The Texas A&M Aggies lost plenty of playmakers from the 2012 team. They are going to need numerous freshmen to step in immediately and contribute if they want to meet or exceed their 2012 record.
There are some major holes on the 2013 two-deep right now. The Ags need immediate help on the defensive line, at linebacker and at wide receiver.
College football has changed to the point where it is no longer unusual to see true freshmen playing major roles on championship teams. The players who are ready to contribute in their first year out of high school are now doing so with regularity.
The Ags are going to need some of their freshmen to be ready right now. If the freshmen are not ready to help out, then the Aggies will not be able to compete for a Southeastern Conference or national title in the coming season.
This is a look at some of the A&M freshmen who will be standouts in fall camp and earn playing time in 2013.
Ricky Seals-Jones is a 6'6", 230-pound wide receiver from Sealy, TX. He was one of the top-ranked recruits in the country and the jewel of the Ags' 2013 recruiting class.
Seals-Jones is still raw as a wide receiver. Aggie fans should expect him to get better as the year goes on, and to be a real force in November.
You simply cannot coach the combination of size and speed that Seals-Jones possesses. He is a matchup nightmare for defensive backs and linebackers.
The Aggie defenders will struggle to cover him during two-a-days. Seals-Jones will earn playing time even though he still lacks polish as a wide receiver. He will immediately be a force in the red zone on offense for the Ags.
Isaiah Golden is a 6'2", 300-pound defensive tackle from Carthage, TX. He will be a freshman in 2013 and may already be the most physically gifted defensive lineman on the team.
Golden possesses a rare combination of strength and speed for such a young player. He will be able to contribute in the trenches right away.
There is a good chance that Golden will be the starting nose guard before the season is out. He will compete for playing time at defensive tackle and nose guard, but nose guard is his likely destination in the Ags' 4-3 defense.
Golden's ability to hold up against the run will allow A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder a lot of flexibility in moving players around on the defensive line. His presence on the team already offers the Ags more depth on the defensive line than they had in 2012.
Laquvionte Gonzalez is a 5'10", 160-pound wide receiver from Cedar Hill, TX. When it comes to freshmen making an impact in games, Gonzalez may prove to be the Aggies' most important freshman in 2013.
He will play wide receiver and return kicks in 2013. Gonzalez is a big play waiting to happen.
Although he only weighs 160 pounds, he has surprising strength and breaks a lot of tackles. He is adept at making defenders miss in tight spaces.
Aggie fans should expect Gonzalez and sophomore running back Trey Williams to terrorize opponents on special teams in 2013. Gonzalez will play slot receiver for the Ags in 2013 and should also return punts.
Do not be surprised to see Gonzalez lead all the Aggie freshmen in touchdowns in 2013.
Kameron Miles is a 6'2", 200-pound safety from Mesquite, TX. He has tremendous size for a safety.
Miles will be in the two-deep at safety behind either Floyd Raven or Howard Matthews. He is the epitome of what you want in an SEC safety.
Miles has the speed to be effective in coverage and the size to be effective against the run. He will help the Ags in the secondary and on special teams in the coming season.
Noel Ellis is a 5'10", 170-pound cornerback from New Orleans. He was ranked as a 4-star recruit by 247Sports.com and is one of the top corner recruits in the country.
Ellis has the pure cover skills to compete for playing time in the SEC right now. Like his freshmen teammates, he will avoid a redshirt and contribute on special teams in 2013.
The Aggies will have two good starters at corner in Deshazor Everett and De'Vante Harris. Depending on whether Everett is suspended for his offseason arrest, Ellis may start at corner in his first college game against Rice.
The A&M defensive backs get a lot of reps in coverage during practice against the Ags' hurry-up spread offense. Ellis will use this time to show the coaches and his teammates that he is ready to help the team win in 2013.