Texas A&M Football: Everything You Need to Know About the Aggies WR Corps
The Texas A&M football team enters the 2013 season with some of the best skill position talent in the country.
Though the wide receiver corps is young, they will develop into one of the best groups of receivers in the SEC by the end of the season.
The Aggies run a hurry-up spread offense which features four receivers on the field in their base formation. Aggie fans will likely see a lot of variations of scheme this year, as the addition of tight end Cameron Clear will allow the offensive coaches to be creative with their formations.
Do not be surprised to see a lot of two-tight end formations with Clear and senior tight end Nehemiah Hicks spread out in the slot. The addition of Clear to the team may limit the playing time for the wide receivers.
Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin is a spread coach by training. There will be a lot of passes thrown to the receivers in 2013 despite the presence of some talented tight ends and running backs.
This is a look at the receivers who will be making plays for the Aggies on the field in 2013.
Sophomore receiver Mike Evans is one of the top returning receivers in the country. He burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman and caught a school record 82 passes for 1,105 yards with five touchdowns.
Evans uses his unique combination of size and strength to dominate defensive backs. At 6'5", 225 pounds, Evans is simply too big for cornerbacks or safeties to match up with.
It was a common sight in 2012 to see Evans catch a pass, push the defensive back covering him to the ground and then proceed upfield for more yardage. The scary thing for opposing defensive coaches is that Evans was not healthy in 2012.
He struggled with a hamstring injury for most of the season. Evans is now healthy and has been noticeably faster in practice.
The Aggie coaches experimented with Evans in the slot during the spring. Look for the coaches to move Evans around in the Fall to find the best matchups.
Evans will again lead the Aggies in receptions, and will fight for All-SEC and All-American honors in 2013.
Malcome Kennedy is the Ags' second-leading returning receiver. The junior receiver caught 26 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns in 2012.
Kennedy will be the starter at one slot position for the Aggies in 2013. He has been a reliable receiver during his first two seasons in College Station.
The Aggie coaches will be counting on him to step up and be a true difference-maker in every game. Kennedy has flashed the ability to be a great college receiver.
He caught a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to help defeat No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 2012. Kennedy also had seven receptions for 110 yards against Missouri in the last game of the 2012 regular season.
Aggie fans should expect Kennedy to double his production from 2012 as he will become an important part of the A&M offense in 2013.
Sabian Holmes is a 5'11", 175-pound receiver from Southlake, TX. As a true freshman, Holmes caught six passes for 48 yards in 2012.
Holmes struggled to consistently catch the ball as a freshman. He saw the field in mop-up duty because he could not be counted on to make plays.
Holmes has stepped up his game during Fall practice and has earned a starting spot at one of the slot receiver positions. He has made plays in every practice.
The Aggies do not need Holmes to be a game-breaker in 2013. They just need him to be a reliable cog in the offense. If he can catch the passes that are thrown to him and make the plays that are there, he will have a very successful sophomore season.
Derel Walker is a 6'2", 185-pound senior who is a junior college transfer to A&M. He is originally from Hillboro, TX.
Walker played in 12 games in 2012 and caught eight passes for 85 yards. He was the backup to Ryan Swope at one of the slot positions in 2012.
Walker has moved outside for his senior season. He will start the year on the opposite side of Mike Evans. He filled in nice for Swope when Swope was injured against Louisiana Tech.
Walker has nice size and reliable hands. The question for Walker is whether he can play well enough to hold of a slew of freshman receivers who are competing for playing time.
Do not be surprised to see Walker lose his starting spot to Ricky Seals-Jones before conference play begins.
Edward Pope is a 6'4", 180-pound redshirt freshman receiver from Carthage, TX. Pope entered the A&M program in 2012 at around 160-pounds, so he redshirted so he could add some weight and strength.
He had a very good spring and looked great in the spring game. The issue with Pope is that he has not turned any heads during the Fall.
With a six true freshmen receivers entering the program in 2013, Pope has to find a way to stand out. He has good size and speed, but has not been making as many plays in August as he made in March and April.
Pope needs to step his game up or he will be relegated to the bottom of the depth chart.
LeKendrick Williams is a 5'8", 170-pound junior wide receiver from Houston, TX. Williams, nicknamed "Beep Beep," he has been considered the funniest player on the team since he joined the program.
Williams will be a second-team slot receiver in 2013. He played in 10 games in 2012 and was effective when given playing time, with five receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
Like most of the receivers on the roster not named Evans or Kennedy, Williams has been fighting tooth and nail for playing time with the incoming freshmen.
It remains to be seen how the playing time will work out for the backup receivers in 2013. Williams has been a playmaker in the past when given the opportunity, and will make plays for the Ags when he sees the field in 2013.
Ricky Seals-Jones was the highest ranked member of the Ags 2013 recruiting class. He is a 6'6", 240-pound wide receiver from Sealy, TX.
Seals-Jones has been impressing the Aggie coaches and his teammates since he arrived on campus since August. He has been one of the stars of Fall practice.
The true freshman from Sealy has an unusual combination of size and speed that has not been seen in college football since Calvin Johnson was playing wide receiver for Georgia Tech. He will have a tremendous impact on the Aggie offense in 2013.
With Seals-Jones lining up opposite from Mike Evans, there will not be a secondary in the country who can match up with that size. Aggie fans should expect Seals-Jones to claim a starting spot at outside receiver sometime during his freshman season.
LaQuvionte Gonzalez is a 5'10", 165-pound wide receiver from Cedar Hill, TX. Gonzalez will play in the slot and on special teams for the Ags in 2013.
Gonzalez is a member of the 2013 recruiting class. He moved to running back for Cedar Hill (TX) High School in 2012 after injuries caused some depth issues at the position. He rushed for 1,410 yards and 20 touchdowns, and helped lead Cedar Hill to the 5A Texas state finals.
Although small in size, Gonzalez is surprisingly strong and breaks a lot of tackles. He is an explosive athlete who has high jumped 6'9."
Aggie fans should expect the coaches to be creative and try to get the ball on Gonzalez's hands in space. Do not be surprised to see him used on reverses or an end around. Gonzalez is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
He should end his freshman year with at least one kickoff return touchdown.
JaQuay Williams is a 6'3", 210-pound wide receiver from Tyrone, Georgia. Williams signed with Auburn in 2012 but was not able to qualify academically, so he spent the Fall of 2012 at Fork Union Military Academy and enrolled at A&M in January.
Williams was one of the top-rated wide receivers in the nation coming out of high school. Since he has already spent a year out of high school he is expected to play in 2013 instead of redshirting.
Williams struggled to pick up the offense in the spring and is not currently listed in the two-deep at wide receiver. He is going to have to pick up his game if he wants to see the field in meaningful situations in 2013.