September 3, 2008

Tannehill adjusting to wide receiver

Texas A&M redshirt freshman Ryan Tannehill said that he played receiver for one half during his senior year at Big Spring High School after injuring his shoulder, which prevented him from playing quarterback the rest of the season. In that half, Tannehill said he had four catches for "about 100 yards."

Little did he know that one half would be prophetic in that his first time playing in a game at Kyle Field would be at receiver. After senior Stephen McGee won the starting job at quarterback over Tannehill and sophomore Jerrod Johnson in August camp, Tannehill began working at receiver and earned the first start of his Aggie career Saturday against Arkansas State. Just don't tell him that he's a receiver forever.

"I still view myself as a quarterback, but they said I could help the team and I feel like I can help the team out there," Tannehill said. "If that helps us win games and that's what it takes then I'm going to do that."

Even if Tannehill were to catch over 1,000 yards and have a huge season at receiver?

"I would love to do that, but at the end of the day I still want to play quarterback," Tannehill said. "Right now I'm a starting receiver so I have to go out there and get reps there, but I'm still getting reps at QB."

But for the present, Tannehill is working out wide and Saturday he got off on a good start by leading the Aggies with 59 receiving yards on five catches. Since midway through the second week of August camp, Tannehill has earned more and more time with the first-team offense and quickly turned into McGee's favorite target in the passing game.

And even though it wasn't on the official depth chart released prior to the Arkansas State game, it shouldn't have come as any surprise to anyone who watched practice over the final two weeks of camp that Tannehill was in the starting lineup.

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