Texas A&M Football: Week 5 Spring Practice Stock Reports

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistApril 11, 2013

Texas A&M Football: Week 5 Spring Practice Stock Reports

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    The Texas A&M football team has almost completed spring practice. The Ags spent the past week scrimmaging and preparing for the Maroon and White Game. With five weeks of practice under their belts. some players have begun to separate from the pack and claim starting positions.

    The Aggie coaches need to replace 11 starters from the 2012 squad that finished 11-2 and ranked No. 5 in the country. They need to replace two starters at every level of the defense and rebuild their wide receiver corps on offense.

    Players have stepped up in the secondary and at linebacker, although there are still question marks at wide receiver and on the defensive line. This is a look at the players who stood out, good and bad, during the past week of practice.

Stock Up: Donnie Baggs

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    Donnie Baggs is a rising junior from League City (TX) Clear Creek High School who will start at middle linebacker for the Aggies in 2013. Baggs was a backup at outside linebacker during his first two seasons at A&M.

    He got the start against Louisiana Tech when Steven Jenkins was suspended and responded with eight tackles and two tackles for loss. For the year, Baggs tallied 27 total tackles with 1.5 sacks and an interception.

    #FNL Stats: Sacks: Tyrone Taylor (2), Tyrell Taylor, Alexander, Wade. Interceptions: Raven, Baggs. Blocked FG Attempts: Raven.

    — Gabe Bock (@TexAgsRadio) April 6, 2013

    Baggs moves inside to the middle linebacker position in 2013. His speed should be a major asset to Mark Snyder's defense. Baggs has shown well all spring and had an interception during the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage.

    The Aggie coaches should feel very comfortable with Baggs manning the middle after his performance this spring.

Stock Down: Brandon Williams

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    Brandon Williams is a redshirt sophomore running back who transferred to A&M from Oklahoma. Williams sat out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules.

    Williams is known to have a tremendous work ethic to go along with his tremendous physical talent. He may be the fastest player in the A&M program. Despite all of that talent, Williams fell out of favor at Oklahoma because he had trouble holding onto the football.

    RB stats from #FNL: Ben Malena: 5 carries; 33 yards. Brandon Williams: 8 carries; 27 yards; 1 TD; 1 fumble | 3 catches; 19 yards. #12thMan

    — Gabe Bock (@TexAgsRadio) April 6, 2013

    He had a fumble during the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage. It will not matter how talented Williams is if he cannot manage to hold onto the football. Williams needs to work on his ball security, or he will be watching in the fall as other Aggie running backs are on the field making plays.

Stock Up: Floyd Raven

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    Quite simply, Floyd Raven's play at free safety has been a revelation for the coaching staff this spring. Raven was a backup cornerback the past two seasons but has successfully made the transition to free safety.

    Raven has always played the run tough as a corner, but he was a liability in coverage because he gambled too much and gave up big plays. Raven appears to have found a home at free safety, where his play against the run is a huge asset. He has played within Snyder's scheme in pass coverage.

    He has routinely picked off passes during practices and scrimmages. Raven used spring practice to his advantage and has claimed the starter's spot at free safety.

Stock Down: Taylor Bertolet

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    Taylor Bertolet is the Aggies' sophomore placekicker. He struggled as a freshman, missing seven extra points and many chip-shot field goals.

    Bertolet had been having a strong spring but missed a 29-yard field goal during the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage. In the SEC, you need to be able to rely on your kicker to get you points when you are inside the opponent's 30-yard line.

    The Aggies' new special teams coach Jeff Banks seems impressed with Bertolet's natural ability. He just needs to focus on being more consistent on the shorter kicks.

Stock Up: Tyrone Taylor

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    Tyrone Taylor is a 6'3", 240-pound redshirt freshman defensive end from Galena Park (TX) High School. He is competing with his twin brother Tyrell Taylor for the starting spot at weak-side defensive end.

    Tyrone Taylor is a little bigger than his brother, which is an asset when it comes to playing in the trenches in the SEC. Ideally, you want your defensive ends to be a minimum of 250 pounds in the 4-3 scheme, but you can get by with a 240-pound end if he is a good enough athlete.

    Both Taylor brothers have an explosive first step. Tyrone Taylor used that fast-twitch ability to register two sacks during the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage.

    #FNL Stats: Sacks: Tyrone Taylor (2), Tyrell Taylor, Alexander, Wade. Interceptions: Raven, Baggs. Blocked FG Attempts: Raven.

    — Gabe Bock (@TexAgsRadio) April 6, 2013

    If he can show the coaches that he can be disruptive in the offense's backfield, then he will earn himself a starting spot in the fall.