Dating back to his days at Houston, coach Kevin Sumlin’s offenses have been known as high-flying, quick-paced attacks with star quarterbacks and wide receivers leading the way.

There won’t be a huge change in philosophy at A&M this year, but personnel has helped dictate an added wrinkle into the Aggies’ Air Raid system. With Brandon Williams making the move to cornerback, the top returning ball carriers are both bigger backs with Tra Carson checking in at 6-foot, 235 pounds and James White running at 6-foot, 220.

With those two at his disposal, Sumlin and new offensive line coach Dave Christensen want to incorporate a power running game into their plans.

Overall, Sumlin is looking for the Aggies to be a tougher and more physical team and that could start in the running game that hasn’t produced a ton in the recent years. Carson is the leading returning rusher with 581 yards on 124 carries last year. White rushed for just 123 yards in limited action, but averaged 7.0 yards per carry. The pair combined for eight rushing touchdowns.

Before last year the leading rusher in both of Sumlin’s first two seasons at Texas A&M was quarterback Johnny Manziel. So to get the running game going, the Aggies are hoping for a more bruising approach.

Despite producing a first-round NFL draft pick off the offensive line each of the last three seasons, gaining significant yardage via running back has been a challenge. The Aggies averaged just 4.6 yards per carry last year and finished 12th in the SEC with 149.9 rushing yards per game.

Christensen, who saw running backs such as Tony Temple and Damien Nash have success when he was offensive coordinator at Missouri, has already implemented a few changes with the veteran offensive line. The splits are wider and some practice time has been devoted to adding some pulling aspects to what was a fairly straight-forward blocking scheme in the past.

“Schematically, I think he brings attitude and experience to the table,” Sumlin said of Christensen at SEC Media Days. “We’ve had to change our practice style. I think we came into the SEC with an attitude that, hey, we want to win right now, and the best way to do that is by scoring points and then building off of that with recruiting and generating excitement and doing those things. We’ve done that. Now let’s take the next step and, from a recruiting standpoint, develop a depth standpoint that we need.”

Senior running back Brice Dolezal, who is 5-foot-9, 180-pounds, has been getting some work with the first and second-teams in recent practices and could function as a speedy change-of-pace back. But with Carson and White the front-runners to get most of the carries, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the Aggies grinding out yards on the ground when they aren’t relying on quarterback Kyle Allen and his deep stable of receivers.