2017 Prespring Rankings: No. 23 Texas A&M Aggies
The 2017 prespring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Texas A&M Aggies
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No. 23: Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M Aggies Prespring Status
This is really and truly it. Either Texas A&M rocks this season and looks like a program on the verge of winning the SEC West under Kevin Sumlin, or a new era will start next year at this time.
After losing five of the last seven games after a 6-0 start, and with inexcusable losses to Ole Miss and Mississippi State along the way, yeah, the pressure is on. But with great recruiting classes over the last few seasons, the talent should be in place – but that’s never been a problem under Sumlin.
The offense is going to work. There’s a quarterback concern, the receiving corps needs new parts, and the consistency has to be there after struggling in key stretches over the second half of last season, but the line will be fine and the ground game solid. The defense loses Myles Garrett early, along with three seniors, but this is a veteran group that could and should be far better.
Texas A&M Aggies Biggest Issue
Wide receiver. You don’t get better losing Garrett and Daeshon Hall off the defensive line, and the quarterback situation will be in the spotlight – whether it’s veteran Jake Hubenak or star recruit Kellen Mond, it’ll be fine – but the receiving corps has to explode. Christian Kirk is one of the SEC’s best playmakers, but Josh Reynolds is done, and Speedy Noil and Ricky Seals-Jones left early. Kirk led the team with 83 catches, but the next most productive returning wideouts caught six.
Texas A&M Aggies Biggest Positive
Special teams. It might not be sexy, but considering five games were decided by a touchdown or less, this matters. The Aggies should dominate the third phase thanks to Kirk, who averaged close to 22 yards per punt return with three scores, and 29 yards per kickoff return. The coverage teams were excellent, Shane Tripucka averaged 43 yards per kick for the nation’s seventh-best punting game, and Daniel LaCamera is coming off a decent year, hitting 17-of-24 field goals.
Really, Why Are The Texas A&M Aggies Ranked Here?
At some point this all has to start to work, right? The secondary should be a plus – helped by the return of Armani Watts for a final year – the O line will be strong for a good group of running backs, and the passing game will come around quickly. It might be yet another also-ran season in the SEC West, but it’ll be a more productive one.