Aggies Not Named Johnny: 10 A&M Players Who Will Make a Difference
Cody Trimble is the resident expert for all things Texas A&M. A recent A&M grad, Cody is the Director of Marketing for Davis Mountain Properties. He has been an Aggies fan his entire life and that experience also make him a bit of a Big XII guru – at least by our standards!
There is no argument that can logically imply that Johnny Manziel isn’t the most important player for Texas A&M. Not only does he play the most important position in football, but he just won the Heisman…as a freshman. So if A&M plans on making a run to Pasedena, quite a bit will be riding on Johnny Football.
But it’s going to take a lot more than another magical season from Mr. Football for the Aggies to get to the National Championship. Here are the 10 players other than Manziel that will mean the most to Texas A&M’s season.
10. Kirby Ennis – Defensive Tackle
Ennis only had 24 tackles and one sack last year and in the spring found himself suspended by A&M for gun charges. But he is back on the team and will be the anchor of the defensive line for A&M. Expect to see him lined up at nose tackle and going against the running games of teams like Alabama and LSU, he will be vital to keeping the middle clogged up. At 6’4” and every bit of 300 lbs, he should be able to accomplish the task. He will also be instrumental in bringing leadership to a young and inexperienced d-line.
9. Cedric Ogbuehi – Right Tackle
One of the biggest reasons Manziel was able to be Johnny Football last year was the offensive line. It seemed like Manziel had the time to go to a few online classes, take pictures with attractive ladies, then throw for a touchdown every time he got the snap. With Joeckel in the NFL now many want to question A&M’s offensive line, but with guys like Jake Matthews, Jarvis Harrison, and Ogbuehi returning, I expect it to be one of the most dominant in nation again. Manziel is dangerous in any situation, but when the o-line is giving him plenty of time and getting up field to block when he scrambles, he’s flat out unstoppable. Obguehi will be a big key in making this happen, his on the field experience and talent should shine through this year.
8. Trey Williams – Running Back
Williams is a game changer, both out of the backfield and in the kick return game. Though this year he may be third amongst A&M’s plethora of running backs in carries, especially if Brandon Williams is as good as everybody is saying he is, Trey’s ability to gain big yards every time he touches the ball will make a big impact on the Aggie offense. In the Cotton Bowl against OU he really showed his ability to get to the edge, find the hole and get to the end zone. Expect him to be a bigger part of the passing game. Though he only had 12 catches last year, he averaged 14.2 yards per catch. Trey was key in A&M’s near upset of LSU last year when he took a kick return 76 yards before getting tackled short of the end zone late in the second half. No doubt this year he will take at least one kick return to the house, and it would be no surprise to see him do it three or four times.
7. Mike Matthews – Center
Last year the most underrated player for A&M was Patrick Lewis Jr. at center. That fast-tempo offense does not happen without him making all the blocking scheme calls and being the leader of arguably the best offensive line in the nation. This year that task will be on Jake Matthews’ not so little, little brother. The A&M offense depends on the center getting to line quickly making scheme calls. If Mike is half as good as his big brother has been he will be very successful. The interesting thing to watch will be how quickly he can get into the flow of the offense, especially with Alabama knocking on Kyle Field’s door in the third week of the season. Remember, Nick Saban does not like up-tempo offenses and Mike will be a major key in keeping the Aggie offense moving fast.
6. Steven Jenkins – Outside Linebacker
A&M’s biggest question heading into the season is the front seven and the veteran of that crew will be Jenkins. He was third leading tackler last season behind Damontre Moore and Jonathan Stewart, both of which are in the NFL now. Jenkins is the only returning starter at linebacker and will be expected to be the leader of the front seven. One of the best aspects of the A&M defense last year was the unit’s ability to know what direction run plays were going, without Stewart or Sean Porter, Jenkins will be depended upon heavily to make defensive calls. With a solid season Jenkins can position himself as a third to fifth round draft pick in next year’s draft.
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Please check back on Sunday for part two of this countdown.