Overall: Kevin Sumlin’s welcome to the SEC moment came earlier than the Aggies' official entry into the league July 1. His came when he attended his first meeting with the other conference coaches and commissioner Mike Slive.
The Aggies are looking for a quarterback to take over from the graduated Ryan Tannehill, but Sumlin said he’s OK with not naming a replacement until about two weeks before start of season.
Sumlin said improving defensively is important. The Aggies led the country with 51 sacks but were 106th in pass defense in 2011.
Texas A&M will switch from a 3-4 defense to a 4-3, and Sumlin said creating more depth is important.
News bits from Texas A&M: The Aggies’ schedule is loaded with recent national champions. Their first SEC game is at home against Florida. Also on the schedule are games against Auburn, Alabama and LSU. Those teams own all of the past six national championship trophies. …
Quarterback is a priority position as Sumlin looks for a replacement for Tannehill, who had all but six of the Aggies' pass attempts a year ago. There are seven QBs listed on the preseason roster, but Jamiell Showers is the only one with game experience. He threw five passes a year ago, completing four. …
Whichever quarterback emerges from the pack, he’ll have Ryan Swope as his go-to guy. Swope opted to return for his senior season. He caught 89 passes for 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns. Swope opted to stay in school after getting a phone call from Sumlin in December. The opportunity to play in Sumlin’s offense and to compete in the SEC made difference.
Best line coach: "What made it real to me was when we had first head coaches meeting. When you walk into that meeting with 13 other coaches and Mike Slive and they close the door, that's when you know it's real." Kevin Sumlin.
Best line player: "It's the best league in the country. The way we look at it, it's a privilege to play with all these guys and the speed and great coaches. It's most definitely a very tough league." WR Ryan Swope.
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