While no word has been released by the Texas A&M coaching staff, it looks like the quarterback job is Nick Starkel’s to lose. That’s in line with what was expected as earlier as December when we made our predictions that the redshirt freshman would be the one to see his name written in next to QB. 1 on the 2017 depth chart.
Sumlin will make it official in the coming weeks. The announcement will be a moral boost for Starkel, who has been working hard this offseason to win the job. But it will also enable Sumlin to give Starkel as many reps with the first team offense as possible before the Aggies open up the season on the road against UCLA.
Starkel’s redshirt was nearly burned last season when Trevor Knight was lost to injury against Mississippi State. Reports surfaced that conversations between Sumlin and Starkel had gone as far as asking the true freshman if he was willing to burn his shirt if the team needed him. It turns out that Hubenak was able to play out the stretch until Knight returned, albeit surprisingly, to cap off the final two games of the 2016 season.
Hubenak is entrenched as the career backup and Knight is playing in the NFL. That leaves the offense firmly in Starkel’s hands in 2017. A three star quarterback, the arm has never been in question. It remains to be seen whether or not he can combined his natural talent with a year of learning and turn it into a successful first year at the helm of what could be a high-octane offense.
Kevin Sumlin could be safe and play the quarterback with the highest floor. That would be Hubenak, who would likely be able to do enough to secure another .500 conference record. But Sumlin is coaching for his job. He needs a home run. And Starkel is the man for the job.