Texas A&M Football: 6 Players We Are Most Excited to Watch in 2013
The Texas A&M football team is returning plenty of talent from the 2012 squad that finished 11-2 and ranked No. 5 in the country. There are multiple players returning whom Aggie fans should be excited to watch in 2013.
The Aggie offense is one of the most explosive in the nation. Kevin Sumlin's high-flying attack makes Texas A&M football a must-see attraction for all college football fans.
The 2013 version of the A&M football team has a legitimate chance to play for the BCS title. The players and coaches are in place to make a title run.
If the Ags play up to their abilities, it could be a magical season in College Station. There is a group of players who are expected to step up and assume larger roles on the team in 2013.
These players need to be great on the field in 2013 if the Aggies are going to have a chance at winning the Southeastern Conference and BCS titles. This is a look at the Aggie players that fans should be the most excited to watch in 2013.
Cameron Clear, TE
Cameron Clear will have a major impact on the Aggies offense in 2013. The 6'6", 270-pound tight end will add a variety of dimensions to the offense that were not present in 2012.
He offers quarterback Johnny Manziel a huge target down the seam of a defense. Clear should be a threat to catch 30 passes in the coming season.
If he is established as a passing threat, then he will cause safeties to cheat down to cover him, which will in turn offer one-on-one opportunities for the Aggie wide receivers. Clear was rated as one of the top junior-college tight ends in the country because he was such a dominant blocker.
His blocking will allow the Ags to change their scheme from 2012. When the Ags got into the red zone in 2012, they would often line up Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews next to each other on the same side of the line and bring in Joseph Cheek to play left tackle.
With Clear on the field, they will have a tight end on the field who can seal the edge, so they will not need to bring an extra offensive lineman into the formation and eliminate a receiving threat. He will allow the Ags to be a more effective team, both passing and running, from the two-tight end formation.
Clear may have a bigger impact on what the offense can do from a formation perspective than any other player on the team besides Manziel.
Ricky Seals-Jones, WR
Ricky Seals-Jones was widely considered one of the top prospects in the nation in the 2013 recruiting class. He signed with the Aggies in February, and fans have been patiently waiting to see what he can do on the field.
The 6'6", 230-pound receiver is a mismatch nightmare for defensive coordinators. He is too big for cornerbacks to cover and too fast for safeties to keep up with.
Seals-Jones will team with tight end Cameron Clear and fellow wide receiver Michael Evans to give the Aggies one of the tallest group of pass-catchers in the nation. All three of them were legitimate college basketball prospects when they were in high school.
While at Sealy (TX) High School, Seals-Jones played quarterback, safety and defensive end. He is raw as a receiver and fans should be patient with him as he makes the adjustment to a new position at a high level of play.
Seals-Jones is the type of player who will probably struggle during the first half of the season, but come on as the season goes along. Aggie fans need to be patient but should not be surprised if Seals-Jones flashes the freakish ability that made him one of the most desired recruits in the country in the 2013 class.
Steven Jenkins, OLB
Steven Jenkins is a senior outside linebacker for Texas A&M. He is the leading returning tackler from the 2012 team with 79 total tackles.
Jenkins came into his own as a playmaker in 2012. He had an interception returned for a touchdown against Ole Miss which was instrumental in helping the Ags stay in that game.
With the graduations of Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart, Jenkins is the only returning starter at the linebacker position. Donnie Baggs did start one game in place of a suspended Jenkins in 2012, but he is moving to a new position at middle linebacker.
Jenkins has very good speed for an outside linebacker, and now he has a couple of years of experience under his belt. He should compete for All-SEC honors in 2013.
Jake Matthews, LT
Jake Matthews is changing his position from right tackle to left tackle for the 2013 season. He is one of the best offensive linemen in the country and earned All-American honors in 2012.
Matthews will attempt to replace fellow All-American Luke Joeckel at left tackle. He will be responsible for protecting Johnny Manziel's blind side.
The Aggies have had a player drafted in the top 10 of the NFL draft for the past three years. Matthews has a chance to extend that streak in the 2014 draft.
No one can be expected to step in and replace Joeckel, who was one of the best offensive linemen to ever wear the maroon and white. If you are going to replace Joeckel, it helps to be able to plug another All-American tackle in for him.
Fans will be interested in seeing if Matthews can perform at an All-American level at his new position.
Brandon Williams RB
Brandon Williams is a sophomore running back who transferred from Oklahoma after the 2011 season. The 6'0", 200-pound running back has displayed big-play ability ever since he stepped on campus.
Williams has been a veritable highlight film in practice and scrimmages. Texas A&M fans are ready to see what he can do in games that count.
Blessed with breakaway speed, Williams is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He will be a great addition to a backfield that already features Johnny Manziel, Ben Malena and Trey Williams.
Even with the tremendous depth in the backfield, Brandon Williams could rush for 1,000 yards in 2013. He will prove to be one of the best running backs in the nation.
Johnny Manziel, QB
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has been transformed from a relatively unknown Texas high school legend to a national celebrity in the span of barely 10 months. Not since John Kimbrough was toting the pigskin for the 1939 national champion Aggie team has an A&M player captured the nation's attention like Manziel.
The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has brought unprecedented coverage to the A&M program. That has been both a blessing and a curse for the Aggies.
Manziel has brought plenty of positive publicity to A&M with his Heisman Trophy win and leading the Ags to a Top Five finish. He has also brought negative publicity on himself with his posts on social networking sites.
In 2012, Manziel did not have a full grasp of the Aggies offense. He has now spent a year in Kevin Sumlin's system and has an improved understanding of where to go with the ball.
Manziel is poised for a tremendous sophomore season. He is the most exciting player in college football, and he should be an even better passer in 2013.