A first look at 2008 - Quarterbacks

Aggie Websider continues to look at the personnel that Mike Sherman and his staff will inherit in 2008. Today, Aggie Websider finishes it's look at the offense by looking at quarterback, but there aren't too many surprises here.

Stephen McGee has been the heart and soul of this Aggie team for the last two years. As a starter, he's posted a 16-8 record over the past two regular season, and has thrown for at least 2,000 yards in each of those years, despite being labeled as a running quarterback.

Some believed that he was not capable of throwing the ball downfield, but those fears were reduced somewhat after an impressive 362-yard passing performance by McGee in the Aggies' 38-30 victory over arch-rival Texas to finish the season in November.

McGee seemed to be comfortable in a game plan that seemed to use his arm more than it had been used in the last two years combined, which is good. That style of play calling is what many expect from Sherman's pro-style offense in 2008.

But McGee may not be the quarterback for every snap in 2008 with an emerging sophomore named Jerrod Johnson waiting in the wings.

Johnson was just 2-for-7 this year through the air, but both of those receptions were for touchdowns, providing a spark to the offense that excited fans. But he was still making too many mistakes in practice for the likes of Franchione and Co. to earn more playing time in 2007.

The question for Sherman is whether or not he is interested in using Johnson in certain situations and split the playing time with McGee.

Redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill is not likely to play much at quarterback next year barring injuries, but Sherman could use Tannehill at wide receiver or special teams to get more athletes on the field.


KEY RETURNERS
Stephen McGee (6-3, 220, SR) – He's the leader of this team, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the new staff. He was Franchione's No. 1 guy and they always protected one another on and off the field. Now he's on level footing with everyone else, but knowing McGee's character, he'll do whatever he needs to do to keep the team together, even if that means a reduction of playing time. But with back-to-back seasons with at least 2,000 yards passing, and with an impressive performance against Texas, it's hard to imagine that he would not be the projected starter heading into spring practice.

Jerrod Johnson (6-6, 232, SO) – One of the top recruits in the state of Texas in the Class of 2006, throwing for 1,151 yards and six touchdowns and running for 613 yards and another 11 touchdowns on the ground during his senior year at Humble High School. In 2007, he seemed to provide a spark to the Aggie offense but was labeled "too raw" by the coaching staff to garner more playing time throughout the year. Even though McGee is still the leader of this team, Johnson will challenge for playing time in 2008, and gives Sherman and Co., another weapon on offense, regardless of where they choose to use him.

YOUNG GUYS WHO COULD MAKE AN IMPACT
Ryan Tannehill (6-4, 205, RS-FR) – Passed for 1,258 yards and rushed for 617 yards while guiding his team to the playoffs as a senior at Big Spring High School. He also had three catches for 62 yards and averaged 39.2 yards as a punt returner including a long of 84 yards vs. Estacado. He's an outstanding athlete who Sherman could decide to use at various positions in the new pro-style offense.

KEY LOSSES
None.




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