Johnny Football looked good on Thursday amongst the many onlookers watching him throw. There was a zip on his passes, he read where the receiver was going to be. His feet looked gooda s he moved around checking off before he let the ball go. He wowed the crowds in attendance.
Only thing is that was Manziel wasn;t practicing with his teammates. He was trying to impress scouts from the NFL. He was trying to better his Draft position nd quiet the naysayers who do not think a player his size can make it in the league.
To say the Texas A&M program will miss Manziel, his ability and his charisma might be the biggest understatement of the year. The Aggies will miss left tackle Jake Matthews and star wide receiver Mike Evans as well. All three players figure to be Top-10 draft picks.
This is a new season for Kevin Sumlin and his players. The school was a thrill-a-minute circus ride in the SEC last season. Now, the head coach with the new contract will use a new quarterback, new left tackle and new receiver to will his team to a potential New Year's Day bowl game.
Here are the five biggest questions heading into 2014. Information used in this story came from dallasnews.com.
1. Who winds up with the upper hand in the quarterback race?
The biggest question of Texas A&M’s spring football practices begins and ends at the quarterback position. The race to find the Aggies next starter seems to be a marathon rather than a sprint with three possibilities. We’ve already seen senior pro-style quarterback Matt Joeckel run drills with the first-team offense this spring, but that doesn’t mean that sophomore Kenny Hill and freshman Kyle Allen haven’t gotten their chances. This question may not be answered until well into fall practices but there could be an upper hand up for grabs.
2. Can A&M find ways to utilize TE Cam Clear?
One of the biggest mysteries for this A&M offense is finding ways to get 6-6, 274-pound tight end Cam Clear the football. In his first season at A&M Clear only had four receptions for 42 yards and a touchdown against Alabama. In the ever-evolving Aggie offense, Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Jake Spavital will be looking for ways to use Clear’s size outside of blocking and hopefully for the Aggies into the end zone.
3. How does A&M bridge the cap on defense between the recruiting class and current players?
The A&M defensive line has had depth issues since Sumlin’s arrival on campus two seasons ago. Now with reinforcements on the way in Myles Garrett and company, the Aggie coaching staff is dealing with the injuries of Daeshon Hall and Jay Arnold, both freshmen that found themselves starting by the end of the season. If the Aggies can bridge the gap between the young talent that has seen game time in time for the recruits to arrive in the summer, the A&M d-line may find itself in a rare position of having options.
4. How does the safety position shake out?
The recent dismissal of Kam Miles from the Aggie program and the decommitment of Dylan Sumner-Gardner before signing day hurts A&M at the safety position. Sumlin was forced to use Clay Honeycutt and corner Deshazor Everett at safety last year and now the future of the position looks grim. If sophomore Devonta Burns can come on as a sophomore and fill a gap it will be a win for the Aggies but he’ll have to use the spring to prove he’s the best option.
5. Which players become leaders of this year’s team?
Sumlin has been known to put an emphasis on returning starters to become leaders beginning in spring practices. Fifth-year players like receiver Malcome Kennedy and junior defensive lineman Julien Obioha are already voicing their plans to lead the Aggies into the 2014 season. But they surely won’t be the only ones as Sumlin has a leadership committee that is represented by each class. A&M players will likely be using the coming weeks to establish those roles.