Texas A&M Football: Incoming Freshmen Most Likely to Start This Season
The Texas A&M football team is going to need some freshmen to come in and help out immediately in 2014. Luckily for Aggie fans, head coach Kevin Sumlin has signed a number of freshmen who will be capable of becoming major players for the Aggies this season.
Sumlin has earned a reputation for not caring about time spent in the program and playing the best player at the position. He started two true freshmen in 2012, and five true freshmen started games in 2013.
The Aggies had 14 total true freshmen play in 2013. Most of those freshmen are back with a year of experience under their belt and will form the nucleus of the 2014 team as sophomores.
The 2014 freshmen are going to help fill in the gaps on the 2014 squad. This is a look at the true freshmen who will start for the Aggies in 2014.
Speedy Noil is currently listed as a starter on the Aggies depth chart. The 5'11", 193-pound athlete will line up at slot receiver when the Aggies take the field against South Carolina on August 28.
Noil was a 5-star recruit ranked as the top wide receiver in the nation by 247Sports. He is an explosive playmaker who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.
Noil played quarterback and wide receiver at Karr High School in New Orleans. He enrolled at A&M in January and participated in spring practice. He impressed the coaches enough to earn the starting spot over sophomore receiver LaQuvionte Gonzalez.
Noil should excel in the Aggies' spread offense. He will have the opportunity to put up big numbers and earn Freshman All-American honors in 2014.
Myles Garrett is a 6'4", 255-pound defensive end from Martin High School in Arlington, Texas. He was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 1 recruit in the country.
Garrett may be the starter at weak-side defensive end when the Aggies open the season against South Carolina. The Aggies could not generate a pass rush from their defensive line in 2013, and Garrett has natural pass-rushing skills.
Garrett had 8.5 sacks in one high school game in 2013. He can create pressure off the edge, which will alleviate some of the pressure on the back end of the Aggie defense.
The question is not whether Garrett will start as a true freshman, but when he will start. He is the type of athlete who has to play as a freshman because if he stays healthy, he will only be in college for three years before the NFL comes calling.
Kyle Allen is a 6'3", 200-pound quarterback from Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the country, according to 247Sports.
Allen is in a competition with sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill to be the starter in 2014. He enrolled at A&M in January and was able to participate in spring practices.
Hill was suspended toward the end of spring practice, so Allen took all of the first-team reps for the last few practices. Hill has an experience advantage over Allen in that he attempted 22 passes in 2013 against college defenses.
The quarterback competition will continue into fall practices. Allen has a good chance to win the competition and start his first game in college on the road in the SEC.
Nick Harvey is a 5'9", 175-pound defensive back from Travis High School in Richmond, Texas. He played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety in high school.
Harvey was ranked as a 4-star recruit and the No. 11 cornerback in the nation by 247Sports. He is a dynamic football player with the ball in his hands and may spend time on the offensive side of the ball in addition to playing defense at A&M.
Harvey will be given the opportunity to win a starting job at safety in 2014. The coaches will take a look at him in during fall practice and will determine whether he will be a better option than Howard Matthews or Floyd Raven.
The plan going into the season is for Deshazor Everett to remain at cornerback all year. If the safety play degenerates to the level it was at in 2013, then Everett may be forced back to safety, and Harvey could end up starting at cornerback.
Harvey will play on defense and likely special teams in 2014. Whether or not he starts will depend on how ready he is to contribute and how the veterans in the A&M secondary perform.