Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M Football: Pre-Spring Practice Two-Deep Depth Chart Projections

Jim SullivanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

Texas A&M Football: Pre-Spring Practice Two-Deep Depth Chart Projections

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    As spring training continues to inch closer for Texas A&M, set for kickoff on Feb. 28, the Aggies have yet to release an official two-deep depth chart.

    With players coming and going, ranging from the magnitude of Johnny Manziel to the simple graduation of a senior backup, open spots across the board need to be filled, with some rearrangement no doubt.

    As such, Bleacher Report delves into the Aggies program and generates a pre-spring training two-deep depth chart, breaking down each position with just weeks until practices begin. 

Defensive End

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    Defensive End

    1) Gavin Stansbury (Sr)

    2) Jay Arnold (So)

     

    Rush End

    1) Julien Obioha (Jr)

    2) Daeshon Hall (So)

     

    The Aggies' pass rush last season lacked a certain intensity, and head coach Kevin Sumlin sought to remedy that with a commitment from the nation's top defensive end, Myles Garrett. However, Garrett won't arrive on campus until the summer, leaving A&M with holes to fill. 

    Stansbury impressed last season with his run-contain abilities and should slide nicely into his former position. Obioha, though, disappointed after coming off an injury from the previous year, and major improvement will be necessary for him to keep his job. 

Defensive Tackle

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Defensive Tackle

    1) Ivan Robinson (Sr)

    2) Alonzo Williams (Jr)

     

    Nose Guard

    1) Isaiah Golden (So)

    2) Hardreck Walker (So)

     

    After senior Kirby Ennis was sidelined by a season-ending injury last year, true freshman Isaiah Golden was forced to step up into a starting role, leaving him with the same position entering spring training.

    As for Robinson and Williams, the two will compete for the defensive tackle spots along with a slew of other athletes, including Walker and redshirt freshman Justin Manning. 

Middle Linebacker

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Middle Linebacker

    1) Darian Claiborne (So) 

    2) Jordan Mastrogiovanni (So)

     

    Until further notice, Claiborne has the job. After a successful season at the position last year, Claiborne stands as the favorite, even though his physical build and speed fit him well for weak-side linebacker.

    If, though, Mastrogiovanni can excel this spring at the position, it would come as no surprise to see Claiborne move over to the weak-side position. 

Outside Linebacker

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Strong-side Linebacker

    1) Shaan Washington (So)

    2) A.J. Hilliard (Jr)

     

    Weak-side Linebacker

    1) Tommy Sanders (Sr)

    2) Darian Claiborne (So)

     

    In his true freshman season, Washington showed incredible athleticism and precision as the backup for Nate Askew, who graduated this past May, leaving the sophomore with the opportunity to jump into the starting role. Transfer Hilliard will certainly be in contention for the job, as he gained valuable experience working with the scout team last year. 

    Claiborne will remain the starter at middle linebacker for the time being as Mastrogiovanni searches to take over the position, which allows senior Sanders to battle for the weak-side slot in the mean time. 

Cornerback

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    Cornerback

    1) Deshazor Everett (Sr)

    2) Tavares Garner (RS)

     

    Cornerback

    1) De'Vante Harris (Jr)

    2) Alex Sezer Jr. (So)

     

    Everett and Harris have held down the cornerback positions valiantly the past two seasons, and any changes would come as a surprise. Both Sezer and Garner have immense potential, but the experience between Everett and Harris should be too great to overcome this spring. 

Safety/Nickelback

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    Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press

    Strong Safety

    1) Howard Matthews (Sr)

    2) Jonathan Wiggins (So)

     

    Free Safety

    1) Floyd Raven Sr. (Sr)

    2) Clay Honeycutt (Sr)

     

    Nickelback

    1) Noel Ellis (So)

     

    Howard Matthews has proved to be the bane of the Aggies' pass defense, blowing coverages multiple times throughout the season. However, his rush-defense skills have been shown to be deadly, making him valuable at safety (or possibly linebacker?) in his final season. 

    As for Raven, he suffered through suspensions and injuries last season, making this final year crucial for him in proving his worth to the program. At nickel, Ellis should have locked down the position with Toney Hurd Jr. graduating. 

