Former Aggie looking for fresh start at SMU

A fresh start and a new beginning is exactly what former Texas A&M kicker Matt Szymanski is looking for. The arrival of a new coach at College Station and the arrival of a new one in Dallas were factors in the talented kicker's decision to transfer to the Hilltop. Go inside to see what Szymanski had to say about his move to SMU.

Getting an opportunity to get a new start, a new beginning can be refreshing.

Often a new coaching change can provide that new fresh beginning; sometimes it can also present the need for a change.

The last scenario is the case for former Texas A&M kicker Matt Szymanski, who confirmed Monday afternoon he is transferring to Southern Methodist University beginning this fall.

"I'm very excited about transferring to SMU," Szymanski told "I love the atmosphere on the campus; I love the new coaching staff. This is like a fresh start and new beginning for me."

Szymanski has already moved to Dallas, Texas, a city where he has always thought about living in.

"I always wanted to live in Dallas," Szymanski said. "Now I get that chance. When I decided to transfer, I wanted to stay in state and wanted to find the perfect opportunity and where I fit in the best. That's at SMU."

According to Szymanski he has already enrolled at SMU and will join the team once school starts. He believes that he will earn a scholarship by next fall, with the best case scenario of being put on scholarship this spring. He will have to sit out one year due to the NCAA transfer rule and will use his red shirt year, that wasn't used at Texas A&M. He will have two years to play at SMU.

Szymanski feels that he will benefit from the additional year especially since he came out of high school early.

"I have grown and mature so much since my freshman year," Szymanski said. "I feel that this extra year will allow me to get bigger and stronger and mature more during the process."

Having a strong leg has never been a problem for the former No. 1 rated kicker by Chris Sailor Kicking Academy coming out of high school. He was rated as a three star prospect by and held offers from Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arizona State, UTEP and California.

According to the talented special team's performer, he finished his sophomore season making 60 percent of his field goals, along with 24 of his kickoffs going for touch backs.

"I have always have had a strong leg," Szymanski said. "It has definitely been one of my strengths. I'm the type of athlete that excels at doing all three. SMU will give me that opportunity."

Multiple factors led Szymanski to SMU, including the arrival of new head coach June Jones, veteran NFL special teams coach Frank Gansz and the fact that high school friend and former teammate Andrew Ellison was already on the Hilltop.

"It's a privilege for me to play for Coach Jones and Coach Gansz," Szymanski said. "I'm very impressed with what Coach Jones did at Hawaii, he will do great things here at SMU. Andrew and I are close friends, it's definitely a plus that he is here. I know that I have a friend here, which will help with the transition."

After starting as a true freshman and being the starter his sophomore year for the Aggies, the hiring of Mike Sherman and a new coaching philosophy presented the opportunity for change.

"I'm the type kicker and athlete that want to play all three positions on special teams," Szymanski said. "Coach Sherman wants one guy doing one thing, not two or three. I was doing all the kickoffs and field goals the last two seasons; he wanted me just to focus on one. I decided it was my best interest to go somewhere I could have a chance to earn the job for all three."

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