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2014 Texas A&M Recruiting Class Analysis

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


Texas A&M Aggies 2014 ... Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin


Texas A&M Aggies

2013 Record: 9-4
8/31 Rice W 52-31
9/7 Sam Houston St W 65-28
9/14 Alabama L 49-42
9/21 SMU W 42-13
9/28 at Arkansas W 45-33
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/12 at Ole Miss W 41-38
10/19 Auburn L 45-41
10/26 Vanderbilt W 56-24
11/2 UTEP W 57-7
11/9 Miss State W 51-41
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at LSU L 34-10
11/30 at Missouri L 28-21
Chick-fil-A Bowl
12/31 Duke W 52-48
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Texas A&M | The Entire 2014 Recruiting Class

Team Concerns For 2014: While all the focus will be on the quarterback situation after the loss of Johnny Manziel, the key to the season is a defense that couldn’t give up points and yards fast enough, finishing 109th in the nation in total D and 110th against the run. Manziel and the offense were able to bail out the team time and again, but the defense didn’t hold up its end of the bargain early against Duke in the Chick-fil-A and in shootout losses to Alabama and Auburn. The D was an equal opportunity offender, giving up 222 rushing yards a game and 253 through the air.

The 2014 Class Is Heavy On ... The passing game. Who doesn’t want to be Kevin Sumlin’s quarterback? He’s trying to temper expectations, but Kyle Allen is the nation’s best passing prospect, and Devonte Noil is the top receiver prospect. Add in Frank Ihenacho and Joshua Reynolds along with last year’s great haul, and look out. Zach Ledwik will be the next great Aggie tackle with a little bit of time, and JUCO transfer Jermaine Eluemunor is good enough to push for time right away at guard. The defense was hardly ignored getting the nation’s best defensive end, Myles Garrett, and Jarrett Johnson and Qualen Cunningham fast prospects who can do big things. The linebacking tandem of Otaro Alaka and Josh Walker can fly. Nick Harvey could be an SEC all-star corner.

2013 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 6. That Class Was 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.

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Texas A&M 52, Duke 48
Basically … Texas A&M came up with its greatest comeback in school history after getting down 38-17 at halftime. The defense that couldn’t stop Duke in the first half went to work in the second, coming up with a stop out of the lockerroom leading to an all-timer Houdini act by Johnny Manziel to get Travis Labhart the ball on a 19-yard touchdown pass. Tra Carson and Manziel each added short touchdown runs, and Manziel found Derel Walker for a 44-yard touchdown with just under six miutes to play to pull the Aggies within three. The Aggie D took the lead for good on a 55-yard interception return for a score from Toney Hurt Jr. with 3:33 to play, but Duke had one last shot. Blue Devil QB Anthony Boone threw three touchdown passes on the day to three different receivers, but in crunch time, under pressure and trying to get the ball away, he put it in the hands of Nate Askew with just over a minute to play to end the drama.

- Duke outgained Texas A&M 661 yards to 541
- Duke QB Anthony Boone completed 29-of-45 passes for 427 yards and three scores, and he ran five times for 27 yards and a score.
- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel completed 30-of-38 passes for 382 yards and forur scores, and ran 11 times for 73 yards and a touchdown.
- Texas A&M WR Travis Labhart caught seven passes for 76 yards and three scores.
- Duke WR Jamison Crowder caught 12 passes for 163 yards and a score.
- Duke RB Josh Snead ran 17 times for 104 yards and a score.

at Missouri 28, Texas A&M 21
Basically … Missouri won the East and is off to the SEC title game after Henry Josey tore off a 57-yard touchdown run to break a 21-21 tie to complete a big second half. Down seven, the Tigers, who got a 38-yard Dorial Green-Beckham touchdown catch in the first half, opened the second half with a two-yard Marcus Murphy touchdown run and a five-yard leaping L’Damian Washington scoring grab, but Texas A&M answered with a long march and a seven-yard Ben Malena touchdown run. Johnny Manziel only threw for 195 yards with a 32-yard touchdown pass to Derel Walker.
- Missouri QB James Franklin completed 18-of-28 passes for 233 yards and two scores, and ran 18 times for 80 yards
- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel completed 24-of-35 passes for 195 yards and a score, and he ran 11 times for 21 yards
- Texas A&M RB Brandon Williams averaged 9.5 yards per run and Trey Williams averaged eight yards per pop.
- Missouri WR L’Damian Washington caught six passes for 97 yards and a touchdown, and Dorial Green-Beckham caught seven passes for 93 yards and a score.

