Texas A&M was the first SEC team to start spring practice in February. The Aggies are the only team not to have a spring game.
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The Aggies are embarking on one of the most interesting spring practices of any team in the country. The defense was the SEC’s worst statistical unit, and the offense loses two of the best players in the country. So, where does TAMU turn, and how long will it take to right the ship? Here are five players who have to play much bigger roles in 2014:
Tra Carson, RB (JR)
2013 stats: 62 carries, 329 yards, 7 TDs
Buzz: Carson wasn’t the everyday back for the Aggies, but he flashed that potential in his first year backing up Ben Malena. Carson is the pounder back every program looks for but few possess. He’s physical, and he’s ultimately talented enough to handle the full-time role taking over for Malena. The offense loses Johnny Manziel, but it has a stable cast of backs to dominate the ground game. Carson could develop into the best one.
Cam Clear, TE (SR)
2013 stats: 4 catches, 42 yards, 1 TD
Buzz: Clear looks more like an offensive lineman at 6-6, 270 pounds than he does a tight end, but he’s quicker than perceived. Prior to the start of 2013, there were echoes that said Clear would be an impact player immediately, but that never transpired. But now that Manziel’s creativity and scrambling is gone, I do think Clear will become a more pertinent offensive player who has to play a much bigger role. He was used mostly as a blocker in 2013; it’s time for him to show his full arsenal.
Daeshon Hall, DE (SO)
2013 stats: 29 tackles, 3 TFL, 1 INT, 3 QB hurries
Buzz: Rarely do defensive ends make an instant impact in the SEC, but that was the case for Hall. At 6-6, 245 pounds, Hall is a natural pass rusher who could blow into a bona fide stud, and this could be the year he does that. The Aggies’ front seven was one missed tackle away from being awful last season, and any pass rush would be an improvement. That starts with the most talented player right now in Daeshon Hall.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WR (rFR)
2013 stats: 3 catches, 84 yards, 1 TD
Buzz: If Seals-Jones’ 71-yard touchdown reception against Rice didn’t fire you up, you need to check your pulse. But his season was cut short because of a knee injury. Seals-Jones seems like the logical replacement for Mike Evans. Will it be easy replacing Evans? No chance, but RSJ could be the one to put up the biggest numbers, assuming he’s healthy. There are other younger receivers outside of RSJ, but he possesses a rare combination of the total package at 6-5, 225 pounds.
Trey Williams, RB (JR)
2013 stats: 58 carries, 407 yards, 6 TDs
Buzz: One word to describe Trey Williams: explosive. He has a burst that is only found in elite ball carriers, and he’s one of the biggest weapons in the SEC. Can he become an everyday running back who can take the punishment? Maybe not, but he’s a weapon that Kevin Sumlin has to use more in the offense in 2014. He’s the very definition of a homerun hitter. Just give him the football.
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