Texas A&M QB Battle Contenders at BookMaker
If we had to guess, Sumlin is going to end up screwing this up and ultimately never really having a legitimate starting quarterback in 2017. And who could blame him for it? He brought in Trevor Knight last year to lead the team as a graduate transfer, and though he wasn't a complete and utter wreck, he only averaged 6.7 yards per pass attempt and arguably was only a modestly better option than Jake Hubenak.
Hubenak enters the season as the favorite to start in Week 1, albeit at a price of just +145. He was never expected to start last season after Knight transferred into College Station, but in his limited duty, he was respectable, throwing for 884 yards and six touchdowns against just two picks. He doesn't have the wheels of a typical Sumlin quarterback and couldn't be expected to be a legitimate part of the running game as Knight was last year and Johnny Manziel was in yesteryear. Yet Hubenak can move around a little bit and won't be completely inept if asked to start.
Nick Starkel is an interesting project pick for the Aggies should Sumlin elect to go the younger route. He's a redshirt freshman who now has a year in the system. His tools, though, don't really seem to fit. No one will argue that Starkel has the best ability to just drop back and throw of the three candidates, and that's why we'd bet he sees some time at some point this year even if he doesn't win the starting job in Week 1 at a price of +185. That said, Starkel is a statue in the pocket, and if Sumlin is going to win with him, he's going to have to adapt his offense around more of a pro-style look than anything else.
It's always risky starting a true freshman under center, but that might be the best long-term prospect Sumlin has at his disposal. Kellen Mond was a legitimate four-star quarterback who picked up offers from basically all of the Texas schools that aren't decked in burnt orange and several teams from the SEC. We know that Mond can run around as a pure athlete, but is he developed enough as a passer to really succeed in the SEC? Probably not.
That said, Mond's legs remind you of a more controlled Johnny Football. Sure, the Aggies aren't going to be asking Mond to step in and be a Heisman Trophy contender as Manziel was, but it wouldn't be out of the question to see him throw for 2,000 yards and run for 1,200 if he was really tasked to start the whole season.
That said, this is still the SEC, and if Sumlin is going to go this route and start Mond in Week 1 – something that would pay off at a price of +245 – it would be a ridiculous risk, particularly with that first game coming on the road at UCLA.
Texas A&M Aggies Free Picks
In the end, Sumlin has to try to protect his job before he protects the Texas A&M football program. Many are quietly hoping that Mond wins this job in the summer, but we know better. Sumlin almost has to make the responsible choice and go with Hubenak. It's his safest pick and gives him a senior to try to count on to bring him to at least a respectable enough finish to save his job. At that point, either Mond or Starkel can try to evolve into his next superstar quarterback.
That said, we don't think Sumlin is making it no matter what his choice is. Hubenak is just the one that will give him the least amount of heat immediately.
Bet on current QB Match Up odds at BookMaker: Jake Hubenak ( +145 )