Texas A&M begins fall practice this evening, and released the 2020 roster. With that comes the inevitable loss of a few players, both due to career-ending injuries, and often the necessity to get down to 85 scholarship players. The Aggies had a small senior class last year, and we had already seen many transfers over the past several months. But a bit more attrition was necessary to make the numbers work, and it seems that has come in the form of three offensive linemen. None of these three players were starters in the 2019 team, and they also were not expected to start in 2020.
A trio of OL - Riley Anderson, Colten Blanton and Barton Clement - are no longer on the Texas A&M football roster. Anderson graduated and is forgoing his 5th the year. The others had injuries— GigEm247 (@GigEm247) August 17, 2020
The 247 report lists two of them having injuries and one foregoing his 5th year. Whether those are true or whether they were encouraged to leave the program to make scholarshp numbers work, I’m sure giving up football was not an easy decision for these guys, and we wish them well. The good news is that if you leave the team because of injury, your scholarship is normally still guaranteed.
It’s not something you like to see, but it’s also a harsh reality of big time college football. Many scholarships are renewed on a yearly basis, not a four-year guarantee like many fans assume. So if you are an upperclassman buried on the depth chart, your spot may not be there the following year. Whether this was the case here or not, it is without a doubt something that happens at big programs across the country every year.
It’s also why I never fault players for transferring. We never know what is going on behind the scenes, and if you can keep your scholarship, or simply increase your chance of getting on the field, at another school, you should take that chance.
One other notable: James Foster, who put his name into the transfer portal last month, is still on the A&M roster, but will opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.