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Evaluating the Texas A&M Football Program: Offensive Depth Chart & Roster Management

Part II in a comprehensive look at the current state of our football program

Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Last week I put together some information regarding our on field performance, and I think the general consensus was that Kevin Sumlin's on field performance has been good, but not great. Now it's time to get into the nitty gritty details of our current program...and the next two topics (roster management and staff changes) are things that I think Sumlin struggles with.

Recruiting can be fun. Hashtags, helicopters and edits are good and all, but at the end of the day the only thing that really matters is the depth chart. Are you filling your needs with quality players? Are you putting together the right combination of personnel to help execute your vision? Sumlin has often said that the SEC is a line of scrimmage league and a depth how are we doing in our efforts to create that much needed depth.

Let's take a look at depth/roster/recruiting on our offense position by position and year by year. Like last time I'll provide some brief comments, and then leave it up to you to break down further.


Kyle Allen leaving is not much of a surprise. In an ideal world he'd stay here, graduate early and then leave as a grad transfer. But that's just not the reality with blue chip QBs. They want to play and if they dont play they'll find somewhere else to go. Couple of thoughts:

  • Our biggest failure in QB recruiting hasnt necessarily been our inability to keep blue chips--but rather our inability to land the 3 star project QB. We need an ATH type of guy who wants to play QB but is amenable to playing WR down the road. We need that kind of depth.
  • I wish there was a way to redshirt our QBs. I think Hill, Murray, and maybe even Allen could have benefited from a redshirt year, but all three were brought to A&M with the promise of immediate playing time.
  • My concern with our current QB depth chart is 1) i dont know how durable Kyler is, and 2) I dont know whether Hubenak is a viable option to start multiple games for us. Both are wild cards
  • In an ideal world A&M would take two QBs this being a day 1 ready JUCO (Justice Hansen comes to mind) and the other would be a project ATH type of guy (Dillon Sterling-Cole)
  • Johnny aside--this makes three years running that we're going to rely on a different underclassman to start game 1.

Running Back

  • Yet again I'm kind of left wondering why, in year 5, we're going to be relying heavily on true freshmen at a position of need.
  • It seems that our philosophy is to rely on transfers--and it's worked out well for us....Carson is a damn good back and I expect big things out of Keith Ford, but those happen out of pure luck.
  • With Jay Bradford possibly retiring, our failure to take a RB in 2014 kind of haunts us. Varshaun Nixon left us late, but we had no backup plans there either.
  • It seems like our offense would be best suited to a smaller scat back type of guy...but I dont know that we have that right now. Trayveon Williams fits that role, but again it's hard to rely on a true freshman.

Wide Receiver

  • I have some irrational concerns about this position. Going into 2016 we have all of four WRs that we can rely on...RSJ, Speedy (who is inconsistent), Reynolds, and Kirk. Four solid WRs for a school that routinely runs 5 WR sets seems concerning.
  • I have no clue why Ed Pope and Jeremy Tabuyo don't see the field more. It seems like they perform at a high level when they do, but those moments are few and far between.
  • Out of Ratley, Jeffery, and Iheanacho, we need someone from that 2014 class to step up and become a reliable option for [INSERT QB NAME HERE] to throw the ball to.
  • I think Siverand and Quartney Davis (2016) could be very good. I'd feel even better about '16 and beyond if somehow we could pry Tyrie Cleveland from Tom Herman's program...and perhaps that could happen if we land Dillon Sterling-Cole.

Offensive Line

  • Let me get one thing off my chest first--Mike Sherman was a great OL coach/recruiter. That 2010 class was one of the all time greats. But he had his fair share of misses too (Scales, Barrera, Hatten etc)

  • I say that not to knock Mike Sherman, but rather to get us to stop throwing shade on the current regime in relation to what Mike Sherman would have done if that makes sense.
  • I think there's talent here.  I think the talent has received poor coaching for the past three years.
  • We also have a mishmash of parts and pieces. I see more guards than I do true tackles.
  • All signs point to Eric McCoy being your starting center in 2016.
  • We really need more star power here. Landing a Pat Hudson or hell freezing over and us landing Greg Little would make me feel better about the future.

Tight End

  • I genuinely have no idea what we're trying to do here. We've taken three TEs over the years, and currently have all of one on roster.
  • The one that we do have, Davis, is really really good. But how are we going to use him? Is he going to be a true TE blocking on the end, or is he going to be an oversized WR?
  • We used Caden Smith more as an H-back than we did a TE, and I like that idea. I loved watching Ohio State use their H-back in their power spread. But that's not what we run. What are we trying to do here?
  • Irv Smith (provided that he sticks with us) could be the answer that we're looking for...a companion to Jordan Davis who could also be in the backfield as an H-back if we need him.

Final Thoughts

There are more holes in this roster than I think there should be moving into year 5 of a coach's tenure. We have good players, but I don't see a strategic pipeline at any position (if that makes sense). We've got no succession planning at positions, and it seems over and over again we rely on true freshmen/underclassmen to come in and dominate...that seems odd moving into year 5. Roster management and strategically recruiting positions to fit our needs is something that, in my mind, we haven't done the best job of.

Is there talent on this offensive roster? Absolutely. And that talent is capable of winning a lot of games provided they are put in position to succeed. My biggest concern right now is that last part--we are not talented enough to just out talent other teams in the SEC West. This OC hire is critical to our immediate success because recruiting alone won't get us there.

Thanks for listening. Share your thoughts in the comments.