Texas A&M spring football countdown: WRs
We’ll continue our spring football countdown series by talking about the wide receivers for Texas A&M. The Aggies have a talented group at wideout and return some huge weapons for Kellen Mond. In fact, Texas A&M gets each of their 2019 starters back. While the unit could stand to be more consistent, there is no doubt that the talent is there for Texas A&M. Let’s talk about A&M’s receivers and what we can expect from them this spring.
The three receivers that first come to mind when talking about this position group are Jhamon Ausbon, Quartney Davis, and Kendrick Rogers. These three will likely make up the bulk of Mond’s pass attempts in 2019 and each receiver brings a unique skill set to the table. Ausbon is a big, strong receiver who reminds me a lot of a guy like Anquan Boldin. He’s a solid route runner who can also go up and get the ball, but he’s stout enough to run through tackles after the catch. He’ll need to minimize drops in his junior season but he’s still talented. Quartney Davis is an extremely reliable receiver in the slot. Of the position group, he’s likely the best route runner. He uses his quickness to get open and his reliable hands to make difficult catches. The final receiver of this group is Kendrick Rogers, whose size makes him an incredible weapon on the sideline and in the red zone. If you don’t believe me, just go back and look at his film from overtime in the LSU game where he made circus catch after circus catch. Like Ausbon, he struggled with drops at times, but when he is at his best he is dominant, just ask LSU and Clemson. Each of these three will need to take a step forward in their play as A&M will likely rely more on the passing game in 2019. Their progress will be important to watch this spring.
After the top three guys, there is no shortage of talent at the receiver position. Hezekiah Jones and Camron Buckley both saw a decent amount of playing time in 2018, and ought to be improved in 2019. The ability to rotate receivers in and out is a vital part of the offense in the modern game and Jones and Buckley give A&M the depth necessary and neither is a drop off in talent. Each guy has the ability to push for a starting spot with improvement in the spring.
Roshauud Paul is another guy on the roster with a lot of talent but has contributed primarily as a punt return specialist. He’s provided solid depth at the receiver position but needs to improve in the spring if he wants to see the field as more than just a returner. His shiftiness is a vital asset though and considering his ability to make folks miss, I wouldn’t be surprised to see A&M start trying to find more ways to get Paul the ball.
A&M signed a trio of talented receivers in the 2018 class. Jalen Preston, Caleb Chapman, and Montel Parker each brought gifts to the football field but only Preston saw any action due to the amount of talent at the position. Montel Parker has elected to transfer to Texas Southern while Chapman suffered a lower-body injury two games into the 2018 season which saw him miss the rest of the year. Jimbo Fisher mentioned that he’s back and moving but we’re not sure exactly what that means for Chapman ahead of spring ball. That leaves Preston as the lone guy from the 2018 class to really talk about ahead of spring. The receiver out of Manvel had some difficulties adapting to the college game but should be one to watch in the spring. The coaching staff would love to see Preston take another step forward in his game and become a consistent contributor for the offense. He has the size and speed to be a threat on the outside but will need to get a better grasp of the route tree.
Finally, Texas A&M added one early enrollee at the receiver position in Kam Brown. Brown has the speed to take the top off of a defense from the receiver spot but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see the former Colleyville Heritage receiver push for a spot in the return game. By enrolling early, Brown also gives himself a head start on learning the playbook, which ought to give him a better opportunity to see the field when fall rolls around.
The depth at the receiver position makes this an intriguing spring for the Aggies. Kellen Mond will have to develop an even stronger rapport with his receivers by the time fall rolls around so seeing which athletes are able to improve this spring, as well as the chemistry Mond has with each guy, will be the big storylines this spring.