Texas A&M’s Spring workouts are in the books,
but the Aggies are only in the early stages of prep for 2014
by Will Johnson
12th Man Productions
Aggie Football closed out spring ball quietly on Saturday.
There was no Maroon and White Game unfolding in front of 30,000-plus at Kyle Field. But, some managed to make themselves seen and heard heading into offseason workouts.
The defense returns a slew of players that saw significant action a year ago. Twenty four individuals made 10 or more tackles in 2013—20 of those return.
Some are standing out.
“Jordan Mastrogiovanni had an excellent spring stepping up in a leadership role and flying around doing some things he needs to do,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said.
He also mentioned linebacker Shaan Washington and defensive linemen Hardreck Walker and Zaycoven Henderson as showing signs of being reliable defenders. Henderson is a newcomer who enrolled early at A&M in order to participate in spring practices.
A big defensive question centered around where to put DeShazor Everett during the spring. He was reliable in the secondary after making 73 tackles--and intercepting two passes--last season.
- Kevin Sumlin
“With us leaving DeShazor at corner, it gives us more reps with the guys who are going to play safety to get them better,” Sumlin said. “We have to improve by position, and if we do that we will improve collectively as a defense and I think we made strides.”
Offensively, the quarterback question will linger for a while. Sumlin won’t name a starter until August. But, surrounding the unknown signal caller will be a lengthy list of talent.
“The only new additions are Speedy (Noil) and Josh (Reynolds) at wide receiver, and they’ve come in and really helped us,” Sumlin said. “And at running back James White had a solid spring.”
A&M returns 142 catches, 194 carries, and four of five starting offensive linemen.
Leading up to the opener many will focus on the departures of Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans and Jake Matthews. However it likely won’t take long for them to get acquainted with the weapons that are ready to make a name for themselves.
The more you hear from Malcome Kennedy, Speedy Noil, Tra Carson and Trey Williams, the easier it will be on the first-year signal caller.
“It’s not on the quarterback. It’s really up to the other 10 guys to make the transition easy to a new guy,” Sumlin says.
WORK TO BE DONE
Offseason workouts will play into the competition at every position. Sumlin has no interest in creating a solid depth chart at this point.
“We’ll give you a depth chart…it probably won’t be accurate,” he says with a smile.
“We’ve got plenty of time. Our players have plenty of time to keep developing and keep competing.
“And that’s the way we want it.”