Texas A&M Football: 4 Things Ricky Seals-Jones Needs to Do to Take the Next Step
The jewel of Texas A&M's 2013 recruiting class was wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones. The freshman from Sealy, Texas is a special talent, but needs to develop his skills if he wants to become a difference maker at the position.
The Aggies lost three of their starting receivers from the 2012 team to graduation. This opened up ample playing time for the incoming freshmen receivers.
Seals-Jones was part of a group of six receivers who signed with the Aggies in February. He leads that group in receiving yards and touchdowns through three games.
Seals-Jones is part of a group of wide receivers that, as a unit, are among the tallest in the nation. He needs to learn some of the finer points of playing the position before he can become a real weapon for the Aggies.
This is a look at what Seals-Jones has to do in order to take the next step in his development.
Ricky Seals-Jones is an athletic freak of nature. At 6'6", 240-pounds he is one of the largest receivers in the country and he has legitimate breakaway speed.
None of that matters if he is injured and not on the field. Seals-Jones injured his knee during his senior season at Sealy High School.
He tweaked the same knee in the Rice game. Seals-Jones sat out the game against Sam Houston State and wore a knee brace against Alabama.
If Seals-Jones is to become the kind of impact player that he is projected to be, then he needs to get 100 percent healthy first.
Perform Consistently in Practice
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is a non-nonsense guy. He will play the best player at every position without regards to their classification or experience on the team.
If Ricky Seals-Jones wants to achieve his potential, then he will have to find a way to consistently get on the field. In order to do that, he needs to show the coaches every day in practice that he can get the job done.
The Aggies have a very talented group of receivers on the roster. In order to earn playing time you have to stand out in practice.
Seals-Jones needs to earn his playing time in practice. When he performs consistently in practice he will earn the trust of his coaches and receive more playing time during games.
Improve Route Running
Ricky Seals-Jones was classified as an athlete by many of the recruiting services when he was coming out of high school. He played multiple positions at Sealy.
Seals-Jones played defensive end, quarterback, safety and wide receiver in high school. He played where his coaches needed him.
Seals-Jones was not able to concentrate on any one position. He was not able to learn the finer points of playing wide receiver like how to run proper routes.
In the spread offense like the one that the Aggies run, timing is very important. The receivers have to run precise routes in order to be at the right place at the right time.
Seals-Jones needs to learn all the nuances of running routes in order to excel in the Aggies' offense. Once he does that, he will be able to use his superior physical skills to dominate the competition.
There is no substitute for live game experience. The best way to learn how to beat the jam from a SEC defensive back at the line of scrimmage, is to go up against a SEC defensive back every week.
To some extent, Seals-Jones' advancement on the field will be limited by the Aggies' schedule. He can only improve so much in practice. He needs game experience in order to reach his potential as a player.
The more that Seals-Jones plays the more comfortable he will become in his role in the offense, and the more comfortable his teammates will become with him.
When Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel gets in trouble on the field, he looks for sophomore receiver Mike Evans because he is most comfortable throwing the ball to him. When Seals-Jones gets more game experience on the field he will gain the trust of Manziel and the other Aggie quarterbacks and will see the ball more.