It is clear that wide receivers are invaluable to Kevin Sumlin’s offense, and judging by the haul of six of the nation’s top freshmen receivers, they have noticed too. From Los Angeles to Atlanta and even Hawaii, the Aggies were able to recruit across the nation to manufacture one of its top receiver classes in school history.
What’s even more promising to a high school recruit than being told that they will have an opportunity to compete for playing time as a true freshman is the reality that there are spots to be filled going into the 2013 season, and the need for true freshmen to step up is imperative.
All six of the Aggies’ highly touted wide receiver recruits should see playing time this season, assuming they stay healthy.
With the release of the 2013 depth chart as fall camp approaches, only one of the six freshmen receivers appear on it, 6-3, 210-pound Ja’Quay Williams, as a second string wide receiver behind senior Derel Walker—but that could change during fall camp. Williams was the only mid-term enrollee and participated in spring drills. The Georgia native was rated the No. 14 wide receiver nationally out of high school by Rivals.com, and despite being very raw, he impressed coaches during spring practice.
Williams chose A&M over a slew of Southeastern Conference schools, and depending on his maturation he should contribute with significant playing time in 2013.
Ricky Seals-Jones is perhaps the crown jewel of the 2013 class, who will likely be lining up down from top receiver Mike Evans. Standing at 6’5, 220, Seals-Jones was a 5-star recruit by Scout.com and the No. 8 wide receiver in the ESPN 150. The Sealy, Texas product committed to Texas as a junior, but de-committed his senior season to open up his options. Despite an injury, which sidelined him the first half of his senior season, Seals-Jones was still highly sought after and eventually signed with the Aggies on National Signing Day.
Like the rest of the freshmen receiving corps, Seals-Jones has been on campus all summer taking summer school classes and participating in workouts.
With the departure of record setting receiver Ryan Swope, the coveted slot receiver position is up for grabs. Along with sophomore Sabina Holmes and junior LeKendrick Williams, incoming freshmen LaQuvionte Gonzales, Sebastian Larue and Jeremy Tabuyo will have an opportunity to see some playing time there.
Gonzales is the most interesting of the three slot receivers. What would appear to be undersized at 5’10, 165, Gonzales makes up for it with lighting speed and athleticism. As a senior, he gained 1,421 yards and 20 touchdowns on 179 carries at running back. Gonzales could also make a huge splash on special teams as a return guy, too.
Larue and Tabuyo are similar types of players, both standing at 5’11, 180. Larue comes to A&M from Los Angeles and Tabuyo from Hawaii. Like Gonzales, Larue was an Under Armour All-American and rated as the No. 24 wide receiver by Rivals.com, choosing A&M over USC, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Tabuyo might finish his Aggie career as one of the most underrated recruits coming into his freshman season. Although, he might be the only receiver to redshirt this season, Tabuyo has the raw talent to be a stud at A&M and to break records.
Kyrion Parker closes out the list of six incoming freshmen. Parker is 6’2, 190, and was rated No. 32 by Rivals.com nationally. The Manvel, Texas product has an opportunity to see the field behind Evans, Walker and Seals-Jones. Parker will need to separate himself from the other young receivers this fall camp to increase the opportunity for playing time.
Also worth noting, redshirt freshman Edward Pope, 6’4, 180, is listed behind Evans on the depth chart, and after a productive spring and impressive spring game performance, Pope is expected to contribute significantly.
Coach Sumlin is proving that he can recruit on the national stage, and that the Texas state-line is not a boundary for recruiting the best talent in the country. If Sumlin’s 2013 haul of receivers can contribute this season, the Aggies could be in the hunt for a championship.