The Texas A&M football team will play its spring game on April 28 at 1 PM. After the Maroon and White game, the Aggies will begin their most important offseason in recent history.
The Aggies need the team to have a great summer spent working out with strength and conditioning coach Larry Jackson. They are still a long way from being a competitive team in the Southeastern Conference, and they need to work hard this summer so they enter the season in top shape.
This is a look at the most important dates for Aggie fans to pay attention to after the spring game.
May 29 is the first day of the first session of the summer term at A&M. For a lot of the freshmen in the 2012 recruiting class, this will be their first day of college courses.
Ever since the NCAA ruled that incoming freshmen could begin their scholarship during the summer before the school year officially started, incoming recruits have gone to college campuses to get a leg up on their coursework and work out with their teammates.
It is a great time for the freshmen to get adjusted to the social and academic challenges of being in college without football games interfering with their first semester of classes.
The Aggies really need their freshmen defensive linemen to show up to campus this summer. The Ags are going to need immediate contributions from a couple of players from the group of Polo Manukainiu, Alonzo Williams, Edmund Ray and Julien Obioha.
Those guys need to get on campus this summer and get in the weight room so they can be physically ready to play 10 to 20 snaps on the interior of the defensive line in SEC play.
Aug. 28 is the first day of classes for the fall semester. That means it is the day that the incoming recruits have to have their academic issues sorted out by.
No one knows for certain, but the consensus is that the Aggies have one or two recruiting in the 2012 class who have academic issues they still need to take care of.
The Ags will know who is definitely on their team for the 2012 season on this date.
It is also the day that the roster expands per NCAA rules, so the Aggies can add some walk-on players if they want to.
May 10 is the day after finals for the spring semester. No one besides the coaches know when the first day of fall practice will begin. Since the first game is on Aug. 30, you have to assume that two-a-days will begin in early August.
The Ags need to spend every day between May 10 and Aug. 1 getting stronger in the weight room and bonding as a team during 7-on-7 games.
The SEC is the most physical league in the country. The offensive and defensive linemen in the program need to work very hard this offseason to build some depth.
The Ags are going to suffer some injuries on the lines this season, and they need to be ready for it.
Thursday, Aug. 30 will be the first game of the Kevin Sumlin era when the Aggie take on Louisiana Tech in front of a national television audience.
Obviously it is important that the Aggies win this game and build up some confidence before they start the conference season the next week against Florida.
Louisiana Tech is an 8-win team that went to a bowl game and came very close to beating Sumlin's Houston team in 2011. They will not be a pushover especially on the road.
The Aggies need to focus on getting out of Shreveport with a win and hopefully establishing some of their offensive identity.
On Saturday, Sept. 8 the Aggies will play their first official game in the SEC when they face off with the Florida Gators.
It will be a tremendous opportunity for the Aggies. It will be a chance for Sumlin to prove that the Ags made the right choice in hiring him. It will also be a chance for the Aggies to prove all the naysayers wrong by beating the Gators at home.
The Aggies should be on an emotional high with the support of a sold-out Kyle Field behind them in their first chance to prove that they belong in their new league.
Next to whatever date the Aggies manage to get their sixth win of the season on in 2012, which will make them bowl eligible, the Sept. 8 date is probably the most important date of the year.