Kevin Sumlin: 'We're still playing catch-up in the SEC'
Posted by: Chris Vannini on February 10, 2013
To Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M is somewhere in the middle of the perception.
A year ago, the Aggies were laughed at for leaving the loaded SEC. After going 11-2 with a Cotton Bowl win and a Heisman Trophy, A&M is a national championship favorite for since in 2013.
Sumlin joined KILT in Houston to talk about his recruiting class and where the Aggies' perception is in the SEC.
"It's amazing, " Sumlin said. "Thirteen months ago, we were going to get our brains beat out, we're going to the league and when we took the job, it's like I didn't know we were going to the SEC. When I got there, I said, 'We'll have a better feel for it.' We had a bunch of detractors, 'Who are these coaches?' We're running an offense that won't work in a traditional and physical line-of-scrimmage league like the SEC and we understand that, but those guys, that's why I have so much respect for the first class that we signed and then the guys who were early commitments, because it was true faith that we were going to get it done.
"As we started to win and started to compete in the SEC, we won some big ball games and finished up with a big Cotton Bowl win, our phones were ringing off the hook. We understand that and, as you said, it started with, 'They're going to get their brains beat out' and now people are saying, 'Don't go there because they're loaded.' We're not loaded. We're still playing catch-up in the SEC.
You look at our class, as good as it was, I was sitting in my office and before I went downstairs for the press conference, we're eighth in the country according to ESPN and we're fifth in our own league and fourth in our division. We still have a ways to go and I think players and parents understand that, but I think they also understand the direction we're headed."
You can listen to Sumlin's interview by clicking here.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to email@example.com