Former Texas A&M quarterback Jameill Showers has found his new home. Showers, who decided to leave College Station rather than back up Johnny Manziel next season, will be attending UTEP next fall, according to MinersIllustrated.com.
UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 27, at 8:30 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway
UTEP head coach Sean Kugler confirmed Showers' move in a statement on Wednesday, according to College Football Talk's John Taylor:
We are extremely excited to have Jameill commit to our program. He is a great quarterback and a leader with strong character. He comes from a great family with an outstanding football background.
---End of update---
The young quarterback told MinersIllustrated.com's Chris Avila that he sent his letter of intent over on Tuesday:
I sent over my letter of intent and chose UTEP. My dad and I took a trip down [to UTEP] this past weekend and we had fun, met the coaching staff and I got to talk to Coach Kugler. They are doing some big things.
Once the favorite to succeed Ryan Tannehill under center, Showers lost the starting job to Manziel after an intense competition prior to the 2012 season. Manziel went on to have one of the best individual seasons in recent memory, winning the Heisman Trophy and leading the surprise a surprisingly great Aggies team to an 11-2 record.
With Manziel being just a redshirt sophomore next fall, there would have been little-to-no opportunity for Showers (barring an injury). Showers threw just 44 passes in Manziel's stead all of last season, completing 27 of them for 319 yards, and he likely wouldn't get much playing time outside of blowouts again in 2013.
Sensing the lack of opportunity, Showers decided to make a move. A dual-threat quarterback with an underrated polish in the pocket, Showers had no shortage of suitors but ultimately chose UTEP. Though the Miners went just 3-9 last season under Mike Price, new head coach Sean Kugler comes with an NFL pedigree and offers something Texas A&M cannot: playing time.
Unlike other student-athlete transfers, Showers will not lose a year of eligibility. He is scheduled to graduate from Texas A&M in June and then will enroll at UTEP in the fall, a move with is allowed by NCAA bylaw. Showers' transfer is not unlike Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who spent his final season of eligibility at Wisconsin after being at North Carolina State.
Whether Showers has a Wilson-like ascent remains to be seen. But Showers will likely just be happy to be in a place where he will get an opportunity to play and where he will not have to live in the shadow of a Heisman winner.