August 24, 2009

Practice Notebook: A&M names starting quarterback

After a day off from practice for the first time in August camp, a lot took place on the practice fields Monday at Texas A&M. The Aggies finally welcomed junior college transfer Coryell Judie to practice after he was admitted to school late Friday and got to campus Saturday.

That, however, was trumped by the move of junior Lucas Patterson from offensive tackle to defense line. But Patterson's move was also leapfrogged as the story of the day when head coach Mike Sherman broke the news after practice that he had decided on a starting quarterback for the season opener against New Mexico.

"The way it finished up I felt we have two No. 1's that I feel very excited about. I believe in both our quarterbacks and I'm equally happy in both, but the nod will go to Jerrod (Johnson) as our starter in the first ballgame and then we'll go from there. I'm excited about both of them and I think they've both had an outstanding camp and their numbers are almost identical."

Junior Jerrod Johnson started 10 games and played in all 12 last season despite losing the battle for the starting nod last season in camp to then-incumbent Stephen McGee. Johnson would go on to throw a school-record 21 touchdown passes on the season to go along with a 59.5-percent completion rate and 2,435 yards.

But Sherman learned his lesson last season with McGee's injury and knows how valuable a good backup quarterback can be. That's why it's still unclear if sophomore Ryan Tannehill will move back to receiver where he broke freshman records for yards and receptions in a season in 2008. The move is made even harder with third-stringer Tommy Dorman sidelined with a pulled abdominal muscle.

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