Another portal entry for Texas A&M football symbolic of new wave in college athletics

One of the stalwarts of the 2023 class for Texas A&M football looks like he will test the waters in the transfer portal.
Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive lineman Colton Thomasson
Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies offensive lineman Colton Thomasson / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Redshirt freshman OL Colton Thomasson departs Texas A&M football for transfer portal

As the spring window moves along for Texas A&M football, the Aggie coaching staff appears to be having more and more frank conversations with some of the depth players about where they stand as regards playing time. With the way the roster game works nowadays, this is the sad reality of how things have to go: you must adapt or die.

The spring portal window is when you usually see guys transfer out who were dissatisfied with their placement on the depth chart. We've seen a couple of those from the Aggies already in Alex Howard, Dorian Hinton, Derrick Graham, and Sam McCall—among a few others. The latest to announce his intention to enter the transfer ranks is redshirt freshman OL Colton Thomasson.

Thomasson was something of a ringleader for the class of 2023, being one of the most vocal guys on the commit list throughout the process. Things obviously ended with a whimper as regards the close to that class, especially when compared to the 2022 group, but it wasn't for lack of effort on the part of guys like Colton. His work in that regard is appreciated, and he will be missed.

Sometimes, though, these things happen. If you get to the end of spring ball and have the exit interviews that Elko was mentioning, frank conversations will be had about how the depth chart stacks up, and the future of a given guy in the program. With the advent of the portal, that leads to guys making a choice they otherwise may not have in years past.

Elko and his staff, to their credit, have embraced the new way in the name of promoting excellence in the program. Sometimes that manifests in having to make some tough decisions; analogously, there have been some cuts in the Texas A&M Athletic Department recently in order to shore up some loose ends and be more future-focused as regards the budget.

These are not easy decisions. There are humans on the wrong side of these calls that have been made, but because of larger forces at work, these were decisions that had to happen for the athletic department to thrive.

Similarly, you never want to see a guy depart the program who made the decision to attend the school you love—especially when he seemed so excited about being an Aggie. Collegiate athletics are becoming increasingly business-like, however, and that means moves like this will happen. For some, that takes the joy out of things. I don't think this will be the way things are forever; for now, though, this is the reality.

The good news for Texas A&M football fans is that the coach in charge of the program and the administration over the school seem to be well-aligned in their analysis of how the entire structure needs to operate in order to succeed in these uncharted waters. Organizational dysfunction can be a death sentence, especially when faced with such radical change, but the Aggies are committed to thriving.

There's going to be a cost to that at times. Both of the situations mentioned here are evidences of that cost. But the reality is plain, even if the circumstances are sad. Texas A&M football is a program committed to winning. After a long time of low ROI, I think it's about time that trend reverses course.