The dust has settled on another national signing day, and 27 players (including nine early enrollees) are the newest additons to the Aggie Football team. So who among these players has the best chance to make an immediate impact in 2017? We take some uneducated guesses below.
Kellen Mond, a former Baylor commit, began taking classes at A&M in January and comes in as one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the country. For the fourth year in a row, Texas A&M will start the year with a new starting quarerback, and Mond will compete with senior Jake Hubenak and redshirt freshman Nick Starkel for that right. Based solely on recruiting rankings, Mond should have the inside track, and Alabama proved last season that starting a true freshman quarterback is a surefire way to get to the national championship.
Anthony Hines, from Plano East High School just north of Dallas, is the Aggies’ highest-rated recruit in the 2017 class. Add that to the fact that linebacker has been the Achilles’ heel of the A&M defense for several years running, and many are hoping he’ll be able to come in and earn the starting job from day one. Like Mond, Hines also enrolled early and is already on campus.
Texas A&M has had no shortage of talented wide receivers since Kevin Sumlin took over, but 2017 will see a lot of new faces out wide for the Aggies. The departures of Josh Reynolds, Ricky Seals-Jones, Speedy Noil, Jeremy Tabuyo and Boone Niederhofer mean that Christian Kirk is the only significant piece of the 2016 receiving corps who will be back for 2017. Ausbon, yet another early enrollee, has been touted as one of the most college-ready receivers in the 2017 class, and at 6’2” and 217 pounds, it’s easy to see why (he weighs only five pounds less than Anthony Hines). He’ll compete for a starting spot with senior Damion Ratley and redshirt freshman Quartney Davis, among others.
The Aggies will look to replace Justin Evans, and freshman Derrick Tucker may just be the player to do it. He’ll have stiff competition with junior Justin Dunning, who is still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during fall practice. Tucker will also compete with fellow true freshmen Myles Jones, Keldrick Carper and Debione Renfro.
Micheal Clemons is the Aggies’ lone junior college recruit in 2017, as they look to replace the massive hole left by the departures of Daeshon Hall and Myles Garrett. Clemons will likely either start or work his way into the rotation with Jarrett Johnson and Qualen Cunningham. Expect redshirt freshman Justin Madubuike to also make an impact in 2017.