The Texas A&M football team has almost completed their second week of Fall practice. The Aggies are now in full pads and the coaches are getting a better idea of who is going to step up and become difference-makers in 2013.
The Ags had a scrimmage on Saturday and were able to get a lot of live action for the backup quarterbacks. The competition for the second-team spot behind starting quarterback Johnny Manziel will likely continue until the end of camp.
Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin did not name a backup quarterback in 2012. Fans had to wait until Jameill Showers took the field against SMU in the second game to find out the pecking order.
Some of the freshmen have really started to come on and make a name for themselves. The 2013 recruiting class will be well represented when the Aggies take the field against Rice.
This is a look at the players who have performed well and those that struggled during the second week of Fall camp.
Sophomore receiver Mike Evans already had the best freshman season by an Aggie receiver ever. The scary thought for SEC defenses is that he may even be better in 2013.
Evans is 100 percent healthy after struggling with hamstring issues throughout 2012. He is noticeably faster on the field.
Evans had a long catch and run during the scrimmage where he turned the corner and outran many of the Ags' defensive backs for a long gain. He is a bigger deep threat now than he was in 2012 because he has his speed back.
Evans was Johnny Manziel's security blanket when the season started in 2012. As the season wore on Manziel started to throw to Ryan Swope more. With Swope graduated, expect Manziel to look for Evans early and often during the beginning of the season.
Now that he is healthy, Evans will put up All-American numbers in this offense in 2013.
Ricky Seals-Jones continues to make a name for himself with each practice that goes by. All he does is go out there and make plays every day.
Seals-Jones had a 15-yard touchdown reception in the Saturday scrimmage. Aggie fans should expect to see him starting at wide receiver before the year is through.
The 6'6", 240-pound athlete will present matchup nightmares for every defense the Aggies face. It is obvious that he has worked hard during the offseason on becoming a more polished receiver.
Seals-Jones may be the best combination of size and speed on the college level since Calvin Johnson was running routes for Georgia Tech. He has that kind of ceiling.
Texas A&M sophomore kicker Taylor Bertolet has yet to actually attempt a kick during Fall camp. He has been sidelined with an abdominal injury.
Meanwhile walk-on kicker Kyle Serres has been very effective at kicking field goals during game situations. After seeing how inconsistent Bertolet was in 2012, one has to wonder whether special teams coach Jeff Banks will consider using Bertolet only as a long distance kicker.
Serres is a senior so this is his last season in the program. If he continues to kick well, Banks and head coach Kevin Sumlin have to consider using him in games.
Bertolet needs to get healthy soon or risk losing his starting job. He struggled when he was practicing every day. Missing practice time is not likely to help his consistency.
The bright side for Aggie fans is that it appears they now have a viable option other than Bertolet at place-kicker.
Sophomore wide receiver Sabian Holmes has definitely stepped up his game since 2012. During his freshman season he struggled to consistently catch the ball.
Now Holmes is making plays in every practice, and he has played himself into the starting lineup. Holmes is manning one of the slot positions opposite from Malcome Kennedy on the Aggies' first-team offense.
The reports out of the informal 7-on-7 sessions during the summer of 2012 were that Holmes was dominating. He was expected to be a major contributor during the 2012 season.
Since Holmes could not hang onto the ball, he had a minimal impact. With all of the new freshman receivers coming in, Holmes had to raise his level of play or risk getting lost on the depth chart.
It looks like Holmes is ready to make an impact during his sophomore season.
In 2012 Aggie defensive coordinator Mark Snyder took a ragtag group of defenders and molded it into a very effective defense against the run. Snyder may be up to his old tricks in 2013.
The Aggie secondary was viewed as the strength of the defense coming out of the Spring. The front seven has been a pleasant surprise during Fall camp.
Right now the starting front seven is made up of Gavin Stansbury at strong-side defensive end, Alonzo Williams at defensive tackle, Kirby Ennis at nose guard, Julien Obioha at weak-side defensive end, Tommy Sanders at strong-side linebacker, Donnie Baggs at middle linebacker and Steven Jenkins at weak-side linebacker.
These seven players have held their own against a very good A&M offensive line. If the Aggie defense can stop the run as well as they have during the first couple of weeks of practice, then the Aggie fans will be in store for a special season.