at LSU 34, Texas A&M 10
Basically … LSU shut down Johnny Manziel, keeping the reigning Heisman winner to just a 51-yard touchdown pass to Derel Walker, while the Tiger offense controlled the game throughout. Terrence Magee powered his way to a big day and a one-yard touchdown run, and Zach Mettenberger and Jarvis Landry connected on second quarter touchdown passes from ten and 40 yards out. LSU scored 13 unanswered points, all in the second half, on two Colby Delahoussaye field goals and a two-yard Kenny Hilliard touchdown run.
- Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel completed 16-of-41 passes for 224 yards and a touchdown with two picks. He ran 12 times for 54 yards.
- LSU RB Terrence Magee ran 13 times for 149 yards and a score. LSU outrushed A&M 324 yards to 75.
- LSU had the ball for over 40 minutes, but it committed 13 penalties for 111 yards.
- Texas A&M WR Derel Walker caught six passes for 130 yards and a score.

at Texas A&M 51, Mississippi State 41
Basically … Johnny Manziel threw for a career-high five touchdown passes with two going to Malcome Kennedy from 12 and 21 yards out and two more to Travis Labhart from 33 and 11 yards away. Mississippi State hung around highlighted by a 51-yard Josh Robinson touchdown dash, two scores from LaDarius Perkins and two touchdown catches from De’Runnya Wilson with his second one coming with just over two minutes to play to help pull the Bulldogs within ten. Manziel was able to run out the clock.
- In what might have been his final home game as an Aggie, Johnny Manziel completed 30-of-39 passes for 446 yards and five scores with three picks, and he led the team with 47 rushing yards on 14 carries.
- Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott completed 14-of-26 passes for 149 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and he ran 16 times for 154 yards.
- Three Aggies – Mike Evans, Travis Labhart and Malcolme Kennedy – caught 78 yards of passes or more. Evans and Labhart each went over 100 yards.
- Texas A&M committed ten penalties for 105 yards with three turnovers, while Mississippi State committed four penalties and threw one pick.

at Texas A&M 57, UTEP 7
Basically … It took a little while for the Texas A&M offense to get going, but after a talking to from Johnny Manziel, the O picked up with 55 unanswered points after UTEP took a 7-2 lead on a four-yard Aaron Jones run. Manziel threw four touchdown passes including two to Travis Labhart from 44 and 17 yards out, and he ran for scores from ten and 49 yards away. Trey Williams and Tra Carson each added touchdown runs for the Aggies.
- Johnny Manziel completed 16-of-24 passes for 273 yards and four scores, and he ran seven times for 67 yards and two touchdowns.
- With Jameill Showers out with a shoulder injury, Blaire Sullivan started at quarterback for UTEP, completing 9-of-17 passes for 71 yards and three picks. He added 11 carries for 40 yards.
- A&M outgained UTEP 564 yards to 198 and 33 passing yards to 71.
- UTEP had the ball for over 36 minutes, but it turned the ball over four times. A&M only gave it up once.

at Texas A&M 56, Vanderbilt 24
Basically … Johnny Manziel’s injured shoulder wasn’t an issue as he threw four touchdown passes with three coming in the first quarter on the way to a 28-0 lead. Vanderbilt answered with 17 straight points in the second half with Jonathan Krause catching a 30-yard touchdown pass and Jerron Seymour running it in from four yards out, but the A&M defense stiffened in the second half with Howard Matthews picking off a Patton Robinette pass for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage. Manziel didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
- Outside of the four fumbles and five turnovers, that’s how you respond to a depressing loss. Texas A&M and Johnny Manziel came back rolling after the Auburn loss and coasted to the win over Vanderbilt. Manziel didn’t run much with just 11 yards on four carries, protecting his injured shoulder, but he threw just fine, spreading the ball around well. Just as importantly, the defense finally came up with a decent day.
- With UTEP and Mississippi State up next, now the Aggies might have to think even more about pulling Manziel earlier. The backups can handle the work, and while Manziel should play and take care of business, he needs to be closer to 100% for road games at LSU and Missouri.

