Texas A&M football: Where does Nick Starkel go from here?

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Nick Starkel’s time with Texas A&M football is coming to an end to no one’s surprise; where will the Aggie quarterback finish his career?

The speculation that Nick Starkel would transfer from Texas A&M football has been a hot topic for six months. When Jimbo Fisher named Kellen Mond the starter for the 2018 season, it was a shock to those not privy to how each was performing in fall practice. It was even more shocking Starkel didn’t get a chance when Mond struggled midway through the season.

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However, it appeared Starkel might stick around for one more year when Fisher told reporters at the Gator Bowl he expected Starkel back for spring practices. That all changed when Starkel announced his intention to transfer last night.

Even with Starkel announcing his intention to transfer, he could still practice with the team as he won’t graduate until June and plans to continue his career as a graduate transfer.

Starkel was recruited by Kevin Sumlin and took over the starting job in a competition with Mond before the 2017 season as a redshirt freshman. Unfortunately, he got injured in the season opener against UCLA (which Mond proceeded to go 3-for-17 and blow a 34-point third quarter lead) and had to miss six games. He eventually got his starting job back and went off for 499 yards and four touchdowns in the Belk Bowl.

Most thought this performance towards the end of the season would have been enough for Fisher to go with Starkel. It wasn’t until everyone saw the drastic improvement Mond made in the offseason manifest itself on the field that they understood why Fisher went with Mond.

So where does Starkel go from here? If Mond showed so much improvement, one would have to assume Starkel also benefitted from the quarterback whisperer. He will obviously choose a place he has a chance to play right away, or at least in his final year of eligibility.

Oklahoma State comes to mind as a top option. Starkel was committed to Mike Gundy in 2015 before flipping to the Aggies. Starkel would likely sit for a year behind redshirt senior John Kolar, who was a 4-star recruit in the 2015 class.

North Texas was another team that recruited Starkel and offered him during his recruitment. Three-year starter Mason Fine likely isn’t going anywhere, so again Starkel would probably have to sit for a season as the backup. This could be an intriguing option as the Mean Green finished 9-4 in Conference USA in 2018 including a win over Arkansas.

Another intriguing option is Duke. David Cutcliffe has earned a reputation as a quarterback guru thanks to working with elite quarterbacks. He was Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator and QB coach in college and Eli Manning’s head coach in college. He worked with those guys for their entire NFL careers. Eli still goes down to Duke in the offseason to work with his wide receivers.

Duke quarterback Daniel Jones declared for the 2019 NFL Draft and has evaluators intrigued with his potential. If Starkel has eyes on playing in the NFL this could be one of his better options and there doesn’t seem to be much competition for the job in 2019.

With Jarrett Stidham declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft and Kelly Bryant choosing Missouri, Auburn is another potential option, and one that would not be fun for Aggie fans given the team would compete against Starkel in the SEC West.

Auburn has junior Malik Willis, who served as Stidham’s backup for the past two seasons, and Joey Gatewood, a former 4-star recruit, as the most likely options for Auburn in 2019. Of course this could also include 2019 No. 1 dual threat quarterback Bo Nix, who has enrolled at Auburn early.

None of these players has the experience Starkel has. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Gus Malzahn gave Starkel a phone call.

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Starkel has options, but it’s unclear where he’s leaning right now. We wish him all the best. Thanks and Gig ‘Em, Nick.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.