The Texas A&M Football team completed their spring season with the Maroon & White Game on Saturday. Sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel led the offense over the defense in a scrimmage that will help the coaches sort out the depth chart for the Fall.
The spring game offered the coaches the opportunity to get a look at a lot of the new players on the roster in a game-like atmosphere. A record crowd of 45.212 fans packed the lower levels of Kyle Field and provided plenty of crowd noise and excitement.
Multiple Aggie football players stepped up and showed the coaches that they are ready for prime-time. They seized the opportunity before them and grabbed onto available starting spot.
This is a look at the Texas A&M Football team's two-deep depth chart after the Maroon & White Game.
Johnny Manziel signs autographs after the game
Starter: Johnny Manziel
Backup: Matt Joeckel
The majority of the people who traveled to Kyle Field on Saturday or tuned in to watch the game on ESPN did so in order to check out 2012 Heisman winner Johnny Manziel. The sophomore quarterback did not disappoint.
He completed 24 of 30 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns. Manziel rushed for 18 yards on three carries and spent most of the game trying to make plays with his arm.
Matt Joeckel and Matt Davis have been competing all Spring for second-string spot behind Manziel. Joeckel displayed a superior grasp of the offense on Saturday.
Although he only completed eight of 22 passes for 88 yards, he limited mistakes and took what the defense gave him. Davis struggled all game to simply get the offense lined up and execute the plays. Right now, Joeckel is the player that the Ags can trust under center if Manziel gets injured.
Starter: Ben Malena
Backup: Brandon Williams
This is an interesting position for the Aggies because they possess such an amazing amount of depth at the running back position. They have four players who could start in the Southeastern Conference and be effective running backs.
Senior Ben Malena will be a the starter in the Fall. He was limited to only three carries for 12 yards in the game because he is a proven commodity. Malena excels in every phase of the game. He can run with power and speed, block and catch the ball.
Brandon "Slim" Williams once again thrilled the Spring crowd with his play. Williams was the star of the 2012 spring game but had to sit out the 2012 season per NCAA transfer rules.
He rushed for 59 yards on seven carries and scored a touchdown rushing and receiving.
Final rushing stats: T Williams 7-67, TD / B Williams 7-59, TD / Manziel 3-18 / Malena 3-12 / Carson 6-11.— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) April 13, 2013
Williams Dazzled the crowd when he caught a pass, then cut back against the grain and outraced the defense to the pylon. He displayed the kind of speed that has the coaches drooling about his potential in SEC games.
Rising sophomore running back Trey Williams led all rushers with 67 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. He should tremendous burst and turned the corner multiple times. In Malena, the two Williams and Tra Carson the Ags have as much depth at running back as any team in the nation.
Starter: Mike Evans
Backup: JaQuay Williams
Starter: Malcome Kennedy
Backup: Sebastian Larue
Starter: LeKendrick Williams
Backup: Sabian Holmes
Starter: Edward Pope
Backup: Derel Walker
Aggie fans should be ecstatic about what they saw from the wide receivers on Saturday. Everyone knows what the Ags have in Mike Evans who returns after 1,000 yards receiving as a freshman in 2012.
The question is who will fill in the other three receiving spots in the Aggies' four-wide scheme. A lot of those questions were answered on Saturday.
Final receiving stats: L Williams 7-105 / Walker 5-79, TD / Evans 5-73 / Pope 5-45, TD / J Williams 3-43 / Niederhofer 2-38.
— Texas A&M Football (@AggieFootball) April 13, 2013
Ed Pope and LeKendrick Williams both played very well in the scrimmage. Pope displayed impressive hands and used his 6'4" frame to out-jump defenders.
Williams was very effective in the slot. He is extremely quick and is effective finding holes in zones. Derel Walker was recruited to Aggieland in 2012 as an insurance policy in case Ryan Swope declared for the NFL after his junior season.
Walker played sparingly in 2012, but was very effective on Saturday with five receptions for 79 yards and a touchdown. The Ags have a tremendous class of receivers arriving in June when the 2013 recruiting class can join the team. However, they showed on Saturday that they have the talent on campus right now to win in the SEC.
Starter: Cameron Clear
Backup: Nehemiah Hicks
The Ags' base offensive formation is a four-wide, one back set without a tight end on the field. On Saturday they often put two tight ends on the field at once and flexed them out into the slot.
The current depth chart released by the Texas A&M athletic department has three wide receiver positions, and a tight end position listed. The Aggie coaches will run the offense from a variety of formations, so to simplify the understanding of the offense, the tight end is listed as a separate position from the wide receivers.
Cameron Clear is easy to identify on the field because he is a very large human being. At 6'6" tall and around 270 lbs he is hard to miss. Clear is an excellent blocker and will see the most action in the Fall because of his ability to push defenders all over the field.
Clear needs to work on running good passing routes and being more consistent with his hands. He did have one reception for 19 yards in the Maroon & White Game.
