Here's this week's edition of the AggieYell Mailbag:
Q: Tell me Gary Kubiak is not remotely, possibly, in any way shape or form being thought about as a coaching candidate. (Mac1014)
A: The guy retired just a few months ago because his job nearly killed him. That's not something you physically recover from in less than a year and go, "Ok, let's go!" With recruiting and other activities, there's not much difference in the hours for an NFL coach and a college coach anymore. Long story short, no, I don't see that as a possibility.
Q: RJ Mickens, have any of you seen him play in person and if so is a legit 5-Star? (h273)
A: Fletch has and says he's an outstanding corner. We're a year out before he gets a rating, but he's well on his way to being a 5-star or close to it.
Q: Mark, your odds for A&M replacing its Football, Basketball (men & women), and Baseball coaches by the end of this year's seasons? Things just don't seem to be improving, even though recruiting appears to be good.
What are you seeing in football spring practice that gives fans hope A&M will be better than 6-6 in 2017? What are you seeing that doesn't give fans hope A&M will have a good season? (Chuck70)
A: 1) All four? 0.0000000000. None. Nada. Zilch. Not happening. Football and men's basketball are on the hot seat; the other two, not nearly so.
2) Pro better than 6-6: Outstanding talent at skill positions. Very good safeties. Depth at linebacker. Depth at defensive tackle.
Anti-better than 6-6: Rookie or very average senior quarterback; no depth at all at defensive end and questionable corners.
Q; Which position group is most likely to have a negative impact on games this Fall? I'm going with oline... (3s2ghill)
A: Not me. I'm going with defensive end until further notice. And it's not close.
Q: Based on outcomes from the Friday Night Lights scrimmage (I got the impression that the offense floundered), do you think we might see a 'vanilla' defense (limited blitzing/stunts and coverages) for the spring game? If we know the OL is overmatched seems like we'd get more value from basic execution, especially in the passing game. (pebbycree)
A: I don't think we'll see a vanilla defense; I know we'll see a vanilla defense (and offense, for that matter). The design of the game, along with Kevin Sumlin telling me yesterday that he's not using the game as an evaluation tool, tells you all you need to know about that.
Q: Do we currently have a 3 way QB tie? Who do you think emerges as our man Saturday? Do we win Saturday? (AgsRule97!)
A: 1) No. But there's no clear-cut leader, either.
3) Are you maroon or white?
Q: ok, so instead of a football game, the sec is going to decide games by street fight. each team gets 5 guys. no weapons allowed. Who is A&M going to put out there. (Badash)
A: Erik McCoy, Zaycoven Henderson, Daylon Mack, Armani Watts and Donovan Wilson.
Q: Is the NCAA going to ever allow an early signing period for football? (LawHall)
A: At this point, I doubt it. I don't understand the unwillingness to try it, but it doesn't seem to have that much support. I'd be all for it, and I would think most coaches would be too. It's baffling.
Q: It feels like talk of satellite camps has faded since last year, but I imagine we will hear more about it as summer approaches. What do you think A&M will do differently from last year aside from possibly teaming up with different teams and hosting in different cities? (HerbalRemedy)
A: I think they're limiting (or outright banning) the involvement of high school coaches, which means it may be more likely they get in with more colleges when they do these things (I haven't heard of any yet). That would be about it.
Q: I see a lot of names that i'm not familiar with in your write ups that i assume are walk-ons. Are there any of those guys that really stand out to you or that you think have really good potential to earn a scholly? (bigty)
A: Actually, most of them (with the exception of part of the second and third team offensive line) are already scholarship players. They're just either freshmen or redshirts.
Q: All we hear about and they let you see is drills or offense against the air. Have any idea how much contact they get going full speed? (DentonAg80)
A: There are limitations on that sort of thing now, but I think it's pretty safe to say that they've been doing some hitting this spring. I don't know how much, though.
Q: 1. We haven't heard anything about TD Moton so far this spring. Is that good or bad news?
2. Would you compare Ausbon to Dez Bryant athletically? If not Bryant then who? (Jessexy)
A: 1) That is no news. He's been banged up. I still think he's going to be part of the rotation this fall, but Justin Madubuike is the one to really watch right now.
2) Bryant is 6'2", 220; Ausbon is 6'2", 219. So physically, they're about the same. Athletically? That's one where we'll have to wait and see. But he's going to start from day one, which is a good indication he's no slouch.
Q: Who has been the most pleasant surprise so far? Biggest disappointment? (Aggieluke04)
A: 1) Ausbon and Madubuike.
2) Don't have one. Maybe just guys getting hurt and missing time.
Q: Lindon Victor - I don't follow college track enough to know. How good is he? What is his ceiling? Is he a possible world record type athlete? (TAMU-83)
A: If you beat the college decathlon record and do so soundly, you're extremely good. He's 24, though, so he's getting close to his ceiling. He's Grenadian (yes, that's really how you write it), so he's an Olympian any time he wants to be. A world record holder? I doubt it.
Q: How impressed were you by the baseball team winning the LSU series? Has that changed your predicted result for this team?
There is a Aggie web personality who has written that he believes Prater will be the center this fall and that they like McCoys size at guard. Thoughts? (brAg)
A: 1) No, it gives me some sense of hope they can get to where I thought they'd be. So far, they haven't met my expectations.
2) I think that it's premature to say there's going to be a change because Prater hasn't taken a snap in any environment where contact's involved. McCoy has the size and strength to play guard and if you want the smallest guy on your line at center, it makes sense. But unless and until Prater shows he can handle the grind, McCoy should remain #1 on your depth chart.
Q: When I read the FNL writeup, my impression was that the backup centers were having problems. Did McCoy have the same problems? Is he still snapping high and slow, or did the bowl game practices cure that? (Rick77)
A: We have not seen McCoy snap the ball this spring. He did not play center in the scrimmage.
Q: With AMo in a boot (or on a scooter) this spring, have you noticed anyone in particular picking up the slack with the young receivers in coaching the basics? On a related note, do you think that more experienced receivers can be coached to catch the football, or is that something that you either have or you don't by the time you reach this level? Thanks. (Riffraff81)
A: 1) No.
2) If you can't catch now, you're not going to learn it. Coaches can help you with technique, route running and blocking, but you'd better already be pretty consistent at catching the ball.
Q: Would like your thoughts on the addition(s) of these offense/defense analyst positions. IMO the most important change to the program (hoping the S&C guy has a major impact too) in terms of impacting the outcomes of games. Have always felt our offensive playcalling (especially in 1st half) never really attacked opponents' weaknesses. And our defense seemed to have a 'one size fits all' approach. Do you expect to see anything different? (Pebbycree)
A: These guys are here to be another set of eyes and help out wherever they're needed. They're not, however, here to dramatically reshape things. Their input can be useful (heck, they want it), but they're not coordinators. They're here to make what's in place run more efficiently.
Q: How bad is Nick Harvey hurt? (brAg)
A: He is "still being evaluated", according to Sumlin.