Sunday afternoon, former Texas A&M wide receiver Laquvionte Gonzalez announced via Twitter that he would be following David Beaty to Kansas. We all know that on a team with a lot of areas of need, wide receiver stands out as being especially lacking in experienced players. Gonzalez, a junior who stands 5'10, was a four star recruit coming out of high school, and also attracted offers from the likes of Clemson, Baylor, Ohio State and Oklahoma. In his true freshman year as an Aggie, he hauled in 21 passes from Johnny Football for 240 yards. Last year, he saw action in just 8 games, catching only 5 passes for 77 yards. He will sit out the 2015 season at Kansas due to NCAA transfer rules.
Despite last year's weak production, Gonzalez' recruiting profile and solid freshman numbers make him an intriguing addition to Kansas football for 2016 & 2017. With that in mind, I reached out to SBN's own Good Bull Hunting for some inside information on the newest Jayhawk. Matt (@mattywatty01 on Twitter) was kind enough to respond with his thoughts:
1) LaQuvionte Gonzalez was a highly sought-after recruit coming out of high school, and put together a pretty solid true freshman campaign, hauling in 21 passes from Johnny Manziel. What was the reason for the reduced playing time and production last year? Were there any injuries or off-the-field issues we may not know about?
The main reason would be talent to compete with. He's a fast, talented kid himself, but the other inside receivers we have are just as sure handed, but bigger and/or stronger. His size is a bit of a limitation when competing with guys like Ricky Seals-Jones. I haven't heard of any concrete attitude issues, but that said, there were rumors that he was steering HS recruits that attended his same high school away from A&M this year. Sure enough, the other recruit, a highly rated WR himself, decommitted from A&M and ended up at Ole Miss. We have a bad history of players from his high school working out, and after the recruiting rumors this spring, no one was surprised to see Quiv transfer. He was rumored to be unhappy.
2) What are Gonzalez' greatest strengths and weaknesses as a receiver? Will he be missed in College Station this fall, or is A&M pretty well stocked at the position?
A&M is well-stocked enough that they won't really miss him. We signed a five star slot receiver who is already impressing everyone, plus we have a handful of other guys who are just as highly rated (or higher) than Quiv was. I'm personally sad to see him go, but it shouldn't hurt A&M. His strengths seem to be straight line speed. He's not super shifty and his hands didn't seem to be above average. He did make a few plays for A&M in his time here and did get to showcase his speed a few times. I think he will be really successful at Kansas.
3) David Beaty has a reputation as a players' coach, and it's no secret that Kansas can offer a lot of playing time to potential transfers who might be buried on the depth chart at their current school. Are there any other A&M players who are rumored to be possible transfer candidates that might follow Beaty to Lawrence?
I don't know of any others off the top of my head. We already lost a couple other WR's from that same class. I think A&M signed six WR's in Quiv's class, and only two are left. Thankfully we keep signing more but now I don't think any more are leaving. The bigger impact will be in recruiting. Beatty was an absolute ace in the D/FW area and has a great reputation. He should be able to pull some decent guys out of the area.
Thanks to Matt and Good Bull Hunting for the assist. Be sure to check out GBH for any and all Texas A&M athletics news.
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me at email@example.com, or reach out to me on Twitter @DavidPftw