Preview 2007 - Offense
2007 Texas A&M
2007 Texas A&M Defense Preview
2007 Texas A&M Depth Chart
2006 CFN Texas A&M
What you need to know: Run, run, and run some more. The
Aggies finished last year eighth in the nation in rushing, and
now the line should be even better with four legitimate All-Big
12 candidates paving the way for the devastating rushing tandem
of Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson. QB Stephen McGee was better
than anyone could've hoped for last year taking over for Reggie
McNeal, and while he might not throw only two interceptions
again, he'll be one of the league's best all-around
quarterbacks. The tight end tandem of Martellus Bennett and Joey
Thomas would get all the conference attention if it wasn't for
Missouri's tremendous pair, but the receivers are suspect and
could be the Achilles heel if there Earvin Taylor doesn't have a
Passing: Stephen McGee
194-313, 2,295 yds, 12 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Mike Goodson
127 carries, 847 yds, 4 TD
38 catches, 497 yds 3 TD
Star of the offense: Junior QB Stephen McGee
Player that has to step up and become a star: Senior WR
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore OG Michael Shumard
Best pro prospect: Junior TE Martellus Bennett
Top three all-star candidates: 1) RB Mike Goodson, 2)
Bennett, 3) OG Kirk Elder
Strength of the offense: Running game, offensive line,
Weakness of the offense:
Proven wide receivers, offensive
Projected Starter: Everyone just assumed junior Stephen McGee
was just a scrambler after the way he almost ruined the
Texas 2005 national title season by running amok, but he was an
accomplished high school passer who showed just how efficient he
could be last season completing 62% of his passes for 2,295
yards and 12 touchdowns with a mere two interceptions. He's 6-3
and 215 pounds with the rushing skills to take off for 666 yards
and four touchdowns and to avoid taking too many sacks. While he
proved he can be a winner, the team lost three of its last four
games against the big boys on the schedule. He's been great
against the Longhorns, and now he has to be great against the
other top teams.
Projected Top Reserves: While McGee is firmly,
unquestionable entrenched as the starter, there are many who'll
like to see redshirt freshman Jerrod Johnson see some
meaningful work after a great spring. He's 6-6, 223 pounds and
can move. With a poise beyond his years, but he still needs
seasoning and a little bit of touch as far as his consistency
and decision making. Two years from now he could be a star.
battle will be for the number three spot between senior T.J.
Sanders, a smart passer with a little bit of mop up
experience, and freshman Ryan Tannehill,
who has 6-4, 210-pound size and a nice arm.
Watch Out For ... Johnson to see some meaningful work
as soon as it's possible. He's not going to rotate with McGee or
see action when the outcomes are still in question, but the
second things start to get out of reach, he'll get in to see
Strength: McGee's all-around skills. Probably the
best dual-threat quarterback that no one knows about, he doesn't
make mistakes and can run by design or out of necessity. His
talents allow the coaching staff to play around with the offense
and run a myriad of plays..
Weakness: Proven backups. Everyone loves Johnson's
potential and likes what Tannehill should become, but there
isn't anyone the coaching staff will feel sleep-at-night
comfortable about if McGee goes down. Considering McGee ran 146
times last season and took a lot of shots, there will be a lot
of nervous moments.
Outlook: McGee is a superstar who's isn't going to
receive superstar status. He's a great leader and a consistent
playmaker who won't get you beat. Now he has to do even more
with the passing game (63 yards against Oklahoma, 58 against
Texas) and use his experience to take more chances. It might
mean a few more interceptions, but it should also lead to more
big plays. There's talent among the backups; just no experience.
Projected Starters: The Aggies have an embarrassment of riches
returning led by the devastating 1-2 punch of junior
Jorvorskie Lane and sophomore Mike Goodson. More than
just one of the best short-yardage runners in America, the
263-pound Lane ran for a school-record 19 touchdowns, but only
two in the final four games. While he powered over Missouri for
127 yards and a score, he was held in check by Nebraska (13
yards), Texas (60) and Cal (36) and only had two 100-yard days
on the season. That's partly because he's part of a rotation,
and it's partly because he's not necessarily a workhorse type of
back for his size. He's very quick through the hole and he's
always going forward. While Lane might seem like a fullback,
he's a tailback.
