Where expectations are always high, with a win-now mentality, and what have you done for me lately, Texas A & M Aggies fans are expecting a big turnaround during the second year with Mike Sherman at the helm.
The Aggies will start spring ball with a 22nd-ranked recruiting class for the upcoming season, according to rivals.com.
Sherman and his staff are hinging improvement on this solid recruiting class, that it will improve on a 4-8 inaugural season that included 20-point losses to Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Oklahoma, not mention an embarrassing opening day debacle to Arkansas State.
Headlining the 2009 signing class is five-star recruit Chris Michael from West Brook High School in Beaumont, Texas.
Michaels is the third nationally ranked running back by rivals.com, and the 22nd overall ranked high school recruit on rivals.com top 100 national recruits.
He brings his 4.45 forty time to help fill in the gap that Mike Goodson left from his early departure to the NFL.
Advancement of the offensive and defensive front seven has to be the top concern this spring. Sherman was the Aggies' offensive line coach when the Aggies were atop the former Southwest Conference under R.C. Slocum.
Aggie fans are hoping that some sort of improvement will be made in Sherman’s second year as coach. The defense is in serious need of renovation after finishing 114th in total defense and allowing almost 220 yards per game last season.
When Ryan Tannehill was recruited by A&M he was promised that he would get a shot to be starting quarterback for the Aggies. This spring will bring the Aggies a fully fledged quarterback competition.
Previous starter Jerrod Johnson had a solid first season as the field general for the Aggies posting 2,435 yards and 21 touchdowns; despite the struggles on the offensive line who averaged over three sacks per game.
Tannehill led the Aggies in receiving with 55 catches, 844 yards, and five touchdowns. So Sherman, remaining true to his word, will be giving Tannehill his shot this spring.
The offensive line has four returning starters which should bolster some confidence and provide the Aggies with some much needed experience.
A&M has landed a transfer recruit from Death Valley (LSU), Matt Allen G/C that should promote some depth and growth from last season.
Success for the Aggies this season will depend on their trench game. Running the football, being able to stop the run, and protecting the quarterback, whoever that may be.
A&M needs to hold on to Sherman to create some stability for his system and coaching style. If the former students start to get itchy trigger fingers again, then the Aggies could be in rebuilding mode yet again in the 2010 season with their third head coach since 2002 when R.C. Slocum was run out of town.