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Texas A&M and Colorado name starting quarterbacks

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(AP and Getty Images)

College football has two new starting quarterbacks this year.

Texas A&M announced that redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel will take the Aggies' season-opening snaps, and Jordan Webb, a transfer from Kansas, will lead Colorado's offense.

Neither was a surprise to win their respective jobs.

Manziel, who was competing against sophomores Jameill Showers and Matt Joeckel and true freshman Matt Davis, was the favorite from the beginning, but nearly lost his chance to win the starting role after he was arrested for an on-campus fight and showed cops a fake ID. He was charged with three misdemeanors and took one of the greatest mugshots in college football history.

"Johnny has performed the best at this stage and we will proceed until the season opener with him getting the first-team reps," coach Kevin Sumlin said. "My policy is simple really; the best player plays. Competition is a great thing and we need more competition at all of our positions. All of our quarterbacks have competed well, and I expect them to continue to push Johnny."

Webb, who left Kansas after Charlie Weis was hired and he realized he didn't fit into Weis' system, hasn't been on campus long, but immediately impressed after spending two seasons as the Jayhawks' starter under coach Turner Gill. Webb, who has two years of eligibility remaining, beat out Texas transfer Connor Wood, who was the clubhouse leader heading into fall camp, and redshirt sophomore Nick Hirschman, who spent the spring injured but was Tyler Hansen's backup last year.

"I'm not into playing games, sitting around waiting. I think it's fair to the players and the team that when we knew, we let them know," coach Jon Embree said after Wednesday's practice. "I felt really good about it last night, slept on it, and decided to let it go out today."

In 12 starts last season, Webb completed 179 of 281 pass attempts (63.7 percent) for 1,884 yards with 13 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

While Embree, who has a son at Kansas, and athletic director Mike Bohn and basketball coach Tad Boyle, who both graduated from Kansas, are proud to have another Sunflower Stater on campus, some in sports information still harbor hard feelings toward KU and they decided to take it out on Webb's CU's bio.

(CUBuffs.com)

As it notes, Webb didn't play in that game, but it was the one the sealed the fate of former coach Dan Hawkins. Kansas staged the biggest comeback in school history by scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter.

Neither Texas A&M nor Colorado is predicted to do well season, so it will be interesting to see whether the quarterback choices help change the fortunes of these programs.

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