Could Coaching Changes at UCLA and Alabama Benefit Texas A&M Football?

Chip Kelly leaves UCLA to be the Ohio State OC; Ryan Grubb is reportedly headed to the Seahawks. Will Texas A&M football get any portal pickups?
Nov 25, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly reacts after the game
Nov 25, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; UCLA Bruins head coach Chip Kelly reacts after the game / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Strange Coaching Changes Could Give Texas A&M Football a Portal Windfall

Texas A&M football has been cleaning up in the portal so far this year, putting together the second-best transfer class of the cycle as of the writing of this article. Many Aggie fans have been extremely pleased with the way that dimension of things has played out this year, but there are still some areas on the roster that could be deeper—one of them, in particular, being receiver.

With that in mind, some interesting news this week caught the eye of Texas A&M football fans. First, after Bill O'Brien was hired away from his new Ohio State OC job to be the head man at Boston College, Chip Kelly left his post as the head coach of UCLA to take his place in Columbus. That move is remarkable and unprecedented on a couple of fronts, but notable for the purposes of Aggie fans is that this opens up the portal for Bruins players for 30 days.

Then, earlier today, news broke that Ryan Grubb—the Kalen DeBoer acolyte who was previously reported to be taking the OC job with the Tide—is now headed back to Seattle to be the OC for the Seahawks. Now, this won't open up the portal since he wasn't the head coach, but there is still yet one more window to come following the spring.

Here's the upshot here: both of these rosters contain receivers that the Aggies have connections to. UCLA is currently the home of J. Michael Sturdivant, a transfer from the 2023 cycle who ended up going with the Bruins over the Aggies previously. A Texas native, Sturdivant boasts not only a name that sounds like the actor-director of a Sundance winner from 2008, but high-level production at the X receiver spot. If he enters the transfer ranks, you have to think the Aggies will be in hot pursuit.

The other player in particular is recent Alabama signee Ryan Williams. After decommitting from the Tide when Saban retired, Williams made a visit to College Station. He ended up recommitting and signing with Bama in the late signing period, but the move by Grubb to skip town may be enough to get him rethinking things again. If that happens, it stands to reason that the Aggies would once again be after him.

I'll emphasize again that this is all speculation at the current moment. Neither player is in the portal, and Williams will have to wait until the end of spring practice if he ends up deciding to go in at all. Even so, this is the current world of college football, and with the organized structure that Mike Elko has put together, you have to think they are well-aware of these developments and watching them closely.