Back in November, Shadow League scribe Brandon Scott broke down why Sumlin would stick at Texas A&M. However, the concern at that point in time involved Sumlin being poached by rival schools.
While Sumlin wisely turned down Auburn’s head coaching gig, there was also a surprise visitor trying to offer him some upward mobility. Before the Eagles went with Chip Kelly, they also approached the Aggies first-year coach about tackling Andy Reid’s old gig. After weighing his options and considering the instability that comes with an NFL job, Sumlin turned them down.
One year ago, he was chasing improbable success. Today he's being pursued by the NFL and his name is on the tongue of his coaching peers.
While the NFL interest is a testament to his coaching acumen and the respect he’s garnered in the coaching community, rival coaches are now using it as a pitch against him on the recruiting trail.
"A year later, the recruiting pitch out there right now against us is, 'You can't play there, they've got good players. And their coach is going to the NFL.' I think it's funny either way."
"I don't have to say anything," Sumlin said in response to his name being associated with future pro jobs. "Everybody knows what I do (now). I've never coached in the NFL. I've had plenty of opportunities to do that, both as an assistant coach and even as a head coach. But there's a reason I coach college football, and we've got a lot of work to do here. We're still playing catch-up, and we finished third in the SEC West last year (behind Alabama and LSU).
"By no means have we arrived."
As for his long-term future concerning the pros?
"Maybe later — some time later," said Sumlin, who received a $1.1 million pay bump (to $3.1 million annually) in the offseason. "But it won't be anytime soon. My family likes living here and I like living here. Heck, we just got here. People ask me to respond to the (NFL talk), and I say, 'You've got to be kidding me.' Because I remember what was being said at this time a year ago.
"Those (NFL) discussions I hope come up all of the time. Because as long as they do, we're doing something right."