Hicks will enter his final year on campus as a backup. He has plenty of talent, but need to prove to the coaches that he can be an consistent receiving weapon in this offense.
Starter: Jake Matthews
Backup: Jeremiah Stuckey
Starter: Jarvis Harrison
Backup: Garrett Gramling
Starter: Mike Matthews
Backup: Ben Compton
Starter: Germain Ifedi
Backup: Shep Klinke
Starter: Cedric Ogbuehi
Backup: Joseph Cheek
The first team offense line looked exceptional on Saturday. They were going against a rag-tag group of backups and walk-ons but there is something to be said for dominating your opponent.
Jake Matthews looks like he will be an All-American at left tackle just like he was at right tackle in 2012. Cedric Ogbuehi looked very natural at right tackle. The starting five offensive linemen for the Aggies on Saturday will all likely end up playing on Sundays.
The second team offense line was solid, although second-string left tackle Jeremiah Stuckey struggled noticeably against speed rushers. He allowed three sacks in which he was simply beaten to the outside by defenders with more speed.
If Stuckey wants to remain at left tackle then he needs to work on his footwork because that will not cut it against SEC defenders.
Starter: Gavin Stansbury
Backup: Brandon Alexander
Starter: Kirby Ennis
Backup: Isaiah Golden
Starter: Alonzo Williams
Backup: Justin Manning
Starter: Julien Obioha
Backup: Tyrell Taylor
The Aggies had five players from the front seven who are expected to start in the Fall, who sat out the Maroon & White Game. This was especially evident on the defensive line where Alonzo Williams and Kirby Ennis both missed the game.
Mark Snyder employed an odd-man front for most of the game to account for personnel losses. Tyrell Taylor had a nice game at defensive end beating Jeremiah Stuckey twice for sacks.
Brandon Alexander had a tackle for loss. He looks like an NFL defensive end, he just does not always play like it.
The Ags are going to need to rely on incoming freshmen to shore up the depth on the defensive line. Jordan Points was an early enrollee from Rockwall-Heath (TX) High School who saw extensive playing time on Saturday. He was solid at defensive tackle.
The Texas A&M defensive linemen on campus right now have plenty of speed and should be very effective as pass rushers. The issue is that they do not currently have the size required to hold up on the interior in the SEC. That is where they need a lot of help from the incoming freshmen.
Starter: Steven Jenkins
Backup: Brett Wade
Starter: Donnie Baggs
Backup: Reggie Chevis
Starter: Tommy Sanders
Backup: Nate Askew
Steven Jenkins missed the spring while he recovering from shoulder surgery. He had 79 tackles for the Ags in 2012 and should be one of the better linebackers in the SEC in 2013.
Donnie Baggs has successfully made the transition from outside to middle linebacker. He brings more quickness to the position than Jonathan Stewart had. Baggs should be more effective in coverage than Stewart was.
Tommy Sanders started the game, made a tackle for loss during the first series and then got injured. He will be back in the Fall and starting at Sean Porter's old spot.
Nate Askew has made big plays in every single scrimmage. He lined up in a 5-technique outside of Jeremiah Stuckey and ran untouched around Stuckey to sack the quarterback.
Askew has amazing quickness and was described as one of the top four athletes on the team by head coach Kevin Sumlin during an ESPN interview at the spring game. He will be used extensively in the Fall when the Ags face passing offenses like Missouri and Ole Miss.
Reggie Chevis is very effective against the run. He runs downhill into the hole and attacks the running back. Chevis needs to work on his pass coverage. He was no match for the Aggie running backs in the passing game.
Brett Wade did a little bit of everything well on Saturday. He and Chevis did not look lost out there which was surprising considering they should be planning for senior prom right now.
There ability to be effective defenders on Saturday was a tribute to new A&M linebacker coach Mark Hagen. He had the two newcomers ready to play.
Starter: De'Vante Harris
Backup: Tremaine Jacobs
Starter: Deshazor Everett
Backup: Alex Sezer
Starter Howard Matthews
Backup: Toney Hurd
Starter: Floyd Raven
Backup: Kameron Miles
The secondary displayed some very tight coverage on Saturday. De'Vante Harris had to be the most pleasant surprise of the group with his physical play.
Harris played extensively in 2012 as a true freshman but his poor tackling led to him ending up on the bench. If he can play the run better in 2013 than he and Deshazor Everett will make up one of the better cornerback tandems in the SEC.
Alex Sezer is getting a baptism by fire against the Aggie receivers. He is a solid tackler who should continue to improve with his time on campus.
Kicker: Taylor Bertolet
Punter: Drew Kaser
Taylor Bertolet made all three of his field-goal attempts in the game, but did miss a 32-yard extra point attempt.
Drew Kaser is still incredibly inconsistent. He wowed the crowd during halftime by booting consecutive 60-yard punts into the end-zone. During the game he was much less impressive, with an average of 44.1 yards.
Right now Kaser's punting appears to be more of an issue than Bertolet's placekicking.