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January 31, 2013

AggieYell Mailbag

Each week, AggieYell.com's Jeff Tarpley and Mark Passwaters field readers' questions in the AggieYell Mailbag. Here's this week's sampling:

Q: What school has the best situation for Showers to step into and start next year?(Phastman)

A: From what Jameill Showers told me after his transfer became known, he wants to stay in Texas. Let's just operate under the assumption that he's able to do that. Under those circumstances, three schools jump out: Texas Tech, Baylor and SMU. With Kliff Kingsbury at Tech and no incumbent quarterback, this one is a very clear possibility. He knows the system, he knows the language and he knows the coach. Baylor loses Nick Florence, has a bunch of other weapons and a similar offense -- it's also just up the road from his hometown of Copperas Cove. SMU also runs a spread style of offense, could definitely use a new QB (it's pretty well proven Garrett Gilbert just isn't any good) got better as last year went on.

Now, having said all that, we've heard both Baylor and SMU are not interested (which is, frankly, foolish). Tech has been quiet. It also makes the most sense, so Lubbock could be where Showers ends up. Honestly, one school that could desperately use him is Texas ... but there's no way they'll make that move.

Q: Has their been any news on the pursuit of 2014 WR KD Cannon, Mount Pleasant? It seems that he's leaning towards Texas. (DatAggie34)

A: Cannon was invited to A&M's junior day and wasn't able to make it. He said that a number of schools are recruiting him hard, including Texas, but he didn't mention A&M among that list. At this point, it looks like the interest on both sides is lukewarm as opposed to hot; we'll see how and if that changes over time.

Q: Have they set a date for spring training / game? Who steps up in the spring? (Richard23)

A: The spring game, it appears, is set for April 13. That means spring ball will probably start the last week of March, or about the same time it did last year. As for who will step up, here's a few guys to watch: LB Tommy Sanders, WR LeKendrick Williams, WR JaQuay Williams, DE Brandon Alexander and DT Ivan Robinson.

Q: Have we seen any HS recruits look elsewhere because A&M is stacked at a certain position, Kenny Hill at QB is the obvious example, any others that might not be getting as much publicity?

It seems WR and QB would have the highest likelihood of this happening.(Hot Sauce Hoy)


A: The one that comes to mind immediately is Quincy Adeboyejo, who de-committed after A&M got the commitment of Tony Stevens (who, of course, promptly de-committed himself). Cameron Echols-Luper also said the numbers situation at wideout helped him decide to look elsewhere. Outside of those two, there haven't been any other instances of 2013 prospects telling us they've shied away due to the depth chart.

As for the class of 2014, the lone wideout commit, Jamal Jeffery, has said he doesn't care about the depth chart. The only recruit or commit to even bring up numbers so far is running back Varshaun Nixon, and he's not worried about guys in front of him -- he's worried about carries. So far, most guys are interested in the chance to win and are willing to compete for playing time.

Q: With the addition of Coach Spavital as Co-Offensive Coordinator, what differences do you see in his version of the spread from that of Kingsbury's this past season? Who will have more influence over the offense and who will call the plays...Spavital or McKinney? (Chile Pequin)

A: I'm expecting the offense to look a lot like what A&M ran in the Cotton Bowl, for two reasons: I expect McKinney to handle most of the play calls and because that's the best way to utilize your ultimate weapon, Johnny Manziel. As for the differences in the offenses, one of the biggest ones is the running game. The Aggies ran for nearly 600 more yards than West Virginia did last year, and Manziel ran the ball for 1,100 more yards than his counterpart, Geno Smith (who threw for about 400 more yards in significantly more playing time). The Mountaineers ran a lot more option than A&M did last year -- then again, A&M ran next to no option in 2012, except when they were in the red zone. The passing elements were largely similar.

Q: Once a recruit signs his letter, does the staff give them workouts to follow per Larry Jackson or do they have to wait until they get on campus? Seems like in the past the staff did that. (bqdrummer1)

A: They did last year. Odds are they will again this year. And then they'll get to College Station and be crushed by Action Jackson anyway.

Q: Can you give us info or updates on T. Johnson, and M. Richardson? (carguy1901)

A: There's been no word on Thomas Johnson since before the bowl season began, and there probably won't much anytime soon. Johnson's situation is a tough one, and people are staying quiet. Sadly, the odds of him returning to A&M appear remote at this point. As for Richardson, he says he's improving and hopes to play again. But whether or not he'll be ready for the summer is another uncertainty.

Q: Who starts next to Ennis on Aug 31st? What seperates said starter from his peers? (Chance23)

At this point, you'd think Ivan Robinson would have the inside track on that job, because he's the only guy with any experience. As Spencer Nealy is, he's undersized, but he has tremendous lower body strength. Still, he didn't stand out in playing time last year, so it's not a slam dunk. Look for someone like Alonzo Williams to possibly push him for that job.

Q: any current players or commits going to change positions? are there any of them that you think would be more productive at another position? (Badash)

A: Alonzo Williams got mentioned a minute ago, so he's a definite possibility. It wouldn't be a shock to see someone like Floyd Raven move to safety in the spring for at least some time, to see how he does there. He would be a guy I think would be very good there. Donnie Baggs is moving inside to middle linebacker to replace Jonathan Stewart, and everyone knows Cedric Ogbuehi is going to move outside to right tackle. It'll be interesting to see how he handles that, and who ends up replacing him at guard.

Q: Who is our back up center next season? (CheekySchneider)

A: Ben Compton.



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