Offensive Tackle

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    Right Tackle

    1) Germain Ifedi (So)

    2) Joseph Cheek (Jr)

     

    Left Tackle

    1) Cedric Ogbuehi (Sr)

    2) Jeremiah Stuckey (Jr)

     

    The Aggies return four to their offensive line, but similar to last season, the loss of a star will ultimately lead to mixing up the roles. Ogbuehi, who held down right tackle last year, should step into graduated Jake Matthews' vacant left tackle slot, while his right guard Ifedi has the right framework to slide into right tackle. 

Offensive Guard

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    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Right Guard

    1) Garrett Gramling (Sr)

    2) Ben Compton (Sr)

     

    Left Guard

    1) Jarvis Harrison (Sr)

    2) Jermaine Eluemunor (TR)

     

    Harrison has been a stronghold at left guard for years and should no doubt continue to dominated at the position. As for Ifedi's old slot at right guard, Gramling and Compton should be the top contenders for the position, with Gramling holding the advantage due to his time on the field last year. 

Center

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    Center

    1) Mike Matthews (Jr)

    2) Ben Compton (Sr)

     

    Matthews took over for a graduated Patrick Lewis last season and has worked to hold down the position ever since. Compton may challenge the junior, but Matthews holds the incumbency edge and should retain the slot. 

Tight End

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Tight End

    1) Cam Clear (Sr)

     

    As Nehemiah Hicks graduates, Clear emerges as the lone tight end on the team. With his size and a year of experience under his belt, he has the potential to become an instant impact player for the Aggies offense. 

Wide Receiver

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    Michael Chang/Getty Images

    Outside Wide Receiver

    1) Ricky Seals-Jones (RS)

    2) Ja'Quay Williams (So)

     

    Slot Wide Receiver

    1) Malcome Kennedy (Sr) 

    2) Jeremy Tabuyo (So)

     

    Outside Wide Receiver

    1) Edward Pope (So)

    2) Speedy Noil (Fr)

     

    Slot Wide Receiver

    1) LaQuvionte Gonzalez (So) 

    2) Sabian Holmes (Jr)

     

    With A&M either graduating or losing to the NFL three of its top four wideouts, there are giant shoes to fill in the wide receiving corps.

    Malcome Kennedy proved his worth beyond the shadow of a doubt last year and will retain one of the slot positions. On the other side, Gonzalez's minor time on the field allowed him to make a serious impact, and he enters the spring as the leader to set up opposite Kennedy. 

    Seals-Jones' knee injury and following surgery allowed him a medical redshirt, a serious positive for the superb athlete. A key storyline will be how the redshirt freshman works on his knee, and his size and athleticism alone will give him access to a starting role on the outside.

    Pope played backup for a graduated Derel Walker last season and should fill in well at the other open slot. 

Running Back

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    Running Back

    1) Trey Williams (Jr)

    2) Tra Carson (Jr)

    3) Brandon Williams (Jr)

     

    With Ben Malena out due to graduation, Trey Williams emerges as the top running back for the Aggies. However, dark-horse contenders Tra Carson and Brandon Williams will each have the opportunity to create ripples. They should all earn carries this spring with the first team. 

Quarterback

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Quarterback 

    1) Kenny Hill (So)

    2) Kyle Allen (Fr)

     

    With Johnny Manziel already making headlines at the NFL combine for his hand size, the A&M quarterback quandary should kick off with a bang as Hill and Allen look to take over for the absent superstar. The battle will be the centerpiece of this spring training for the Aggies and will garner national attention throughout. 

    Due mainly to seniority, Hill will enter as the "leader" for the role, but each has a fairly equal shot at earning the unenviable task of starting in Manziel's shoes next season. 

Kicking Specialists

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    Punter

    1) Drew Kaser (Jr)

    2) Shane Tripucka (So)

     

    Kicker

    1) Josh Lambo (Sr)

    2) Taylor Bertolet (Jr)

     

    Fortunately for the Aggies, one area of relative calm is their kicking specialists, as junior Kaser and senior Lambo return at punter and kicker, respectively. Lambo took over for Bertolet last year after early struggles, while Kaser has impressed with his booming punts and top-tier accuracy. 

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