Few things seemed to faze Kyle Allen on the field during his freshman season last fall at Texas A&M.
So don’t expect the bright lights and big stage of the Aggies’ season opener September 5th in Houston against nationally-ranked Arizona State to be any different.
Allen grew up just a short drive north of Tempe and the Sun Devils desperately tried to keep the former Desert Mountain High School star home for college but it’s hard to argue his decision.
“ASU is starting to get a lot more in-state kids,” he told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during an in-studio appearance this summer. “For me…I wanted to play in the SEC.”
Now the sophomore, who burst onto the national scene engineering A&M to an upset road win over Auburn and capped it with a five-touchdown performance against West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl, is hoping to pick up where he left off that cold late-December day in Memphis.
The keys to Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital’s offense appear to be his despite heralded incoming freshman Kyler Murray.
“Going into his second year not having to look over his shoulder,” ESPN/SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy explained to Cesmat. “I think that’s going to serve him well…there’s a lot of reasons to believe Kyle Allen is going to be even better than he was in year one.”
Allen attributes part of his success, after taking over mid-season for Kenny Hill, to finding time to clear his mind and dedicate a little time for himself during the rigors of the SEC schedule. He’ll also have the luxury of playing with a host of talented skill players, including fellow Scottsdale resident and good friend Christian Kirk who is slated to start at wide receiver and kick returner as a true freshman.
“I think [A&M] will be much better than people realize,” McElroy said after the Aggies 8-5 season a year ago. “I really believe this team is going to [be improved]…not a lot of guys have game-changers at the quarterback position and Kyle Allen can easily be that if he takes a significant step forward.”
That is unless the guys in maroon and gold from his home state have anything to say about it next month at NRG Stadium.