Auburn 45 … at Texas A&M 41
Basically … Johnny Manziel didn’t have any magic left as Texas A&M’s one final drive was snuffed out in the final seconds with a sack. Before then, neither defense could come up with many stops as the two offenses combined for 1,217 yards. Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall threw two touchdown passes and ran for two touchdowns to offset a huge day from Manziel, who threw for 454 yards and four touchdowns with Mike Evans on the other end of the scoring passes from 26, 64, 42 and 33 yards away. Auburn always had an answer, especially on the final drive as Marshall connected with Marcus Davis for a key 27-yard pass play to help set up the game-winning five-yard touchdown run from Tre Mason. Manziel, who was fighting through an injured shoulder, had one last shot, but Dee Ford came up with the sack to seal the win.
- Neither defense slowed down the other team’s offense, and it’s hard to give too much credit to Auburn after Johnny Manziel rolled up over 500 yards of total offense, but the Tiger defensive line was able to apply a beating. Auburn rotated its linemen, and it kept everyone fresh late – it showed. Dee Ford and the rest of the front four was just quick enough to batter Manziel and come up with the late plays needed to close.
- A&M isn’t relying enough on its running game from the backs. It might be so, so tempting to always let Manziel throw to Mike Evans, and it’s hard to argue with the offensive results, but the offense has to go on more grinding drives to give the defense a bit of a break. The D isn’t stopping anyone; it has to stay off the field.
- This is supposed to be when the Aggies go on a run, with home games against Vanderbilt, UTEP and Mississippi State up next before showdowns at LSU and Missouri, but now the national title is gone and the SEC West is bye-bye without a miracle. Very soon, Matt Joeckel might end up seeing more playing time – Manziel was battered.
- Nick Marshall might have been the star, but he only completed 11-of-23 passes . He made them count, throwing for 236 yards and two scores and running for 100 yards and two touchdowns. However, Tre Mason was one of the biggest keys, adding 178 yards to the team’s 379 rushing yards and two touchdowns. He used both power and quickness to burn the Aggie D.

Texas A&M 41, at Ole Miss 38
Basically … Josh Lambo hit a 33-yard field goal as time ran out to tap off a Texas A&M rally for the win. Johnny Manziel hurt his knee early on, but he turned out to be just fine and ran for touchdowns from five and six yards out, with the second one tying the game with just over three minutes to play. Ole Miss got three touchdown passes from Bo Wallace and two from Barry Brunetti, Laquon Treadwell coming up with two scores and Jaylen Walton scoring from 50 yards out. Vince Sanders started out the scoring for the Rebels with a 70-yard touchdown catch, but A&M got up 21-10 before Brunetti’s two scoring passes.
- It was a fight. Johnny Manziel was banged up, he had to run for first down on fourth down late to keep the game alive, but he showed, like always, the ability to come through in the clutch. He didn’t throw for any touchdown passes, but he completed 31-of-39 throws for 346 yards with a pick, and ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
- Barry Brunetti added some pop when he came into the game, but Bo Wallace was terrific throwing for 301 yards with three touchdowns and a pick. Brunetti ran a little bit with 24 yards, and he was effective completing 3-of-4 passes for 28 yards and two scores. Both of them spread the ball around well.
- Ole Miss linebacker Serdarius Bryant was having a phenomenal game, finishing with a team-leading 12 tackles with a forced fumble, but he was knocked out with an apparent concussion and had to be carted off the field.
- The Aggies failed to generate enough pressure on the Ole Miss quarterbacks, and it showed. The secondary struggled, but the linebackers did a nice job of keeping the Ole Miss ground game under wraps, allowing just 133 yards and no scores.

Texas A&M 45, at Arkansas 33
Basically … Arkansas made it very, very interesting, but Johnny Manziel was Johnny Manziel when he had to be. Ben Malena ran for two scores, and Deshazor Everett returned a Brandon Allen pass for a touchdown, but it was Manziel who made magic with two touchdown passes to Mike Evans, including a jump-ball into the end zone from seven yards out. Arkansas got three scoring passes from Allen and a big night from running back Alex Collins, but the offense couldn’t get any closer than five late in the third quarter on the second touchdown connection of the day to Jonathan Williams.
- So this is going to be what the Texas A&M defense is going to be all season long. It came up with a few key takeaways, but it didn’t slow down the Hog running game until late and struggled against the midrange passing game.
- Johnny Manziel didn’t have to take off and run too often, but he was effective. He ran for 59 yards on just nine carries, and he completed 23-of-30 passes for 261 yards and two scores. While he might have been too careless with a few passes, he didn’t throw any picks.
- Alex Collins continues to show why he’s going to be a superstar in the SEC, running for 116 yards and a score on 14 carries, while Jonathan Williams ran for 53 yards on just ten carries and caught four passes for 67 yards and two touchdowns. The Arkansas coaching staff will continue to lean on these two.
- Punting isn’t exactly a big thing for the Aggies, but Drew Kaser came up with a strong game to help the cause, putting three of his four punts inside the 20 and the fourth going into the end zone.

at Texas A&M 42, SMU 13
Basically … Johnny Manziel was Johnny Manziel weaving and juking his way to two seven-yard touchdown runs and finding Malcome Kennedy for a 16-yard touchdown pass. SMU could only come up with a 42-yard Chase Hover field goal while the Aggies cranked out 32 first half points on the way to a 42-6 lead going into the fourth quarter. SMU finally got into the end zone on a 31 yard Keenan Holman catch.
- Texas A&M came out exactly like it needed to considering the tough loss to Alabama. Johnny Manziel threw a pick, but he was great, completing 14-of-21 passes for 244 yards with a score, and he ran 12 times for 102 yards and two scores.
- SMU is supposed to be built to keep up the pace against a top offensive team, but it can’t do it. Garrett Gilbert threw 62 times for 310 yards and a score, but the offense didn’t work until late.
- Penalties, penalties, penalties. SMU committed 16, while Texas A&M screwed up 13 times. The Aggies could overcome them; the Mustangs couldn’t.
- Obviously A&M is going to run Manziel as much as possible, but Ben Malena and Brandon Williams should be doing more. They combined for just 21 carries, with Williams failing to break free, but that’s better than SMU could do, running 17 times for 93 yards.

