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August 14, 2008

McGee named starter at QB for Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, Texas Senior Stephen McGee was chosen Texas A&M's starting quarterback by new coach Mike Sherman, ending the competition with sophomore Jerrod Johnson.

The 6-foot-3 McGee, who started the past two seasons for former coach Dennis Franchione, threw for 2,311 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2007. McGee has a 16-11 record as the Aggies' starter.

"Everybody wants to play," McGee said. "I want to play football for as long as I possibly can. I'm excited to be in the huddle again."

Sherman, who became A&M's coach after Franchione resigned last November, said McGee had a firm grasp of his pro-style offense and had not thrown an interception in fall workouts.

"In the end, Stephen was the most consistent," Sherman said. "It was day-to-day stuff going back to the spring. I tried to be oblivious to last year. I wanted to see what he could do."

The Aggies ran an option-style offense under Franchione and were often criticized last season for not passing enough. McGee, who threw for 8,256 yards in a record-setting high school career at Burnet, says Sherman's offense is a better fit for his skills.

"I love it," McGee said. "It's a lot of fun to be in this offense and the amount of stuff we can do, the different formations and moving people around. It really gives us a lot of options."

The 6-5, 229-pound Johnson, who threw only seven passes last season, is the backup. Sherman said he's been impressed with redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill during preseason practices. Sherman has also been using Tannehill as a receiver.

Sherman spoke to the quarterbacks on Wednesday night to inform them of his decision.

"Nothing is just set in stone, other than the fact that he is the starter in the first ball game," Sherman said.



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