Losing 4 starters on your offensive line usually makes for a rebuilding year. Throw in the necessity to find a new quarterback on top of that, and it could leave some coaches in a panic. But Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher is supremely confident in the players stepping up to fill those roles along the Aggies’ offensive line.

“We lost a lot of the experience, but the guys we have are very, very talented,” Fisher said recently at SEC Media Days. “I mean, very talented. They’ll all be draft picks, in my opinion, if Lord willing, they stay healthy and keep developing the way they can. I’m very excited about that.”

Last year, Texas A&M boasted one of the nation’s best groups up front. It took them years to reach that point, and along the way endured much criticism, but they ultimately jelled in their final year. Giving up a conference-low 7 sacks all season, which ranked 8th in the nation, the Maroon Goons mitigated negative plays and helped the Aggies to a No. 3 ranking nationally in 3rd-down efficiency.

So, replacing them is certainly no small task.

“The continuity to get five guys to play as one, that’s the challenge in how quickly they can adapt to that,” Fisher said.

But if you must rebuild, there’s no better place to start than with a consensus All-American. That’s what Kenyon Green brings to the huddle, a talent that Fisher called “one of the best pure football players in America.” Green has started in every game in his first 2 years at Texas A&M. He moves out to a tackle position for the 2021 season and that’s where the Aggies begin the rebuilding process.

Inexperience is generally associated with that process, but the Aggies aren’t hamstrung with that problem. Luke Matthews played in 11 games as a redshirt freshman in 2019 before an injury sidelined him for the 2020 season. The football savvy center is back in the fold and ready to handle the all-important duties at that key spot.

An even more experienced Jahmir Johnson transferred from Tennessee and impressed at the tackle position over the summer. The graduate transfer has made his rounds, starting out with Rhode Island in 2016 and Arizona Western Community College in 2017 before moving over to Tennessee in 2018 as a redshirt sophomore.

Johnson played in 24 games for the Vols, including 17 starts. He made 5 starts last season and played in 7 games. The crafty veteran is not only powerful and athletic, but Fisher likes what he’s seen from a character standpoint.

“He’s a great guy to be around,” Fisher said. “He’s got a great personality, great work ethic, and very impressed with his off-season work ethic so far. I think he’s got a chance to really help us.”

The guard positions are where the biggest question marks arise simply from an experience factor. But again, Fisher is confident in the candidates for the job.

Redshirt sophomore Layden Robinson played in all 10 games last season but saw just 32 total snaps at right guard. Fisher calls the 6-4, 330-pounder one of the most powerful players he’s ever seen.

At the other guard, redshirt freshman Aki Ogunbiyi played in 1 game last season but Fisher said he sees unlimited potential in the 6-4, 305-pound star in the making.

“I’ve been around a lot of athletic guys in my time,” Fisher said. “Not many I’ve been around more athletic than he is, and he has power and explosion. He’s going to continue to play as a young redshirt freshman, but he has a chance to be a really, really special player in my opinion.”

Yes, there are giant shoes to fill along the offensive line, but this group just might meet the challenge and dare I say, exceed it.

“They had a great spring, summer’s been going well, and that’s one of the things I’m most excited to watch, because I know what their ability is,” Fisher said. “In saying this in a crazy way, if that can come together, it can even raise that level of play we had there. That’s no knock on anybody we had. There’s some very, very talented guys in that group.”

Fear not Aggieland, the offensive line is in good hands and should be viewed as a strength in the Aggies’ arsenal for the 2021 season. Not only would that help make comfortable the development of a new QB, whether it’s Zach Calzada or Haynes King, but also open running lanes for the incredible stable of outstanding running backs Isaiah Spiller, Devon Achane, and RB/WR Ainias Smith, in maximizing their respective big-play capabilities.