The blocking duties fall on 5-11, 248-pound
senior Chris Alexander, who ran for 78 yards and a
touchdown, caught 11 passes for 78 yards and three scores, and
turned into a whale of a blocker for the nation's eighth best
rushing attack earning All-Big 12 honors. He's as physical as
Projected Top Reserves: Lane might be listed as
the starter, but Goodson is No. 1A on the depth chart. Arguably
the top recruit to come out of Texas last season, he didn't
disappoint leading the Aggies with 847 yards and four touchdowns
averaging a whopping 6.7 yards per carry. He has decent size at
6-0 and 192 pounds and good hands catching 17 passes, but his
game is about speed, speed and more speed. When he gets to the
edge, it's over. While Lane was busy burying defenses, Goodson
ran around them getting better and better as the season wore on
highlighted by a 127-yard day against Oklahoma. Lane will do
most of the scoring, but Goodson will get the offense in range.
Trying to find time in the rotation will be redshirt freshman
Cornell Tarrant, one of the stars of spring ball who tore
off a 66-yard touchdown run in the spring game. He's a little
like a not-as-good Goodson, but he should get a few carries here
Backing up Alexander at fullback will be 237-pound
sophomore Jodie Richardson, who was originally a
linebacker but didn't play all of last year. He was an all-star
high school defender with good size and speed, and now it needs
to translate to the offense.
Watch Out For ... the ground game to roll for 200
yards a game without much of a problem. Having a running
quarterback like Stephen McGee helps the numbers, but the
combination of Lane and Goodson could hit the mark on their own
in most games.
Strength: The combination of talents. If you put
Goodson's moves and speeds in Lane's body, you'd have the
greatest back of all-time. As is, the two are devastating.
Weakness: A proven number three. While Goodson
proved he could be a 15-carry back towards the end of the
season, if injuries strike, that might change the entire overall
game-plan unless Tarrant turns into the third runner in the mix.
There's no Courtney Lewis to rely on anymore.
Outlook: The formula should work again with
Goodson setting them up and Lane knocking them down. In a
perfect world, the Aggies run like they did against Missouri
(despite only gaining 180 yards) when the ground game dominated
the second half and Lane turned into a closer. The backs will
lead the way to another top ten finish in rushing offense.
Projected Starters: Chad Schroeder, the leading receiver over
the last two years, is gone along with the team's second most
productive wideout, L'Tydrick Riley. That means it's time for
senior Earvin Taylor to go from being a nice
complementary receiver to a number one. While he looked
the part in spring ball, he has to do it more in live action
catching just 19 passes for 160 yards last season after coming
back from a broken leg that sidelined him in 2005. At 6-3 and
228 pounds, he has the size to go along with home-run hitting
On the other side will be senior Kerry Franks, a
decent career backup who made ten grabs for 265 yards last
season and two touchdowns. He's one of the nation's premier kick
returners with the speed to be used more as a deep threat. He'll
get a few carries here and there just to get the ball in his
The team's leading returning receiver is junior tight end
Martellus Bennett, a 6-7, 253-pound athlete who grabbed 38
passes for 497 yards and three touchdowns as Stephen McGee's
main go-to target when things got tight. He'll be in the hunt
for All-America honors in a salary drive season that could make
him one of the top tight ends taken in the 2008 NFL Draft. A
member of the Aggie basketball team, he might not be a bigger
Antonio Gates, but he's not far off when it comes to his
Projected Top Reserves: 6-2, 200-pound junior
Pierre Brown is a big, strong receiver with the potential to
be far more involved. He appeared to be coming on at the end of
his freshman year finishing with four starts, but he got lost in
the shuffle last season making 12 catches for 104 yards
averaging 8.4 yards per grab.
