Texas A&M football: 5 players to watch in the final stretch
A final bye week has come and gone. Texas A&M is headed into the final stretch of the 2019 season, the second under head coach Jimbo Fisher, with a home game against South Carolina on Saturday before finishing up on the road at Georgia and LSU.
That’s a gauntlet that any team would have a problem navigating unscathed. But aside from wins, I’m hoping to see steady improvement into the bowl season and a positive attitude to carry into next year.
Here are five players to watch as the Aggies make one final push in the final three SEC games of the 2019 season.
1. Continued development of Isaiah Spiller
The freshman is showing signs of excellence. His 3-touchdown game against UTSA was his second multi-touchdown game and equaled the most by a freshman in a single game at Texas A&M. His 60-yard touchdown run was the Aggies’ longest scoring run of the season. Speed and durability are key attributes that Spiller is beginning to prove. His 217-yard game against UTSA matched the program’s true freshman record set by Trayveon Williams in 2016 against Tennessee.
2. Jalen Wydermyer solidifying his role
In this system, the tight end is featured, so he’d better be a good one. And Wydermyer is becoming just that. He’s making the most of his opportunity, stepping into the limelight because of an injury and taking his place among a stellar group of freshmen who are making an immediate impact. His 7-yard touchdown reception against UTSA was his sixth of the season, the second most by a tight end in Texas A&M history. Wydermyer could solidify his place as the Aggies’ tight end of the future with a strong finish to the season.
3. Kellen Mond finishing strong enough to force a difficult decision
It would be a good sign if Mond had such an outstanding finish that he would have to make a tough decision on whether to return for his senior season or turn pro. He’s trending toward that. The junior turned in his second consecutive 70-percent-plus completion game against UTSA (76.2 percent) and fourth this season. He had just two in his career coming into the 2019 campaign. In addition, he added to his career total – now 13 games – for both throwing and rushing for a touchdown. For his career, Mond has thrown for 6,696 yards and is among the top five in program history. Stepping it up even more over these final three games might just force Mond into a decision about his senior season.
4. DeMarvin Leal becoming a leader
The freshman DE just matched his season high with 6 tackles in the UTSA game, which included a season-best 2 tackles for loss. As his health improves, so does his ability. He has shaken off a slow beginning, hampered by an injury, to become a force on the Aggies’ defensive line. He is quietly becoming a leader along that front, and with continued development, he could be among the SEC’s elite linemen in the years to come.
5. Seth Small consistency
The sophomore booted a 45-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the UTSA game. It was the 32nd field goal of his career, putting him in the top 10 all time at Texas A&M. As he gains confidence in his abilities, Small figures to be a key weapon for the Aggies in the years to come.