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McMillian opens up about Sherman era, recruiting & SEC move

By Gabe Bock

More from Gabe
May 14, 2012
10673

Notes from Charles McMillian interview

* Is currently trying to break into the high school coaching world, whether it be in a coaching position or an athletic director position. He always talked about working with high school kids no matter where he was, because he believes it’s all about the youth in the community. As a high school coach, it’s easier to impact kids’ lives because you can spend more time with them and mold them more.

* The expectations of the team last year were deserved. The team had made strides, and it’s hard on you as a coach when you go 6-6 when 12-0 was a possibility. There are things as a staff that could have been done better, but it was still heartbreaking. In his opinion, the coaching change did not happen due to the team going 6-6 because everyone could clearly see the team was on the rise.

* Going into the 2011 season, you felt great about the defensive backs on the team because everyone was healthy. After Steven Campbell and Coryell Judie went down, Lionel Smith said he was coming back for his fifth season on campus. Ever since he got to A&M, he tried to kick Smith off the team because Smith was the laziest player he ever coached. Smith was determined to prove him wrong, and was able to make an impact in his senior year. After losing Campbell and Judie, the corner position should have still been solid, but Dustin Harris wasn’t able to perform up to his ability all season due to injuries.

* One way to understand if a high school recruit really has what it takes to play at a higher level is by assessing his mental capability on the field. If a kid is able to answer about what was going on while he was on the field, whether it be the type of defense ran or different coverages, you know you have a guy with good football IQ.

* When he got to A&M, he wondered how you go about rebuilding a program that shouldn’t need rebuilding. The staff he was on started from the ground up and tried to build a new foundation for Texas A&M football.

* Terrence Frederick was consistent his whole career at A&M, minus a couple of games at the beginning of his freshman year. He would tell pro scouts when they would come by that, he wasn’t sure how fast Frederick was, but he knew Frederick was a football player. He worked out Frederick while at TCU during a camp in Katy, and eventually ended up coaching him at A&M. Frederick probably should have gone a round earlier in the NFL draft, but should excel in the Steelers defense.

* While at TCU, he recruited the same area that he did at A&M and was able to maintain relationships with the coaches in the Dallas area which helped him a lot. Before he got there, the coaches in that area didn’t have any respect for the A&M program or the coaches that ran it. Coach Sherman did a great job of breaking that disrespect by writing letters to each individual coach and talking to them one-on-one to gain that respect back. Sherman and his staff were able to put A&M back on the map with a bunch of high school coaches and reopened the door for the current staff to do well in recruiting those areas.

* When the stories about A&M’s possible move to the SEC started popping up, the coaching staff paid no attention and did their best to focus on what was happening on the field.

* In his opinion, by making the jump to the SEC without the talent level necessary, the question becomes, will Sumlin get the time needed to increase that talent level to where it needs to be. He doesn’t think it will take three years to get there, but more around six to eight years to get the recruits needed to compete in the SEC. People need to have patience, and need to know that this transition won’t happen overnight.

* Back when he grew up in Bryan, everything was held to a higher standard than it was in College Station. Since that time, it has completely flipped and College Station is seen in higher regards. He has stayed in the area in order to help youth who need a male role model do what is needed to have success in life. He wants the community of Bryan to get back to where it was academically and athletically while he was living there.

* He believes that Coach Sumlin can come in and take the A&M program to where it should be. The higher ups will have to give him the time to get the job done, however. If A&M would have stayed in the Big 12, Sumlin probably would have won the conference. Sumlin has hired a great staff, but now they need the tools to work with.

* The SEC will have trouble adapting to the offense A&M will run, because most defenses in that league are built to stop the run. When there are four wide-outs on the field, a linebacker can’t be matched up in man, and therefore they have to play more zone coverage which opens up space on the field.

* He coached Marcel Yates at Boise State and realized that Yates was going to make a good coach after Yates hurt his knee and was able to observe the game more. Yates would find things the coaching staff missed and would help improve the team in that way. The most important thing for Yates to do at this point is to get the younger guys to learn the defense because there is plenty of talent at the corner position.

* Sherman was focused on 2011 and not on the SEC move, which was why he seemed to be complacent about the issue. He believes A&M needs to get more majors that are conducive to athletes in order to recruit against schools like LSU which have more options, which is something Sherman was working on. He doesn’t think Sherman was against the SEC move, but he wasn’t totally in favor of it either. However, the staff was prepared to do whatever was best for the school. It comes down to whether or not you can compete in a new league, and at that moment, the staff did not believe they were ready to compete due to a lack of depth and the battle to become better in recruiting.

* Toney Hurd Jr. was a great recruit who came in at 5’8’’ and 205 lbs. He was a little stiff due to his weight being solid muscle, but he since then lost some weight and has been able to get some of his speed and skill back. Playing the nickel position will really help him out, and size shouldn’t be an issue because of how physical and tough he can be.

* Howard Matthews made some freshman mistakes last year and cost the team several touchdowns because he would run up and try to stop the run when he was supposed to be a middle third safety. The old staff thought he would eventually grow into being a linebacker, but now that A&M is in the SEC, that remains to be seen. The real question with him is whether he will put in the work to live up to his potential, because he doesn’t always work the hardest in practice.

