Texas A&M Football Tabs Former Kansas State QB Collin Klein to Coordinate Offense
As first reported by GigEm247, Texas A&M football has finally made the long-awaited hire of their offensive coordinator, reaching up to Manhattan, Kansas to steal away the homegrown Collin Klein from the Wildcats. Klein reportedly has turned down offers from Penn State, Notre Dame, and Clemson over the past couple of years for the same position. The Wildcat OC, of course, is the former quarterback up in Manhattan; Aggies may remember him for finishing as a Heisman finalist the year that Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to ever win the award.
Since then, Klein floated around the NFL for a bit before returning to Kansas State to work in a low-level position. After a brief year at Northern Iowa as the QBs coach, Klein returned to Manhattan to work in the same capacity. He has since risen in the ranks until he finally became the offensive coordinator for the Wildcats.
This past season, his offense finished 8th in SP+, which is an opponent and tempo-adjusted metric for measuring team and unit quality. The offense was actually the stronger part of the Wildcat team this year, finishing 10th in scoring and 23rd in total yardage. In a statistic that should encourage all Texas A&M football fans evaluating this hire, the Wildcats finished first in the nation in red zone touchdown percentage, scoring a TD on just under 79% of red zone possessions.
The reaction to the hire from Aggie outlets has overall been positive, and I feel similarly. Klein is a young guy and innovative mind; those who have paid attention to his offenses over the past couple of years have seen his ability to mold the system to fit the strengths of his players. This was something we all thought we would see more of when Petrino came on board; however, it never quite materialized with that hire.
With Klein being under Elko, however, he will have much more freedom to adapt however he sees fit. The refrain that has been often said since the news broke is that Klein is a guy who does more with less; for Texas A&M football fans who have too often seen the converse over the last few years, a mind like that will be refreshing to have heading up that side of the ball.