Besides the rancid stench emanating from Aggieland as a result of a third five-star quarterback in the last six months rocketing away from College Station on Wednesday evening and the subsequent subtweeting fallout, the other noxious fetor wafting away from the Texas A&M Aggies football program is the decaying corpse of head coach Kevin Sumlin's career there.
Even his recent hire of offensive coordinator Neal Mazzone from UCLA didn't work so well, as Martell's father said that Mazzone's lack of communication across two trips to A&M played a large role in his son's decision:
"I get that but when you go out a month later, for two days on that trip, didn't talk to him once and then when we were there in March for their scrimmage, again, we were there for four days and not once did Mazzone ever talk, and I was five feet from him. Not a handshake, not anything."
Oops. Even Shawn Watson managed to land Shane Buechele and made the right evaluation of Sam Ehlinger. And he was pretty much an abject disaster at Texas. So, not such a great start from the icy Mazzone.
As Iowa running back commit Eno Benjamin so aptly put it on Thursday morning, the operative feeling emerging from the whole debacle was one of shock. And that feeling didn't exactly dissipate quickly.
What the f*** just happened? Did that dude really put the loyalty of recruits on blast while now at his fourth coaching stop in seven years? What is really causing that foul odor? What are they doing to these quarterbacks? Things are jacked up in Collietown.
The A&M collapse started when Malik Jefferson chose the Texas Longhorns in late 2014, gained momentum when Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray departed last December, and took full form when the Aggies limped out of National Signing Day having lost eight straight head-to-head battles with Texas among uncommitted recruits. Even getting Under Armour All-American Jeffrey McCulloch on campus days before reportedly resulted in The Shark attempting to recruit other players to Austin, an incredible insult for Texas A&M, once considered the frontrunner.
Speaking of McCulloch, here are his thoughts on the matter:
Another one leaving is anyone starting to believe me that somethings up— The Shark (@jmcculloch17) May 5, 2016
It just keeps getting worse for them like they say what's done in the dark comes to the light— The Shark (@jmcculloch17) May 5, 2016
I told y'all a couple of months back how they were don't act surprised now— The Shark (@jmcculloch17) May 5, 2016
By April, the sentiments of recruits had a chance to coalesce while the Aggies struggled mostly unsuccessfully to rebound in the opinions of top 2017 prospects. Here's SB Nation's national recruiting analyst Bud Elliott on what he discovered after two stops in Texas for Nike's regional camps:
2. I found from speaking with recruits and recruiting experts in the state that there is more love for Strong than Sumlin among elite recruits. That's in part because of the personal relationships he builds.
For the last two and a half years, ever since the Aggies stole former Longhorns head coach Mack Brown's prospects out from under Strong at the end of the 2014, the predominant narrative in Texas recruiting surrounded the battle between Strong and Sumlin for supremacy in the Lone Star State.
After watching Wednesday night's meltdown, it seems like the right time to fully memorialize the #WRTS era in College Station.
Just like it's time to memorialize the #WRTS days, build a coffin, and lower that reeking mess into the ground, Sumlin's ability to successfully recruit the state has a plot right next to it that Moorehead started further excavating late Wednesday evening. And no amount of bleach or air freshener can wash away or cover that gangrenous stink, not even firing Moorehead, which seems unlikely following his public apology on Thursday.
Sure, Texas head coach Charlie Strong continues to face his own issues ahead of a make-or-break season, but if the view of the upcoming season just a few weeks ago was questioning which school could win games this fall, now the question is whether there's any coming back for Sumlin.
Among the high-level recruits to point and laugh at Wednesday's devastationwerer Marvin Wilson, Jeffrey Okudah, and Baron Browning. Coincidentally, those are the top three prospects in the state and none seem likely to end up at A&M at a point in the process where the Aggies have typically been a favorite with similar recruits in past year. In fact, none of the top 12 players in the state look likely to choose Sumlin's program.
The highest-rated in-state commit for the Aggies is offensive tackle Grayson Reed at No. 31, a player the Longhorns continue to recruit and have a reasonable chance to flip because, well, implosion.
Perhaps Sumlin does manage to pull things back together and stop the slow slide of diminishing returns on the football field and in recruiting. But that hardly seems likely right now -- he's lost the trust of Texas football players and his wide receivers coach turning so quickly on recruits only further cememted that break. While earning that trust isn't easy, earning is back is close to impossible.
Based on the entirety of the post-Manziel era at Texas A&M, Sumlin doesn't have the personal coaching acumen to turn things around or any recruiting cachet left to capitalize on if he does.
Ding, dong, the Sumlin's dead.
Just try to ignore the stench until the Aggies clean up the mess once and for all.