Imagining What the Aggies Starting Lineup Will Look Like in 3 Years
The Texas A&M football coaches have signed the prospects in the 2014 recruiting class and their attention has moved on to the future of the program. If the Aggie coaches continue to recruit at this level, they will put one of the most talented teams in the nation on the field in three years.
The Aggies brought in a top 10 ranked recruiting class in 2013 and 2014. They currently have the No. 1 ranked recruiting class for 2015. They are on track to put a national title caliber squad on the field in 2016.
The 2013 Aggies football team struggled mightily on defense with a unit that ended the season ranked No. 109 in the nation in total defense. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have dedicated themselves to improving the talent on the defensive side of the ball, while still recruiting the top skill players on offense in the nation.
The coaching staff's hard work will be on display in 2016, when the Aggies roster will be stocked full of top-notch talent throughout the offense and defense. This is a look at what the Aggies' starting lineup will look like in three years.
Since this is a projection for three years down the road, there will be some players in the lineup who are recruits that have not signed, or even committed to, the Aggies yet.
Starter: Kyler Murray
If Texas A&M sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill wins the starting job in 2014, then he will be entering his senior season as the starter in 2016. It would be hard to bench a senior quarterback, but there is simply no way you can justify sitting a talent like Kyler Murray on the bench.
Murray is a junior quarterback at Allen High School in Allen, Texas. He is the high school football version of Johnny Manziel. Murray has led Allen High School to consecutive Texas state titles in football in the highest division in the state. In 2014 he will have the opportunity to make it three in a row.
Murray is more developed as a passer than Manziel was at the same age in high school. It remains to be seen whether Murray has the same competitive drive that Manziel possesses. What is plainly obvious to anyone who watches him play, is that Murray is a dynamic playmaker with a plus arm who is a threat to score every time he takes a snap.
Murray has not committed to the Aggies yet. Texas A&M made his list of five finalists. If the Aggies sign him, then he will be a threat to break all of Manziel's school records. He is the kind of quarterback that can lead a program to multiple national titles.
Starter: James White
As long as Kevin Sumlin is their coach, the Aggies will always have plenty of skill position talent on offense. That will be the case at running back in 2016, when redshirt junior running back James White will be the starter.
White will lead a group of talented Aggies running backs that include Rodney Anderson, Jay Bradford and JaMycal Hasty. All four are talented enough to start for any team in the SEC, but White is the best blocker in the group so he is the starter.
The Aggies running backs will attempt to become the first group in school history to have consecutive years where four running backs rushed for 500 yards or more in an individual season.
Starters: Frank Iheanacho, Speedy Noil, LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Kyrion Parker
The Aggies will lose their top receiver from the 2015 squad when Ricky Seals-Jones will pass up his final two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. Seals-Jones and Frank Iheanacho formed a dynamic duo in the red zone in 2015 scoring a combined 23 receiving touchdowns.
Iheanacho will use his 6'6", 235-pound frame to continue frustrating defensive coordinators in 2016 at outside receiver. His classmate Speedy Noil will start at one slot receiver position.
Senior wide receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez had the opportunity to enter the 2015 draft, but decided to return to Aggieland and complete his degree. He will lead a veteran squad of receivers on the 2016 team.
Redshirt junior Kyrion Parker will split time at the outside receiver position with sophomore receiver Demarkus Lodge. Parker played at an all-conference level in 2015, but Lodge is simply too talented to keep off the field.
Starter: Jordan Davis
Jordan Davis will again start at tight end in 2016. The 6'5", 250-pound athlete has started every game at tight end since he arrived at A&M in 2015.
Davis will offer quarterback Kyler Murray a huge target down the middle of the field and in the red zone. He is an adept blocker and considered by some to already be the top tight end in America.
Davis is projected to be a first round draft pick in the 2018 NFL draft if he decides to leave A&M after three years.
Starters: LT Germain Ifedi, LG Koda Martin, C Zach Rogers, RG Zach Ledwik, RT Kealvin Davis
Germain Ifedi and Mike Matthews will return for their senior season to lead the Aggie offensive line in 2016. Ifedi won a spirited battle for the starting job at left tackle with redshirt sophomore Kealvin Davis.
If Ifedi is injured during the season, expect Davis to take over at left tackle and Koda Martin to move over to right tackle. In the meantime, Martin will man the left guard spot between Ifedi and Matthews.
Redshirt sophomore Zach Ledwik will start at right guard. Ledwik backed up Avery Gennesy in 2015 before the senior graduated and moved on to the NFL. Ledwik is an excellent run blocker and should excel in his first season as a starter.
Davis reminds many Aggie fans of former All-American left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. Like Ogbuehi, Davis will start out on the right side of the line and will have to wait patiently before he can become the next standout in the tradition of great left tackles at A&M.
Zach Rogers saw spot duty as a backup to Mike Matthews in 2015. With Matthews moving onto the NFL he will be tasked with making all of the line calls for the Aggies in 2016.
Starters: WDE Myles Garrett, NG Daylon Mack, DT Isaiah Golden, SDE Jay Arnold
The Aggies have the deepest defensive line in the SEC in 2016. Myles Garrett is the starter on the weak side after registering 10 sacks as a sophomore in 2015. Senior defensive end Daeshon Hall had eight sacks in 2015 and will back Garrett up on the weak side.
Daylon Mack will start at nose guard after a monster freshman season in 2015 when he registered 15 tackles for loss. His play at nose guard pushed senior defensive lineman Isaiah Golden over to defensive tackle. The duo forms the best interior defensive line in the nation.
Senior Jay Arnold will slide over to strong-side defensive end in 2016. He was a backup defensive tackle in 2015 but the Aggies need him to hold up the edge against teams like Auburn.
DeShawn Washington, Zaycoven Henderson, Hardreck Walker and Justin Manning give the Aggies the best depth at defensive tackle in the country. Qualen Cunningham and Jarrett Johnson offer depth at the defensive end spots.
Starters: WLB Soso Jamabo, MLB Darian Claiborne, SLB Otaro Alaka
The linebackers will be led in 2016 by senior middle linebacker Darian Claiborne. He will attempt to lead the Aggies in tackles for the third season in a row.
Sophomore Soso Jamabo will take over at weak-side linebacker. The former running back uses his explosive speed and his 6'4", 230-pound frame to blanket the opposing running backs in the passing game.
Starters: CB Nick Harvey, SS Justin Dunning, FS Armani Watts, CB Alex Sezer
The Aggies will return as one of the top secondaries in the nation in 2016. Junior cornerback Nick Harvey was All-SEC in 2015 and is projected to be a first-round selection in the 2016 NFL draft.
Justin Dunning was expected to grow into the linebacker position, but the 6'3", 220-pound sophomore has excelled in pass defense as a safety. He developed a reputation as one of the hardest hitters in the league in 2015.
Armani Watts led the SEC with seven interceptions in 2015. Alex Sezer is a rock-solid corner. The senior is the leader of the secondary and is one of the best in the conference at playing the run.