|Dave Einsel/Associated Press|
|Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin was pleased to learn that Case Keenum will be starting for the Houston Texans.|
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin got a little emotional when asked about the news that his former quarterback from the University of Houston, Case Keenum, has risen from the inactive ranks to be named the Houston Texans' starting quarterback for Sunday's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Texans coach Gary Kubiak announced the news Thursday. And Sumlin took proud notice. Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express News and Houston Chronicle noted Sumlin's emotional expression in reacting to the news:
"As a coach, when you have players like Case, you're almost like a parent. You're always rooting for them like they're one of your kids. I'm just happy for his whole family. There's probably not been a story of a guy who's gone through what he's gone through and to get to start in the NFL after not even having been activated ..." (Sumlin gets emotional here and his voice cracks).
"He's gone from sweats to starting. There's a little bit of pressure involved in that," Sumlin said while chuckling.
Keenum was inactive to begin the season. He was an NCAA record-setter with the Cougars, but went undrafted due in part to concerns about his size (6-foot-1, 205 pounds). Sumlin addressed that shortcoming as well.
"Everybody has got an idea what a prototypical quarterback looks like. The way the game is played now, they come in all sizes and there's no doubt Case has always had the ability to play at a high level, and he was consistent (at UH) in doing so," Sumlin said. "You don't set the NCAA (passing) record just by luck. He knows what he's doing. He's looking forward to this opportunity and I look for him to take full advantage of it."
Keenum's 19,217 career passing yards at Houston, and his 155 touchdown passes, are NCAA records. Sumlin coached Keenum during the last four of his six years at UH.
Sumlin drew some criticism over the summer for being, perhaps, too much of a player's coach, thanks in part to the off-field antics of quarterback Johnny Manziel. Warranted or not, however, never let it be said Sumlin doesn't maintain long-term appreciation for his former players.
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.