* If Steven Campbell can get his strength back, he has the potential to be a major factor on the field.

* Steven Terrell is so smooth and so fast, but sometimes has an issue with playing with confidence. If he can gain confidence and get more physical, he can be a great safety for the team.

* When he talked with Sumlin in early January, he told him he needed to go after Devante Harris. He is excited about Harris because of how fast he learns and how physical he can play. If Trey Williams can get in the weight room this summer and put on a little more muscle, he can really help the running game. He’s also excited about Thomas Johnson because he is a superb football player with great hands and can be used in many different ways.

* As a coach, you don’t want to take a bunch of small guys, but if there is a guy who can help the team win a championship, then you have to go get him. Some coaches get set on trying to find a player with prototypical size and speed, and by doing so, miss some of the other great high school players.

* In order for A&M to be more appealing to high school recruits, the negative comments that get thrown around on the internet need to stop because the players and their parents read those. In his opinion, the Bryan-College Station area has some things to overcome in terms of race perception. However, with the hiring of Kevin Sumlin as A&M’s first African-American head coach, he believes that stigma will decrease and kids that are on the fence about A&M because of that issue will start to join the program more and more.
Discussion from...

McMillian opens up about Sherman era, recruiting & SEC move (w/ notes)

This should be a must read for every poster.
6-8 years
Sour grapes. Not impressed. Questionable motive.
interesting read
Definitely interesting, but 6 yrs plus seems long and is a little worriesome
I think it is quite possible that Sumlin goes .500 his first year which would be an improvement over the previous staff's first year.
If we're talking 6 years to SEC championship level, I can buy that. But top 3 in the west (9ish wins) should be attainable in 2-4.

[This message has been edited by Manofaction (edited 5/14/2012 5:21p).]
I thought the most interesting thing that he said was that the change was not made because the team went 6-6.

The change was made, according to him, because Sherman would not turn the offense over to someone else.

I can see how Sherman was looking at it. His offense, statistically, ranked as one of the best in the nation. Bad decisions at crucial moments brought about all the calls for a new OC.

Stubborn.




[This message has been edited by outofstateaggie (edited 5/14/2012 5:22p).]
quote:
If we're talking 6 years to SEC championship level, I can buy that.


You and the other 3 Aggie fans that share the same view should get together and have matching t-shirts made.
quote:
quote:
If we're talking 6 years to SEC championship level, I can buy that.


You and the other 3 Aggie fans that share the same view should get together and have matching t-shirts made.


I'm not saying we're gonna suck. But NC teams (which is what SEC champs tend to be) have great depth. We're thin in a number of places and there's a difference between bodies and true depth. Doesnt mean we won't be a damn good team, but the west is a meat grinder, and we're gonna have to claw our way to the top of it.
Confirms my opinion about several things. How badly Fran hurt Ags in recruiting, how much Sherman did to build it back, how we should have given Sherman at least another year, how the Air Raid is an offense that gives us a chance in the S E C, and finally how the impatience of many who post on this board are deeply hurting A and M football!
All I heard in that interview is the loser mentality that has plagued the program for 13 years. Goodbye, Chuck, and good riddance.
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how we should have given Sherman at least another year, how the Air Raid is an offense that gives us a chance in the S E C, and finally how the impatience of many who post on this board are deeply hurting A and M football!


Where are you drawing your conclusions?? How does this confirm we should have given sherman another year? It does nothing of sorts.

Also, how the hell is the impatience on this board hurting A&M football? That's ridiculous. If anything, we were too patient with fran and that hurt us the most.
But yes, 6 years to win at a high level(conference championships and potential NCs) seems about right. Even with elite coaching, 3-5 years would be tough, whereas 1-2 years is damn near impossible.
i'll post this here since the thread I just tried to reply was deleted within seconds...

thought it was laughable. Chuck looking to blame anything and everything for failures. Never liked him as an assistant. The DB's never performed very well under him even though there was some talent there.

after hearing that garbage it makes me happier than ever we have a new staff with Sumlin & co.

we've known for years that people negatively recruit against A&M calling BCS racist, which is nonsense...but the leaders and coaches have stuck their heads in the sand and never combated it.

If players got upset about a puny ass anti-obama protest before going to a game, that reeks of mentally fragile...and that starts with the coaching staff.

Sumlin wont walk around making excuses recruiting or coaching. He's just gonna keep rolling forward.
and his 6 years comment is bogus too. The 2011 team, if they didn't choke 5 games away in epic fashion, would have been ten the Arky team who finished 3rd in the SEC...hell--should have embarrassed that Arky team.

Were they bama or LSU, or will they be this year or next? No...but NO ONE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY IS EITHER.

Not gonna buy that this team is 6 years away from SEC elite level competitively, and I guaranasstee you Sumlin isn't either.
BCS racist?
yeah, sorry your thread got deleted within seconds...tried to reply that to yours. Didn't see a damn thing wrong with it considering all you did was bring up a point a (bitter) guest on TA radio brought up and looked to create discussion about it.
Very poignant interview, thx for the freebie Liucci and team! This was good stuff to hear.
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and finally how the impatience of many who post on this board are deeply hurting A and M football!