He'll play behind Franks, while
211-pound junior Howard Morrow will work behind Taylor
after catching seven passes for 82 yards and got a start against
Texas. He has nice hands and is a tough blocker on the inside.
Now he has to start doing more for the passing game.
250-pound senior Joey Thomas will back up Bennett and see
plenty of action in two tight end sets. He's an experienced
receiver with excellent speed for a player of his size and a
knack for making big catches around the goal line with two,
two-point conversions to go along with two touchdowns. He
averaged 15.8 yards per catch on ten grabs.
Watch Out For ... Taylor to finally emerge as a top
receiver. After being a bit of an afterthought, especially after
he broke his leg two years ago, now he's the main man and he
should be up to the challenge.
Strength: The "Legion of Doom" tight end tandem.
Bennett and Thomas will be on NFL rosters someday. They can both
run and they can both catch. The play in this offense, you need
to block, and they can.
Weakness: A proven number two. Franks is
dangerous, but can he be more than just a speed threat on the
outside? At the moment, Bennett is the team's best number two
receiver, and he might even be number one.
Outlook: It's all about taking advantage of
opportunities. The running game is the offense, but this isn't a
one-dimensional attack and McGee will spread it around. With
safeties having to cheat up to deal with Lane and Goodson, the
receiver have to take advantage of all the single coverage
they'll see and find the openings.
Projected Starters: The line is loaded with
experience, and it starts in the middle with 6-4, 294-pound
senior Cody Wallace, who earned First Team All-Big 12
honors. One of the team's steadiest starters with 23 straight
calls, he's a very smart, very tough run blocker who doesn't
Next to him is 6-5, 307-pound senior Kirk
Elder at quick guard coming off an All-Big 12 season. The
line's star with 34 straight starts, he's a rock against the
pass and a road grader against the run. It'll be a shock if he's
not one of the league's best yet again and an All-America
On the strong guard, the side with the tight
end, will be 303-pound senior Chris Yoder, a starter
throughout 2004 who became a backup last season behind Grant
Dickey. He appeared to be a burgeoning star starting every game
at center in a big freshman season, but Wallace turned out to be
Back at quick tackle will be 308-pound junior Yemi Babalola,
who earned All-Big 12 honors as a freshman, but was hurt
throughout all of last year mainly with a foot problem. Even so,
he started the opener and the final three games. He's smart, is
always moving, and is great at burying defenders, but he wasn't
the player he was two years ago. Now healthy, he should regain
6-6, 309-pound senior Corey Clark is back at
strong tackle coming off an Honorable Mention All-Big 12
blocker. Able to play guard or tackle, run blocking was never a
problem. Now he's a solid pass protector, too.
Projected Top Reserves: When Babalola was hurt,
6-8, 297-pound junior Travis Schneider filled in and did
a great job starting nine times. While he's not Babalola, he's a
more than serviceable blocker who can take over either tackle
spot if needed. That's about it as far as experienced backups.
6-5, 307-pound sophomore Michael Shumard will someday be
one of the team's stars, but he only saw action in four early
games behind Yoder. He's a major talent who was a big-time
recruit for the program a few years ago.
sophomore Kevin Matthews will be the understudy behind
Wallace in the middle being groomed to take over next year. He's
extremely strong with nice feet and should see a little bit more
action after playing in just one game.
Watch Out For ... this to be one of the Big 12's best
lines once again. With Babalola back and the experience along
the rest of the starting front, blasting open holes for the
ground game won't be a problem.
Strength: Talent in the starting five. Babalola,
Elder, Wallace and Clark could all be All-Big 12 performers.
They're all that good and they should all form the best front
wall the team has had in years.
Weakness: Proven backups. Schneider is solid,
Shumard has potential, and there are plenty of big young bodies
to play around with, but there's almost no experience to rely
Outlook: As long as injuries don't strike early on
and the backups are allowed time to develop and see playing
time, the line should be dominant. It's good in pass protection,
great in the running game, and very experienced. It could stand
to be a bit more consistent against the top teams, and it should