2013 Texas A&M Spring Football Analysis
Texas A&M Aggies 2013 ...
Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin
Why To Be Excited ... Even with some NFL-caliber losses on both sides of the ball, this is still the it program on a national scale thanks to Kevin Sumlin’s high-octane offense along with the Johnny Manziel Experience. Who doesn’t want to play in this offense? The running game should be even more dangerous and more effective with Ben Malena back to go along with the thunder of Oregon transfer Tra Carson and lightning of Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams. Manziel will still be the team’s best runner, but he’ll never have to do it all by himself. Mike Evans is one of the nation’s rising star receivers and offensive tackle Jake Matthews will be among college football’s top NFL prospects.
| 2013 Schedule|
9/7 Sam Houston State
9/28 at Arkansas
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/12 at Ole Miss
11/9 Mississippi State
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at LSU
11/30 at Missouri
The defense that made a few adjustments and improvements under the new coaching staff has plenty of athleticism and size still around, even if there’s going to be a bit of an adjustment period. Kirby Ennis should be a solid anchor on the nose to work around, and now it’ll be up to Julien Obioha, Gavin Stansbury and Tyrell Taylor to be the new pass rushing stars. There’s just enough talent in the secondary to not slide too far down, but …
Why To Be Grouchy ... It’s not like the pass defense slowed anyone down. There weren’t too many big plays allowed, but the secondary gave up way too many yards even though Damontre Moore and Sean Porter were among college football’s most dangerous pass rushers. Also gone from the improved defense are key parts Jonathan Stewart at middle linebacker, corner Dustin Harris and safety Steven Terrell. Matthews might be back on the offensive line, but left tackle Luke Joeckel was a special talent and center Patrick Lewis was an unsung key part to the attack. Evans might have turned into the team’s best receiver, but it’s not a plus to lose Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu and Kenric McNeal. The Aggie punting game finished 15th in the nation, but the ever-reliable Ryan Epperson is gone.
What Needs Working On ... As athletic and as disruptive as the defense was throughout last season, it didn’t do much to take the ball away. The 12 interceptions were fine – especially considering six of them came during the key finishing stretch over five games – but the team came up with a mere four recovered fumble. Three of them came over the last three games of the regular season, and getting one against Alabama way terrific, but the D only pounced on one loose ball over the first nine games.
Non-Conference Games: Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU, UTEP
Games Against The East: Vanderbilt, at Missouri
Realistic Best Case Record: 10-2
Worst Case Record: 7-5
Likely Finish: 9-3
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU, at Arkansas, Auburn, Vanderbilt, UTEP, Mississippi State, at Missouri
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: Alabama, at Ole Miss, at LSU
Schedule Analysis: The pressure will be on, and the schedule is favorable enough to keep the momentum rolling. The numbers will pile up early with Rice and Sam Houston State to start the year, and the rest of the non-conference schedule won’t be a problem with SMU and UTEP down the road. Throw in the gigantic break of missing all the big boys from the East, and there isn’t much room for complaining.
The big test comes right away with Alabama coming to Kyle Field on September 14th, and road trips to Arkansas and Ole Miss shouldn’t be a problem if everything goes according to plan. There’s a week off to prepare for the Rebels, and there’s a week off to prepare for LSU in late November. That means there are only two road games – Arkansas and Missouri – that don’t come after a bye week.
Team Concerns For 2013: There isn't much to complain about after a breakthrough season under Kevin Sumlin, but the special teams could stand to be stronger. Taylor Bertolet only hit 13-of-22 field goals, while the kickoff return game was the second-worst in the SEC. However, the punting game was terrific and the punt return game was great - but Dustin Harris is done after averaging 12.71 yards per pop. As good as the defense was at times, the secondary wasn't sharp giving up 251 yards per try. With two starting defensive backs needing to be replaced and pass rushers Damontre Moore and Sean Porter gone, there might be a wee bit of work to be done to keep Johnny Manziel from having to do even more for the offense.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Receivers. Who doesn't want to play in the Kevin Sumlin offense? Kenny Hill and Kohl Stewart are each going to have to try filling in the shoes of Johnny Football, and whoever gets the gig should have a phenomenal receiving corps to work with. Ricky Seals-Jones is the nation's top wide receiver prospect, while Laquvionte Gonzalez and Sebastian LaRue are going to be factors.
The defensive side isn't being ignored with a loaded class of defensive linemen getting
end Daeshon Hall along with Isaiah Golden, Hardreck Walker and Justin Manning for the interior and safety Kameron Miles and corner Noel Ellis both excellent gets. Linebackers Reggie Chevis, Darian Claiborne and Jordan Mastrogiovanni
are all potential pass rushers in the attacking system.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking:
21. That Class Was Heavy On ... Skill players. The Aggies are losing a slew of stars off an offensive powerhouse, and while this year’s class isn’t likely to provide much in the way of instant help, the passing game prospects should be hot for Kevin Sumlin’s offense. The receiving corps needs talent to develop for the next few seasons, and it would be a plus if star running back prospect Trey Williams could shine immediately.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 28 That Class Was Heavy On ... Defensive backs. This isn’t going to be the highest-ranked of classes, only because there isn’t any superstar power compared to Texas and Oklahoma, but it’s a very, very solid haul of talent across the board. The defense got the best players including JUCO transfer LaMarc Strahan and ends Brandon Alexander and Shayvion Hatton up front, and JUCO transfer linebacker Steven Jenkins will see time immediately. The secondary got the most help, especially at safety, with Howard Matthews and Devonta Burns as good as any Big 12 defensive back recruits. Floyd Raven and DeShazer Everette are big corners who could quickly turn into safeties.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 26. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Offensive
linemen. Mike Sherman brought in the defensive backs
last year to deal with the pass-happy Big 12, and
this year he came up with the offensive line to let
his skill stars shine. Cedric Ogbuehi and Luke
Joeckel are two terrific tackle prospects, and Jake
Matthews might be the nation's best guard recruit.
Shep Klinke and Garrett Gramling aren't bad tackle
prospects, either. Offensively, Jameill Showers and
Matt Joeckel are strong quarterback prospects who'll
get time to develop, while Ben Malena. D.J. Jones,
and Mister Jones will get into the running back
rotation early on. This turned out to be a good
class, but it might have been considered an elite
one if Oklahoma didn't steal away linebacker Corey
Nelson at the last second.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 14. That Class Was
Heavy On ... defensive backs. Eight players were brought in to help out the secondary, and head coach Mike Sherman got a slew of really good ones. JUCO transfer Coryell Judie might be penciled into a starting corner spot right away, while four safeties, Steven Campbell, Malcolm Johnson, Colton Valencia and Charlie Thomas are all good enough to challenge for playing time from the moment they set foot on campus.