Maybe the most ridicules post ever! Impatient Ags? Let me guess your one of those ok with always under preforming? We may have the most patient and accepting fans in all of football and that is hurting the program!

[This message has been edited by Agnzona (edited 5/15/2012 12:22a).]
Coaches like Dean Smith and Mack Brown who openly promote left wing political causes always have a leg up in recruiting.
If there is one thing I agree with him on, it is that there is so much negativity on this site, which is read by recruits and their parents, that it does, in fact, hurt our recruiting.
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If there is one thing I agree with him on, it is that there is so much negativity on this site, which is read by recruits and their parents, that it does, in fact, hurt our recruiting.


Delusional.

You really believe that message board negativity is a major reason for our recruiting failures?
quote:

If there is one thing I agree with him on, it is that there is so much negativity on this site, which is read by recruits and their parents, that it does, in fact, hurt our recruiting.


Delusional.

You really believe that message board negativity is a major reason for our recruiting failures?


No, he's right. My cousin was a five star recruit out of Ohio and was committed to OSU, when Tressell left he decided he wanted to open up his recruiting again and he wouldn't do that while committed as he didn't think that was right so he decommitted. Now he was seen as an Ohio boy because he played high school ball there but he was actually from Pennsylvania, but OSU fans trashed him on blog, on the boards, and on his facebook page for decommiting, and he read it, his mom saw it, and his sister. He ended up committing to Michigan and when Urban Meyer called him to try and get him back he told him to forget it he would never play for that fan base.

People forget these kids have grown up with the internet and it can affect their perception of what a fan base is like. We shouldn't treat recruits so negatively on here.

[This message has been edited by Nonregdrummer09 (edited 5/15/2012 6:11a).]
Gabe, I appreciate the interview. But if a guy says something like 6-8 years in the SEC and only 3-4 years in the big 12, how about asking him a followup "what's your rationale there coach?"

he never explained this.
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how about asking him a followup "what's your rationale there coach?"


talent level and depth.
I believe he used the term "6-8 years to compete in the SEC". The Aggies will compete this coming season. We have competed well against Ark, and we will compete well with Ole Miss, Miss St. and Auburn right now. I just don't think it was a good idea to bring a member of a coaching staff that was just let go in to talk about the current team!
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No, he's right. My cousin was a five star recruit out of Ohio and was committed to OSU, when Tressell left he decided he wanted to open up his recruiting again and he wouldn't do that while committed as he didn't think that was right so he decommitted. Now he was seen as an Ohio boy because he played high school ball there but he was actually from Pennsylvania, but OSU fans trashed him on blog, on the boards, and on his facebook page for decommiting, and he read it, his mom saw it, and his sister. He ended up committing to Michigan and when Urban Meyer called him to try and get him back he told him to forget it he would never play for that fan base.

Being critical of the team for under-performing is far different than personally attacking a potential recruit, and it's not even close. I for one have never seen that behavior take place on this board nor would tolerate it, and if it had, has been quickly deleted by Looch and Co.

And IMO, if players don't like the criticality they see on this board, either don't read it or go play for a school in the northeast where they could care less about football. Welcome to Texas football, and welcome to life. The same people on this board are the one's yelling their *** off in the stands every Saturday supporting the players, trying to help make this football team what it could be. This is one of the major reasons why I like coach Sumlin. I don't expect to hear any excuses come out of his mouth, and I definitely don't expect him to say after going 6-6, "our season was decided by 6-7 plays" a la Sherman.
What was liucci thinking?

It was excuses with more than a tinge of bitterness.

According to McMillian, the last staff did not fail.

They were hampered by:
-Mean old texaggers complaining on the internet (yeah no other school has fans that ***** on the internet.)
-Racist BCS (absolute bull****, go check out some of the towns in the conference we are joining. BCS is Berkley by comparison.)
-Bad players (he actually named these players)
-The fran regime left them lousy players (including Von, JJ, Tannehill, Lane, Goodson, Mike Bennet, McGee, etc.)



[This message has been edited by Leap Day William (edited 5/15/2012 9:29a).]
I can guess at his rationale as well, but I'd rather have the guest explain his statements. That's the whole point of an interview. I think he should have been challenged more than he was...
Not sure where all the negativity is coming from. Thought he was honest answering the questions.
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I think he should have been challenged more than he was...


of course he should have, but a lot of these "interviews" seem to be more about giving someone a platform to spout their side of a story with no pressing on the issues unfortunately.
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Not sure where all the negativity is coming from. Thought he was honest answering the questions.


I am sure he thought he was being honest but when the throws out excuses but he should have been challenged on some of his assertions.

Other successful football schools have fans every bit as negative as ours on the internet, why are they not suffering in recruiting?

Was the talent fran left behind really so bad as to justify a loss to Arkansas State at home?

How exactly is BCS anymore racist than any other town in Texas or the SEC?





[This message has been edited by Leap Day William (edited 5/15/2012 10:11a).]
Thanks Gabe for the freebie, good job!
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