ESPN lists the “Top Storyline” heading into spring football for Texas A&M
The 2023 college football season will be here before you know it, but ahead of all the summer chaos and news dumps that will surely prepare you for what should be a highly entertaining campaign, Spring Football is already underway for nearly every FBS program in the country to preview what we may see from a lineup perspective ahead the regular season.
For Texas A&M, their April 15 Maroon and White spring game will not only introduce a host of new talent from the underrated 2023 recruiting class but also provide much-needed tape to in evaluating key areas on offense and defense while identifying weak spots, especially concerning the linebacker depth chart.
This week, ESPN writers Chris Low and Harry Lyles Jr. released their own comprehensive SEC spring football preview, most notably listing Texas A&M’s biggest storyline, and incoming players to watch from both the transfer portal and recruiting. For their “Top storyline”, no surprise as both agreed that now sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman’s first year as the full-time starter, combined with Wide receiver Ainias Smith’s return and Bobby Petrino’s hiring as offensive coordinator led the discussion:
Nobody in College Station wants to go through what the Aggies did a year ago. They finished 5-7, lost at home to Appalachian State, lost six straight games at one point and had a handful of their most coveted signees from the No. 1-ranked 2022 signing class get in trouble off the field and ultimately leave the program. So finding some solidarity and regaining their focus will be paramount for the Aggies this spring. Talented quarterback Conner Weigman is back, and Texas A&M got a pleasant surprise when receiver Ainias Smith decided to return to school. What will the offense look like in 2023 after a dreadful year last season? After calling his own plays in the past, Jimbo Fisher didn’t sit pat this offseason. He brought in former Arkansas and Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino, one of the best playcallers in the business, and is turning those duties over to him.
When discussing who will end up being the most impactful “newcomer” this season, Low and Lyles Jr. took the transfer portal and recruiting route with their choices:
Texas A&M added what should be immediate help at cornerback in the portal with the addition of North Carolina’s Tony Grimes, a former five-star recruit who played the past three seasons for the Tar Heels. And on offense, freshman running back Rueben Owens has the versatility and speed to fit perfectly into Petrino’s offense. Owens signed with Texas A&M after originally committing to Louisville.
After cornerback Myles Jones transferred to Duke and cornerback Jaylon Jones departed for the NFL, the addition of an experienced vet like Tony Grimes is as “plug and play” as you can get that this stage, and while the Aggies running back room could end up being a three-headed monster made up of Amari Daniels, LeVeon Moss, and 2023 5-Star recruit Reuben Owens, the freshman could end up being one of the more dynamic playmakers in his first season compared to his counterparts.
While the possibilities are endless for what Bobby Petrino could bring to this offense compared to D.J. Durkin’s make-or-break season heading the defense, Head coach Jimbo Fisher has a lot on his plate, yet a ton of tools in his belt to get the job done in 2023.
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