jake Hubenak, Nick Starkel or Kellen Mond will have to show to get the nod at UCLA on Sept. 3.
“It’s not going to be just about what [their performance] says to me. It’s going to be about what it says to the team,” Sumlin said. “We’ve got plenty of talent around them. … We got more starts on the offensive line than we had last year, two pretty good running backs, I think they’re really good, and the most dynamic guy with the ball in his hands on the perimeter in Christian Kirk.
“Whoever can lead the team and not give the ball to the other team as much as they give it to us, that’s going to be the guy. It doesn’t have to be flashy. I think it’s one of those things where whoever the guy is that shows up, goes to work every day and is really consistent with what he does is going to be our quarterback.”
Hubenak, the veteran of the bunch, has had three starts in his career with the Aggies. Last season, the senior made six appearances and threw for 884 yards, 6 TDs and 2 interceptions while completing 58.7 percent of his passes.
Mond, a true freshman dual-threat QB, is a 4-star prospect from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. Starkel was a 3-star recruit in the Class of 2016 and redshirted last season.