Texas A&M football: 5 things I want to see in Saturday's spring game
Well, it’s finally here. Aggieland will get its first good look at Year 2 of the Jimbo Fisher era at Texas A&M. The Aggies will hold their annual Maroon and White Spring Game on Saturday in Kyle Field beginning at 1 p.m. Central and televised live by the SEC Network.
With 7 starters on offense and 6 starters on defense returning from last year’s 9-4 season, could Year 2 be as magical as was for Nick Saban at Alabama, or for another of his disciples at Georgia?
Saban won 12 games in his second season at Alabama and played in the Sugar Bowl one year before starting a string of national championships. Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs played for the title in his second year at Georgia.
It’s far too early to answer that monumental question just now, but at least on Saturday we’ll get our first look at what we might expect to see this fall. Here are 5 things I want to see from Saturday’s spring game.
1. Who’s the backup QB?
Not only am I eager to watch Kellen Mond continue to develop into one of the top QBs in the SEC in his junior year, but almost as important, I want to see who takes snaps behind him at the position. There’s been some buzz about freshman James Foster, a redshirt last season, with a big arm, good size (6-3, 228) and mobility. I’m eager to see if he separates himself from the pack for the role as backup to Mond.
2. Baylor Cupp, seems to be the buzz in spring practice
With All-American Jace Sternberger headed to the NFL, there are some giant shoes to be filled at the tight end position. Cupp is the top tight end of the Class of 2019 according to 247Sports.com. The 6-6, 245-pounder has come into camp with a purpose, taking snaps with the first team this spring. I want to see what he brings to the table as far as blocking and pass catching abilities.
3. RBs anyone and everyone
With Trayveon Williams declaring for the NFL Draft, who will step up to be the featured back in 2019? Replacing the SEC leader in rushing (1,760) and touchdowns (18) seems like an impossible task, but a plethora of underclassmen are in camp to take up that challenge. I want to see if Jashaun Corbin, one of four sophomore candidates, is up to the task of being an every down back.
4. LB play
This will be a key focus Saturday. Who fills the voids left by Otaro Alaka and Tyrel Dodson? How many healthy bodies will we see in action? Buddy Johnson and Braden White have been the constant at the position this spring but beyond that who will we see there? Anthony Hines and Ikenna Okeke are just this week shedding their yellow (non-contact) jerseys. Should be interesting to see Johnson, White and company try to solidify a role at perhaps the biggest question mark of the spring.
5. D-line play
Another area with big shoes to fill, the defensive line play on Saturday should be quite interesting. Bobby Brown (6-4, 325) has drawn attention this spring with his size and quickness. I want to see if Justin Madubuike is taking a leadership role inside, and I want to see if Michael Clemons and Tyree Johnson can handle the edges. I would have liked to have seen highly-touted DeMarvin Leal in the trenches on Saturday, but the 5-star recruit in this year’s class missed spring workouts, recovering from minor knee surgery.