- Fiu Stream-of-Consciousness Comments
Alabama 49, at Texas A&M 42, Sept. 14
Basically … In a wild shootout, Alabama overcame a 14-0 lead with 35 straight points, but Texas A&M kept coming back time and time again, with Johnny Manziel throwing his fifth touchdown pass of the game with 15 seconds to play to pull the Aggies within seven. Alabama recovered the onsides kick to escape the shootout. Alabama took control with the power running game in the second half, but just when it looked like the game was going to be put away, T.J. Yeldon fumbled near the goal line. Instead of 49-28, a few plays later Manziel found Mike Evans for a 95-yard touchdown to make it 42-35. But the Tide responded with a nine play, 65-yard drive with AJ McCarron finding Jalston Fowler for a five-yard score for what would be the winning points.
- The 95-yard touchdown from Evans – who caught seven passes for 279 yards and a touchdown - was the final big home run, but Manziel made magical play after magical play, including a scramble out of a sack for an Eli Manning-to-David Tyree-like play on a 12-yard heave pass to Edward Pope, but the drive stalled with a pick in the end zone. That seemed to spark the Tide.
- The banged up Bama secondary was torched, and it couldn’t handle Evans, but Vinnie Sunseri came up with the team’s signature play, taking an interception 73 yards for a touchdown. However, John Fulton and Cyrus Jones had a nightmare of a time.
- AJ McCarron was outgunned statistically by Johnny Manziel, but he was flawless, completing 20-of-29 passes for 334 yards and four scores. T.J. Yeldon had the big late fumble and took a bad unsportsmanlike penalty, but he ran for 149 yards and a score.
- Manziel’s day? 28-of-39 for 464 yards and five touchdowns with two picks, while running for a team-leading 98 yards on 14 carries. He was sacked just once.

at Texas A&M 65, Sam Houston State 28, Sept. 7
Basically … The Aggies only needed Johnny Manziel when it was time to make something interesting happen. Mr. Football threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 36 yards and a score, leading the offense to 714 total yards. But Sam Houston State made it a fight, scoring 21 points to pull within nine in the third. A&M pulled away when it needed to with the second of two Tra Carson one-yard touchdown runs and Manziel’s third touchdown pass of the game.
- Oh yeah, the run defense. The overall intensity might not have been there, but for the second straight week, there was a problem. Sam Houston State ran for 240 yards with Timothy Flanders running for 170 yards and two scores. The Bearkats were too good in the first half.
- The focus before Alabama will be on the defense, but the A&M offense was unstoppable. It converted 11-of-15 third down chances with Manziel looking in midseason form. He should be fully ready now for the Tide.
- Mike Evans didn’t catch any touchdown passes, but he remains Manziel’s top target, catching seven passes for 155 yards. There are more than enough weapons to take the heat off.

at Texas A&M 52, Rice 31, Aug. 31
Basically … After a little bit of a rough start, Texas A&M overcame a 14-7 deficit to take control with 21 straight points helped by a 71-yard touchdown catch from Ricky Seals-Jones. Rice pulled within seven late in the first half on Taylor McHargue’s second touchdown pass of the first half, hitting Jordan Taylor from five yards, out, and then came Johnny Manziel. After serving his one half suspension, Manziel came out hot hitting 6-of-8 passes for 94 yards and three scores, and running six times for 19 yards.
- The offense ramped up the energy level in a big way once No. 2 got on the field. Manziel might have been hyped up early on, and he might have needed a little bit to settle down, but he was fantastic with no rust. However, really, we're supposed to believe he's telling the truth about everything else when he can't control his antics on the field with the taunting?
- Matt Joeckel wasn’t all that bad, completing 14-of-19 passes for 190 yards and a score. Once he settled in, he was fine, but he wasn’t Manziel.
- Rice QB Taylor McHargue was the hot social media guy early on, and he had a nice day as Manziel lite, but the two picks were a problem and A&M clamped down when it had to.
- Charles Ross is a terrific back. The Owl tore of 107 yards and two touchdowns as Rice rumbled over A&M for 306 rushing yards and two scores. Rice is good, but the A&M defensive front has to be far, far stronger.

Spring Analysis

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.

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.  

 

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