The 2013 Aggies are facing some major changes during the off season – losing a good number of seniors and a couple of juniors to the NFL, the re-building process is in effect and appears to be going smoothly. The coaches have done an outstanding job with recruiting and the Ag’s have some exciting new faces on the team.
Sophomore Brandon Williams – a running back transfer from Oklahoma, Junior Tra Carson – a running back transfer from Oregon, and Junior Cameron Clear – a tight end transfer from Arizona Western College will all have an immediate impact on the field.
The recruiting class overall is outstanding with some highly touted names on both sides of the ball. It is pretty standard for guys to red-shirt their freshman year, but there are quite a few that may skip that and see playing time this fall. Keep your ears open for these names come August: Ricky Seals Jones (WR from Sealy TX), Sabastian LaRue (WR from CA), Justin Manning (DT from Dallas TX), and Jordan Mastrogiovanni (LB from Dallas TX).
And of course, there are some returning lettermen that will once again make a name for themselves:
SO Johnny Manziel – do I really need to say anything more?
SO Matt Davis and JR Matt Joeckel will be competing for the backup position, with both getting playing time during the spring scrimmages. They may see some competition this fall from incoming true freshman Kenny Hill or even Kohl Stewart.
SR Ben Malena – last year’s starter, “King” Malena will be a force to be reckoned with. The RB’s are stacked. Stacked. SO Trey Williams, JR Tra Carson (Oregon transfer) and SO Brandon Williams (Oklahoma transfer) are all going to see action on the field and we have high expectations for all 4
I don’t even know where start with the wide receivers – there are so many of them! So we will just go with the Aggies returning top receiver from last year in terms of catches and yards – SO Mike Evans. This kid is just a beast on the field and so exciting to watch. He was a basketball player who didn’t start playing football until late in high school. He will just continue to improve and some say he is the best receiver in the SEC. The receiving corps is rounded out by: SO Edward Pope, JR LeKendrick Williams, SR Gaston Lamascus, Jr Malcome Kennedy, SO Sabian Holmes, SR Derel Walker and FR JaQuay Williams – an early enrollee. To say that Johnny has some ridiculously good targets to hit is an understatement. With the addition of the 2013 recruits, the SEC defenses better get their conditioning done over the summer – they are going to be running a lot.
Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the tight ends when discussing the offense, the other positions tend to get more air time. But Sumlin has 2 particular tight ends that he hopes to use often. JR Cameron Clear – a transfer from Arizona CC, at 6’6” is shaping up to make an immediate impact. And SR Nehemiah Hicks will be utilized as well.
The line is losing two big names: Luke Joeckel and Patrick Lewis, but SR Jake Matthews and SR Cedric Ogbuehi will get the new guys up to speed quickly. Matthews is being moved into Joeckel’s position of left tackle and Ogbeuhi will take over at right tackle. And it would appear that SO Mike Matthews (Jake’s younger brother) will be replacing Lewis. The offensive line was AMAZING last year, giving Johnny all kinds of time in the pocket and protection. As long as the O-line can return to that level, there is no telling how good the offense will be this year. I am a little partial to the O-line, since my oldest daughter has the coaches son with her in class and the guys all visited them one day recently. She talked about meeting the Aggies for days. It was one of the highlights of her Kindergarten year!
It would seem that in everyone’s mind, the defense is the question mark for the fall. The Ag’s are losing some hard hitters from 2012, and when looking over the roster it’s apparent the 2013 defense will be young, but strong. Redshirt freshman Tyrone Taylor, and true freshmen Reggie Chevis and Brett Wade should all see field time. Sophomore’s De’Vante Harris, Julien Obioha, Alonzo Williams, Jordan Richmond, Michael Richardson and (transfer from TCU) AJ Hilliard are all expected to step up and make plays. Juniors Donnie Baggs, Gavin Stansbury, and Desharzor Everett (remember him, the one with the clutch end of 4th quarter interception of AJ Maccron’s end zone ball at Alabama!) and Seniors Tony Hurd (the SHARK), Floyd Raven and Nate Askew will all be asked to take control of the defense and lead this team to ensure it has a WRECKING CREW status. One of my favorite things at games is when the entire stadium chants “wrecking crew” in unison and these players have the potential to live up to the Wrecking Crews of the past.
Goodbye to the Seniors
It’s hard to say goodbye to some of the seniors on a team after having such success on the field. This year in particular. But these Aggies are headed to the NFL and I can’t wait to watch them play on Sundays.
1) Luke Joeckel – OL – (Jacksonville Jaguars)
2) Damontre Moore – DE (New York Giants)
3) Christine Michael – RB (Seattle Seahawks)
4) Ryan Swope – WR (Arizona Cardinals)
5) Sean Porter – LB (Cincinnati Bengals)
6) Jonathan Stewart – LB (St. Louis Rams)
7) Uzoma Nwachukwu – WR (Houston Texans),
8) Patrick Lewis – OL (Green Bay Packers)
9) Steven Terrell – DB (Jacksonville Jaguars)
10) Spencer Nealy – DL (New York Jets)
11) Dustin Harris – DB (Dallas Cowboys)
12) CJ Jones – DB (Kansas City Chiefs)
One of the best scenes of this January’s Cotton Bowl was Uzoma “EZ’s” reaction to his touchdown reception. I still can’t watch it without getting emotional. We wish these Aggies the best of luck in the NFL and pray all their dreams come true. In the words of Cyrus Gray, drafted in 2012, “Forever and ever and ever will always be in love with Aggieland!” We hope you will too.
Whew, well now that you know all about the personnell of the Aggie football team, I will spend some time this summer letting you know what it means to actually be an “Aggie.” There is a lot to learn!
Thanks and Gig ‘Em
Jennifer (follow me on twitter: jen99ag)