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December 27, 2013

AggieYell Mailbag

Here's the final AggieYell Mailbag for 2013:

Q: Any news on a new DB coach? (Scout59)

A: Not yet, and there probably won't be any for another couple of weeks. The AFCA coaches convention takes place in Indianapolis Jan. 12-15 -- right before the dead period ends on the 16th -- and Kevin Sumlin has done most of his hiring for assistants there. That should give them enough time to bring in a new guy and get him introduced to prospective recruits (read: Steven Parker) with a couple weeks before signing day.

Q: If we were to get Kyler can you predict the quarterback rotation for the next several years? Also is the staff still going after Stidham? (Perpetual Rookie)

A: Second question first, the answer is yes. A&M could really use a couple quarterbacks in the '15 class, considering they'd be down to two scholarship quarterbacks after Matt Joeckel graduates. Getting Stidham or Kyler Murray is imperative, and getting both would be optimal. As for the first part, all I can say is that Kenny Hill will probably get the first crack in spring practice of 2014. From there, it's anyone's guess -- but it's a problem any team in the nation would want to have.

Q: Recap of who is playing in what all star game and who is supposed to commit during it. (Adam Dubya)

A: Here's a breakdown of the three major bowl games with A&M commits or interest.

Under Armour Bowl (Jan. 2, 3 p.m. central, ESPN):

* Myles Garrett (A&M commit)
* Speedy Noil (could commit; down to A&M and LSU)
* Tony Brown (likely to commit; LSU the probable destination)
* Gerald Willis III (likely to commit; LSU or Florida)
* Casey Tucker (possible, but not likely, commit; Stanford, ASU and A&M lead)
* Edwin Freeman (Texas and A&M lead)
* Dylan Sumner-Gardner (A&M commit)
* Braden Smith (A&M, TCU lead)

U.S. Army All-American Bowl (Jan. 4, noon, NBC):

* Kyle Allen (A&M commit)
* Nick Harvey (A&M commit)
* Frank Iheanacho (A&M, Oregon, Arkansas, Mizzou among his leaders)
* Kenny Young (A&M, LSU lead)

Semper Fidelis Bowl (Jan. 5, 8 p.m., Fox Sports 1):

* Jimmie Swain (Oregon, A&M among the leaders)

Q: Any updates on Hoza Scott? (stormnorm)

A: He's committed to Texas A&M, and until something changes, he will be listed. But, considering he stopped going to school again, got into a fight with his coaches and quit his football team, the odds of him playing at A&M are almost zero. In other words, nothing really new.

Q: Any experimental position changes for the bowl?
What will the linebacker rotation look like without Claiborne? (Reecol)

A: Two weeks isn't enough time to throw someone into the fire at a new position. They'll need a lot more time to adjust, and stuff like that usually starts in spring practice. The linebacker rotation will probably go like this: Baggs, Mastrogiovanni and Jenkins with the first team; Askew, Sanders and Washington with the second team.

Q: Is Johnny practicing? How much of Kenny do we see? (Richard23)

A: Manziel is practicing, and you won't see any of Hill unless there's a serious injury or the game is a blowout.

Q: With Spavital running the offense do you expect more running plays and how will that transition into next year? Is James White going to play a role next year, we keep hearing how well players are in their redshirt practice season and they kind of disappear when the season arrives? (h273)

A: If you judge by Spavital's initial comments, he sure sounds like he's going to be committed to getting the running game going. Considering you're going be starting a new quarterback in 2014, he'd better get the running game going. The Aggies have worked four running backs into the rotation this year, so White should have an opportunity to do the same next year. We'll see how it works out, because it's not like Trey Williams, Brandon Williams and Tra Carson are exactly slouches.

Q: Do redshirts get to play in this game?
What is up with JFF and Mike Evans? (The Stein)

A: Question 1: no. This is still part of the 2013 season, and if you play them, you burn the redshirt. Question 2: Manziel is playing his last game at A&M, barring a major miracle (or disaster). Evans has made no decision and seems to be seriously on the fence.

Q: How many offers for 2014 do we have outstanding now?
How many for LB?
What DL alignment should we look for? Tarp mentioned Arnold and Hall; does the Staff still plan on playing Obioha on the rush end?
How about Stansbury? Is he healthy and ready to play? Will he start?

A: A&M currently has 24 offers out, but only about one-third of those -- Parker, Noil, Iheanacho, Freeman, Young, Nyles Morgan, Smith, Tucker, Brown and Nick Gates -- are still really being seriously pursued or still have interest reciprocated. Three of those -- Young, Freeman and Morgan -- are linebackers.
Gavin Stansbury is almost certainly not going to play. Jay Arnold would start in his place, and Hall should see time along with Obioha at rush end.

Q: Name 2 impact secondary players in this class and talk about why. (Chadwheels)

A: Dylan Sumner-Gardner and Nick Harvey. DSG is a long, fast, hard-hitting safety that can fill a big need for A&M, and Harvey can do just about anything extremely well -- play corner, safety or wideout. However he's used, he should be very effective.

Q: How much of a factor does Cameron Clear become next year with either Joekel or Hill with a revamped o-line?

A: Clear becomes the primary tight end for everything next year. If Spavital is serious about running the ball, he's going to be on the field a lot, either on the line of scrimmage or in the backfield. It should be a big year for him.

Q: How many do we take in the 2015 class? Who are the most important gets in the 2015 class? (madjusdek)

A: It's way too early to know how many A&M will take (for one thing, you have to see how many juniors leave), but A&M is operating like a program looking to take a full allotment. As far as key players go, the Aggies already have two: tight end Jordan Davis and defensive tackle Daylon Mack. The key, and one of the crown jewels, will be Kyler Murray. If A&M can get LB Malik Jefferson, they could lay claim to the three best players in the state. Adding WR DaMarkus Lodge could fill a major need and give A&M the state's four top players, regardless of position. They're already in hot pursuit of Trevor Elbert and Conner Dyer, a pair of excellent offensive linemen. Get all them and it's an amazing haul with a lot of space left.

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