Texas A&M Football: Predicting the Depth Chart Heading into Fall Camp
The Aggies are less than a month away from playing their first game as a member of the SEC. While many think it will be a while before the team can compete at a high level in the new conference, this is a team that isn't short on confidence.
Texas A&M brings in a new head coach in Kevin Sumlin, returns eight starters on the offensive side of the ball and six returning defensive starters. They look to become a contender right away and extend the bowl appearance streak to four-straight years.
As fall camp is fully underway, and with the season just a couple of weeks away, here is what the 2012 Texas A&M depth chart should look like.
Starter: Jameill Showers, Sophomore
Backup: Johnny Manziel, Freshman
The quarterback position is likely to remain a battle throughout the fall, but as of right now, Showers is the front-runner. He has a little bit of experience throwing the ball a few times last season. But it is his dual-threat ability that makes him such an attractive option. He can kill you with his legs or use his strong arm to beat you in the air.
Starter: Christine Michael, Senior
Backup: Ben Malena, Junior
Michael has been a consistent back the last three seasons for the Aggies, rushing for a combined 2,300 yards and scoring 24 touchdowns. With that type of production, the senior running back will remain the starter in 2012.
Starters: Ryan Swope, Senior
Backup: Malcome Kennedy, Sophomore
Swope will once again be the go-to guy for this offense, as he is the most experienced and has 180 receptions throughout his career. Expect another big year from the senior receiver.
Starters: Uzoma Nwachukwu, Senior
Backup: Nate Askew, Junior
Nwachukwu is another receiver who provides experience on this roster. He has caught at least 36 passes in each of the last three seasons.
Starters: Mike Evans, Junior
Backup: Thomas Johnson, Freshman
Evans was redshirted last season, but has enough potential to where he will see a lot of playing time this season. At 6'5", 215 pounds, Evans is a huge target, who will be a matchup nightmare for opposing defensive backs.
Starters: Kenric McNeal, Senior
Backup: LeKendrick Williams, Sophomore
McNeal played in five games last season before suffering a season-ending injury. Much like the rest of the receiving corps, he is an experienced player, who will help make an impact on this offense.
Starter: Luke Joeckel, Junior
Backup: Nathan Gutekunst, Freshman
Joeckel will continue to lock down the most important position on the offensive line after being named first-team All-Big 12 last season.
Starter: Jarvis Harrison, Sophomore
Backup: Shep Klinke, Junior
Harrison played in 11 games last season, including making a few starts at left and right guard. However, this position will remain a battle throughout the spring with Klinke competing for playing time as well.
Starter: Patrick Lewis, Senior
Backup: Ben Compton, Sophomore
Lewis played two seasons at the guard position, but started every game at center last year. He was a Big 12 honorable mention and is now a 2012 candidate for the Rimington Trophy.
Starter: Cedric Ogbuehi, Sophomore
Backup: Allen Woodum, Senior
Cedric Ogbuehi picked up much needed experience last season despite playing most of the year injured. The former 4-star recruit will remain a starter on this offensive line this year.
Starter: Jake Matthews, Junior
Backup: Joseph Cheek, Freshman
Matthews is one of the bigger offensive linemen this team has at 6'5'', 305 pounds. He of course will hold down the right side of the line.
Starter: Spencer Nealy, Senior
Backup: Gavin Stansbury, Sophomore
Nealy entered the starting rotation when Jonathan Mathis went down with an injury. He finished the year with 45 tackles and 1.5 sacks, earning himself honorable mention Big 12.
Starter: Jonathan Mathis, Senior
Backup: Ivan Robinson, Sophomore
Mathis is one of the most important players on this team, as he clogs up the running lanes for the Aggies. At 6'2", 300 pounds, he missed a majority of last season with an injury.
Starter: Kirby Ennis, Junior
Backup: Shayvion Hatten, Freshman
Ennis saw action as a backup noseguard last season, and will see even more in 2012, as he enters the season as a projected starter.
Starter: Damontre Moore, Junior
Backup: Brandon Alexander, Sophomore
Moore is the best defensive lineman on this roster, finishing last season with 72 tackles, 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Starter: Steven Jenkins, Junior
Backup: Donnie Baggs, Sophomore
Jenkins will be suspended for the season opener, but will still be the starting linebacker for this team. He finished the 2011 season with 61 tackles, one sack and three passes broken up.
Starter: Jonathan Stewart, Senior
Backup: Jordan Richmond, Freshman
Stewart was the starting linebacker for the Aggies last season, and led the team with 98 tackles.
Starter: Sean Porter, Senior
Backup: Shaun Ward, Sophomore
Porter is the defensive player that everybody is talking about. He is the leader of the club, the hard hitter, and led the Aggies last season with 9.5 sacks.
Starter: Deshazor Everett, Sophomore
Backup: Dustin Harris, Senior
Everett was a valuable special teams player last season as a freshman, who will see a lot more action at cornerback.
Starter: Steven Campbell, Senior
Backup: Johntel Franklin, Junior
Campbell is one of the few experienced players in the defensive backfield that the Aggies have. When healthy, Campbell is a solid contributor, who will need to perform well his senior season.
Starter: Howard Matthews, Junior
Backup: Steven Terrell, Senior
Matthews started a couple of games as a true-freshman, and finished the year with 28 tackles and two sacks. He will be suspended for the season opener, but will likely be named a starting safety for the remainder of the season.
Starter: Floyd Raven, Sr., Sophomore
Backup: Tremaine Jacobs, Junior
Much like Everett, Raven spent a majority of last season on special teams coverage. Still, he has terrific size, and is physical enough to become a solid corner in this league.
Starter: Taylor Bertolet, Freshman
Bertolet will have the huge task of trying to replace a Lou Groza Award winner.
Starter: Ryan Epperson, Senior
Backup: Drew Kaser, Sophomore
The punting position will remain a battle, as Epperson averaged 41 yards per punt, but Kaser averaged over 45 yards an attempt last season in his two attempts.