Texas A&M will enter fall practice without having officially named a starting quarterback. Coach Kevin Sumlin said that he is typically comfortable naming a starter two weeks before the season opener. With the Aggies set to begin practice on Aug. 3, let's take a glance at the candidates currently listed on the depth chart.
The 6-foot-2, 219-pound redshirt sophomore is the favorite to win the job. Showers was Ryan Tannehill's backup last season and played briefly in four games. He was 4 of 5 passing for 40 yards and rushed for 33 yards on nine carries. He's the only one in the competition that has any game experience.
Analysis: Showers has a strong, NFL-type arm. The ball jumps off his hands. His demeanor is calm and he doesn't get rattled. He can hold up in the pocket but is also mobile enough to get out and run. He'll have to work on his patience, particularly when going through progressions. The Aggies' offense is predicated on getting the ball to playmakers and Showers will have to shield against the tendency to take off running when the first or second read isn't there.
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound redshirt freshman didn't play last year but did make the travel squad. At Kerrville, Texas/Tivy High School, he was a Parade All-American and won a state and national player of the year award after a magical senior season.
Analysis: Manziel is a playmaker. He can turn a bad play into a good one, particularly with his legs and has good speed. He's a good competitor, but where he'll have to improve is getting more comfortable inside the pocket. Manziel is good at extending the play outside the pocket but he'll have to get better at staying in there to make throws. Also, he didn't help his case when he was arrested in June following a fight in the Northgate bar district. Sumlin told the Houston Chronicle at SEC media days that the staff is dealing with the issue internally and Manziel was completing some things that the staff set forth for him to continue to be part of the team.
The 6-foot-4, 234-pound sophomore has not seen any action since he arrived on campus in 2010. The brother of offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, Matt had a productive career at Arlington, Texas/Arlington.
Analysis: Joeckel has good size and has picked up the system quickly. He's accurate and has a quick release and is in tune with what the coaches want to accomplish offensively. He's not as mobile outside of the pocket as Showers or Manziel. When those two get out of the pocket, they can really go, but that's not a strength for Joeckel, who seems more like a true pocket passer.