Football, Finally! Ags Conclude First Week of Practice

The Aggies began fall camp on August 1st and concluded their first week of practice this morning. Plenty of plotlines have emerged in the process. Who will be the Aggies starting quarterback? Has the defense made any significant strides since last season? Is Speedy Noil truly a dynamic gamechanger? With the season only 3 weeks away, we are that much closer to having answers to all of these questions.

Offensive Plotlines

Kenny Hill vs Kyle Allen
KennyHillThere is still plenty of time before the coaching staff names a starter, but Kenny Hill has been the more impressive quarterback so far. He has shown more poise in pocket, his delivery is quicker, and he has even impressed by making plays with his feet. It is apparent that having a full year in Sumlin’s system has given him an edge thus far. The competition is far from over though. Kyle Allen was the #1 quarterback in the 2014 recruiting class for a reason. He has a strong arm and is mature beyond his years. Playing against much faster competition than his high school days has resulted in a steep learning curve. But if he continues to limit his mistakes and shows that he can run Sumlin’s offense, then he may give the coaches a hard decision to make.

The Battle of the Guard
Jarvis Harrison has a team high 31 career starts, but has been injured much of the offseason. And right now, it looks like he has some competition on his hands. Redshirt senior Garrett Gramling has capitalized on the opportunity to work with the 1st team and has not let go of that starting spot. With both Harrison and Gramling fully capable, the coaches can rest easy knowing that the offensive line is in good shape.

RB James White Impresses
The offense turned to a little ground and pound yesterday with James White at the helm. With the offense just outside the redzone, the redshirt freshman took 3 handoffs in a row rattling off impressive runs each time and a touchdown. Unfortunately he is buried in the depth chart behind Tra Carson, Trey Williams, and Brandon Williams. Nevertheless, the coaches have continued to talk him up and should be looking for a way to get him on the field.

New Offensive Looks
Coach Sumlin is one of the best offensive minds in the game and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital is his newest apprentice. RickySealsJonesWith Spavital calling the plays in the Chick-Fil-A bowl, A&M ran the ball more, utilized an untapped resource with Cam Clear at tight end, and even showed a few wide receiver groupings that had not been done. Expect all of that and much more in Spavital’s inaugural season as primary play caller. One very interesting dynamic involves the wide receivers. While A&M has put standout wide receivers Ryan Swope and Mike Evans in back to back NFL Drafts, the coaching staff has not boasted the type of depth that they enter the 2014 season with. The Aggies truly go 10 deep with the likes of Quiv Gonzales, Sabian Holmes, Malcome Kennedy, Speedy Noil, Kyrion Parker, Edward Pope, Ricky Seals-Jones, Jeremy Tabuyo, Josh Reynolds, and Cam Clear. And that doesn’t even take into consideration incoming freshman Frank Iheanacho and Jamal Jeffery. Look for the coaches to experiment with putting big outside receivers like Seals-Jones and Kennedy in the slot in order to create mismatches.

My starting offense if the season started now…..

QB – Kenny Hill
RB – Tra Carson
WR – Malcome Kennedy
WR – Ricky Seals-Jones
WR – Speedy Noil
TE – Cam Clear
LT – Cedric Ogbuehi
LG – Jarvis Harrison
C – Mike Matthews
RG – Joseph Cheek
RT – Germain Ifedi

Offensive depth chart released right before SEC media days.

Defensive Plotlines

Myles ‘The Freak’ Garrett
MylesGarrettMuch has been said about the nation’s #1 recruit, but at this point it seems that he is exactly as advertised. When he arrived in the summer, he immediately impressed teammates and coaches with his work ethic. Defensive coordinator Mark Snyder noted that he doesn’t want to put too much pressure on Myles Garrett, but he could indeed be special. He went on to say that he considers Garrett a top 3 player on the defense already. Strength and Conditioning coach Larry Jackson said,

The whole attitude of the weight room changed when Myles Garrett walked in.

Look for Myles Garrett to tag team with Daeshon Hall in a pass rush that is light years better than 2013. With Daeshon Hall up to 260lbs, both players are poised to have a banner year.


Reorganizing Personnel
Last season, the Aggies played several people out of position due to necessity. Deshazor Everett moved from cornerback to safety in hopes to shore up the wheel route. Julian Obioha switched from strong-side DE to RUSH in an attempt to alleviate the early departure of Damontre Moore. And Jordan Mastrogiovanni found himself playing every linebacker spot except his natural one in middle. With each passing recruiting class, Sumlin has been acquiring the necessary depth to not only survive the grind of SEC play but also keep players at their best position. This was a luxury he and Mark Snyder did not have last year. But now, the Aggies enter 2014 with plenty of depth at nearly every defensive position. Players have relocated back to their best position, and the coaches are seeing tangible results.

Improved Safety Play
A reoccurring theme from Sumlin and Snyder is that the safety play needs to get better. The Aggies return both starters from last season in Howard Matthews and Floyd Raven. However, after those two there is not much depth or talent. The coaches praised Devonta Burns in the spring for his efforts, but he lacks ideal game experience. Furthermore, the Aggies welcome true freshman Donovan Wilson into the fold. Should he prove to be the playmaker he was in high school, he may provide the Aggies with much needed depth.

My starting defense if the season started now….

RUSH – Myles Garrett
DT – Alonzo Williams
NG – Zaycoven Henderson
SDE – Julien Obioha
WLB – A.J. Hilliard
MLB – Jordan Mastrogiovanni
SLB – Donnie Baggs
CB – De’Vante Harris
CB – Deshazor Everett
S – Floyd Raven
S – Howard Matthews

Defensive depth chart released right before SEC media days.

Special Teams Plotlines

#Kaser4Heisman and #PuntersArePeopleToo
kaser4heismanThe Aggies are blessed to have a great asset they seldom have to use. Boasting the top punter in the nation, Drew Kaser provides the Aggies a security blanket in those rare moments that the offense actually stalls. Honored as one of three Aggies that received All-SEC honors, Drew Kaser became the only punter in SEC history to attend SEC Media Days. His presence prompted the social media sensations such as #Kaser4Heisman and #PuntersArePeopleToo. And all the craze led to Kaser checking into fall camp in this shirt.

Speedy is Speedy
The 5-star wide receiver has been turning heads ever since enrolling early in January. He has been better than advertised and has completely locked up a starting wide receiver position as well as punt return duties. His hand/eye coordination is best on the team, and his speed and elusiveness will bring back memories of Johnny Manziel. Fitting that he now wears #2.

My starting special teams if the season started now….

P – Drew Kaser
PLK – Josh Lambo
PR – Speedy Noil
KR – Trey Williams
KR – Brandon Williams

Special Teams depth chart released right before SEC media days.


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