With the offseason officially underway, SDS will examine what’s next for spring football for all 14 teams. Next up, Texas A&M.
The architect and the lifeblood of the offense return in 2013, but the curator is gone. Kevin Sumlin is ultimately the whiz behind the offense, and losing Kliff Kingsbury is not much more than losing a sexy pair of sunglasses. Kingsbury and Johnny Manziel had a great connection on and off the field that helped lead to explosive numbers and a Heisman Trophy. But now that Kingsbury is gone, Sumlin promoted Clarence McKinney to co-offensive coordinator and hired WVU QB coach Jake Spavital. Spavital will remind you a lot of Kingsbury, and he’s a great young mind. And we know McKinney can call plays based on the pure torture he delved out to Oklahoma at Jerry World.
Position of concern
Immediate needs lie along the defensive line and at wide receiver, and no one position has more emphasis this spring than defensive end. Starters Damontre Moore and Spencer Nealy are gone, and the Aggies have to find new impact players in the trenches. Brandon Alexander, Tyrone Taylor, Julien Obioha and Polo Manukainiu are the four to keep an eye on this spring.
Emerging spring player prediction
The one player we’ll hear more about in the next few weeks is running back Trey Williams. He’s electric with the ball in his hands, and he’ll battle returner Ben Malena and newcomer Brandon Alexander for the starting job.
Three signees to be excited about
1. JaQuay Williams, WR: After a year of prep school, Williams should step in and compete for a starting role immediately. At 6-4, 204 pounds, he’ll line up with Mike Evans and give Johnny Manziel two taller receivers who can make tough grabs.
2. Ricky Seals-Jones, ATH: Although several think RSJ will be receiver, he’ll grow into more of a hybrid tight end who creates matchup problems with linebackers. It may be a bit early to think he’ll step in and have an immediate impact, but he’s certainly a great enough athlete to do so.
3. Tommy Sanders, OLB: One of the immediate needs on defense is filling two linebackers vacancies. The JUCO transfer is already enrolled and is physically ready to compete at 6-1, 210 pounds. Sanders’ presence will be felt as early as this spring.
One of the more intriguing position battles belongs in the Aggies’ backfield. Ben Malena is the weathered veteran entering his senior season. And don’t let his 195-pound frame fool you; he packs a punch at only 5-8. Malena has rushed for 1,067 yards and 12 touchdowns, but he’s not even the most talented back on the roster. Rising sophomore Trey Williams’ potential soars above the rest. Williams only rushed for 376 yards as a freshman, but he registered five touchdowns. And we haven’t even talked about Brandon Williams who transferred from Oklahoma yet. The Aggies will be fine with whoever wins the ultimate starting job, but the engaging battle will be fun to watch unfold.
Previous Offseason Forecasts:
- Mississippi State
- Ole Miss
- South Carolina
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports