Texas A&M Football: Latest News, Injuries and Updates

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistApril 16, 2012

Texas A&M Football: Latest News, Injuries and Updates

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    The Texas A&M football team had its first official scrimmage of the spring on Saturday. Fans were treated to their first look at a Kevin Sumlin-coached Aggie team.The scrimmage was the first of three opportunities for fans to get a look at the team this spring.

    On Friday, April 20th, the team will host "Friday Night Lights" when they will scrimmage in front of some of the top high school recruits in the state. On Saturday, April 28th the Aggies will have their official spring game.

    Most of the Aggie fans are focusing on the quarterback battle heading into the 2012 season. Everyone wants to know who the starting quarterback will be.

    The quarterback is just part of the equation. Every Sumlin-coached team has had good quarterback play and the Aggies have four very talented candidates fighting for the spot.

    The Aggies need to find a quarterback but more importantly need to learn their offensive and defensive systems so they have a good foundation to build off of heading into the Fall.

    The Aggies coaches have a lot of work to do in order to get this team and program prepared for the Southeastern Conference.

    This is a look at the latest news surrounding the team and program.

Scrimmage Statistics

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    Gabe Bock from TexAgs.com kept a log of every play from the scrimmage. He provided statistics for the day.

    Johny Manziel opened the scrimmage at quarterback with the first team. Manziel finished the day 17-of-30 for 161 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. He began the scrimmage 3-of-14 but finished it be completing 13 of his last 17 passes after throwing a pick-six to Tony Hurd Jr.

    Jameill Showers was 12-of-17 passing for 151 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

    Matt Joeckel was 6-of-10 for 93 yards and two touchdowns.

    Matt Daivs threw one pass and it was incomplete.

    The prevailing sentiment from the scrimmage is that Showers looked a little more polished at this point but Manziel's athleticism makes him a more dynamic quarterback prospect.

    Nate Askew led all receivers with five catches for 94 yards and a touchdown.

    LaKendrick Williams had six catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. 

    That is an encouraging performance from the sophomore who has struggled with his hands since arriving on campus.


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    Multiple Aggies missed the scrimmage with injuries.

    WR Ryan Swope has a pulled hamstring and was held out of scrimmage as a precaution.

    NT Jonathan Mathis was held out of the scrimmage as he recovered from his leg injury suffered during the 2011 season.

    Safety Steven Campbell and OG Jarvis Harrison are both missing spring practice as they recover from surgery.

    RB Christine Michael has participated in spring practices but was held out of the scrimmage as a precaution.

    RB Will Randolph suffered an apparent knee injury during the scrimmage. His status right now is unknown.

Sophomores Stepping Up at Corner

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    Floyd Raven and Deshazor Everett were the starting corner backs on the first-team defense.

    The two true sophomores saw limited playing time as freshman in 2011. Now they are getting a lot of reps going up against Sumlin's passing offense this spring.

    Raven is 6'2" and 187 lbs. Everett is 6'0" and 176 lbs. Both have the size necessary to play the run in the ground oriented SEC.

    The Ags should have to suffer through some growing pains with these two young corners. By the end of the 2012 season their patience should pay off as Everett and Raven have immense physical potential and just need to get some game experience under their belts.

Tannehill Projected as a Top 10 Pick

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    Ryan Tannehill has seen his draft stock soar in the past couple of weeks. He is projected to be selected as one of the top 10 picks in the NFL draft.

    If Tannehill is selected by one of the first 10 teams, it will make two years in a row that the Aggies have had a top 10 selection after Denver selected Von Miller with the second pick in the 2011 draft.

    When NFL team camps open in August, the Aggies' last three starting quarterbacks will be on NFL rosters.

    Stephen McGee with the Cowboys, Jerrod Johnson with the Steelers and Tannehill will be with whichever team drafts him.

    Before McGee, the Aggies had not had a quarterback drafted into the NFL since Bucky Richardson was selected in the 1992 draft by the Houston Oilers. Once Tannehill is selected that will mean two of the last three quarterbacks who started for A&M were drafted.

Arkansas' Loss Is A&M's Gain?

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    When Bobby Petrino was fired at Arkansas both Austin Bennett and Jamel James withdrew their verbal commitments from the Hogs and opened up their recruiting.

    Bennett was spotted at Kyle Field on Saturday taking in the scrimmage. The talented wide receiver from Manvel (TX) High School would be a nice addition to the Ags recruiting class.

    James is one of the top running backs in the nation. It is unknown if the Aggies are looking at James right now. He is a legitimate SEC running back and would be a nice addition to the roster.

Too Much Depth at RB?

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    Christine Michael is a little ahead of schedule in his rehab and appears to be on track to start against Louisiana Tech in August.

    Ben Malena is back for his sophomore season.

    Brandon Williams has been drawing rave reviews from coaches and insiders alike with his play in practice and at the scrimmage on Saturday. If Williams is granted a waiver to be eligible to play in 2012 then some are wondering if A&M should redshirt incoming phenom Trey Williams in order to spread out the eligibility at the position on the roster.

    Why play Trey Williams if there are three running backs who are already on campus ahead of him?

    Fans who ask that question must not remember the 2011 season when the Aggies lost their first-string and second-string running backs and were forced to remove the redshirt from Will Randolph in order to have any depth at the position in the Texas game.

    You need to be at least three-deep at every position when you play in the SEC because it is such a physical league.

    The Ags are going to have injuries at running back in 2012 and they are going to need Trey Williams in the field to help them win games in the SEC.