Texas A&M University 2021 Football Outlook

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Campus. At its 1876 founding, it was the Nation’s first publicly funded land-grant institution of higher learning; Texas A&M (Agriculture and Mining) today occupies 5,200 acres in College Station, which is roughly 200 miles SSE of Dallas-Ft Worth en route to Houston. Its 53,000 strong student body is the second largest in the United States, to whom it offers a wealth of learning opportunities supported by over 1,000 officially recognized student organizations. Home to the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum devoted to the life and works of our 41st President, A&M’s campus also boasts newly revamped Kyle Field — a 102,000+ seating capacity wonder that serves as home to the University’s NCAA Division I Varsity football team.

Terrific in 2020. A Covid-bullet-dodging 2020 season turned out to be among the brightest seasons in Aggie history. Unranked in pre-season polls, and under 4th-year head coach Jimbo Fisher, the Aggies rolled to a 9-1 overall record and an 8-1 in Southeastern Conference play, which is good for a #4 standing in the final AP Poll. The lone defeat came in a week two road encounter with the eventual Conference and National Champion Alabama, while including wins over traditional rivals Arkansas and LSU. It earned the team a spot in a January Capital One Orange Bowl, in which the Aggies crowned their Season with a 41-27 triumph over North Carolina. A&M featured a balanced roster with no runaway standout. Offensive Guard Kenyon Green was named Second Team Associated Press All-American.

The Season Ahead. Defensive Coordinator Mike Elko is pleased to welcome six returning lettermen from his 2020 Conference Leading group. On the other side of the ball, Aggies must bid farewell to a four-year starting QB and four quality offensive linemen. As Coach Fisher put it in anticipation of defense against the team centerpiece, “we ain’t done yet.” As with most college programs, the future rests on the incoming recruiting class.

Recruits. Preliminary reviews offer promise. Twenty-four signed commitments are headed by standout defensive end Shamar Turner, a 5-Star rated prospect out of Texas DeSoto High School. He is joined by seventeen of 4-star caliber, some from a distance — a pair of defensive ends from Philadelphia, PA, and Brooklyn, NY. The list is a generous blend of offensive and defensive talent, variously rated at or near the top of the SEC, and moving up to the Nation’s 6th spot. Preparations for the September 4th Season Opener vs Kent State — along with the Week 6 showdown with ALA at Kyle Field — will naturally be trained on the competition for a starting quarterback. Redshirt Freshmen Zach Calzada and Haynes King are the leading contenders, and it remains a distinct possibility that duties will be shared between them as the season unfolds.

A Twelfth Man. Now a century old and still evolving, a Texas A&M hallowed tradition is its “12th Man” — the student body standing throughout the game with members of the Senior class welcoming players back onto the field for a game’s second half. Recent decades have expanded the practice by inserting non-scholarship (walk-on) players into special team plays of actual games. No turnovers or other adverse consequences have yet resulted.

Sources:  www.tamu.edu;  Wikipedia;  247sports.com; sports-reference.com; www.goodbullhunting.com   www.gigemgazette.com   www.si.com

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article