Here are the Top 5 incoming offensive transfers to watch out for during spring football

It may be early in the offseason, but Texas A&M’s spring football season is less than a month away, and all eyes will be on how new head coach Mike Elko and his impressive coaching staff will help the offense, especially quarterback Conner Weigman, take the next step in their development.

While Weigman is coming off his season-ending injury after just four games last season, it may take some time to readjust, meaning every offensive playmaker available, especially the veterans coming out of the transfer portal, must step up to make his help him reach his potential.

Gaining 22 experienced players from the portal this offseason, additions including wide receivers Cyrus Allen and Jabre Barber could be key contributors next season, with the chance to show out next month during the spring football period.

However, after Texas A&M’s horrific blocking last season directly resulted in multiple quarterback injuries, including Weigman’s, several newcomers in the trenches will also be players to watch next month.

Here are five offensive transfer portal players to look out for during the spring football period.

Kicker — Jared Zirkel

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Before you say anything, kickers matter more than you know. Last season, Texas A&M junior kicker Randy Bond hit 75% of his kicks, including 5-6 for 50+ yards, but was 4-10 from 40-49 yards.

While this is one of the toughest positions to scout for future success, elite leg strength combined with enough accuracy and mental toughness is the perfect combination, something former Georgia kicker Jared Zirkel possesses in spades.

As a kick-off specialist for his entire career in Athens (GA), sources have told me that while he will serve in the same capacity with the Aggies next season, stiff competition with Bond for the starting kicker job will likely last until early Fall.

Tight end — Tre Watson

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

With Max Wright (graduated) and Jake Johnson (transferred to North Carolina) out the door, Elko quickly looked for more help at the tight end position through the portal, gaining one of the top pass catchers in former Fresno State TE Tre Watson.

Coming off his best collegiate season yet, Watson recorded 378 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns, taking full advantage of his 6-5 245-pound frame against the smaller competition.

Taking a step up in the SEC, Watson, along with fellow tight end transfer Garrett Miller, joins Donovan Green and Theo Melin-Öhrstrom, providing a solid blend of in-line blocking and a mismatch ability in the passing game.

Offensive tackle — Derrick Graham

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Most of the Aggie’s starting offensive line, outside veteran right guard Layden Robinson (NFL Draft), will return next season. Still, due to last season’s collectively poor performance, new blood was needed to spur competition.

While the guard position is somewhat set, more depth is needed at both tackle spots, leading to Elko’s acquisition of former Troy offensive tackle Derrick Graham to join the Aggies back in December.

Standing at 6-4 and nearly 320 pounds, Graham showed off his freaky big man athleticism after scoring a touchdown against Duke in the Birmingham Bowl and comes in with multiple years of remaining eligibility with a chance to add immediate depth behind staring left tackle Trey Zuhn.

Wide receiver — Jabre Barber

Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M’s wide receiver depth took a massive hit after Evan Stewart announced his transfer plans, while Ainias Smith’s departure for the NFL Draft was not a surprise but hurt nonetheless.

Needing multiple additions to join Moose Muhammad III, Noah Thomas, Jahdae Walker, and Micah Tease next season, Elko, who likely watched his former team face off against Troy in the Birmingham Bowl, got a first-hand look at WR Jabre Barber, who transferred to the program in early January.

Looking like an immediate replacement for Smith in the slot on paper, Barber humorously recorded 999 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns, looking to finally go over 1,000 yards in a season for the first time in his career.

An excellent route runner, Barber’s toughness and resiliency should inject much-needed energy into a room that will need to step up immensely for the 2024 season to be considered a success.

Wide receiver — Cyrus Allen

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

You understand by now that wide receiver is a position of interest this offseason and may define the 2024 season if things go in a positive or negative direction. Already mentioning the key addition of Jabre Barber, former Louisiana Tech WR Cyrus Allen could be the answer to the Aggie’s explosive play deficiencies.

With Evan Stewart out the door, A&M’s roster lacked proven downfield threats outside of Moose Muhammad III, giving way to Cyrus Allen, who made his way to College Station in the nick of time.

In just two seasons in the Bayou, Allen recorded 68 receptions for 1,278 yards and eight touchdowns, including 778 yards last season. Standing at 6-0 and 177 pounds, Allen has played at the X, Z, and slot during his collegiate career, and nearly every one of his 4 touchdowns came on explosive passing plays, consistently outrunning coverage.

An excellent route runner with soft hands, Allen has a legitimate chance of earning a starting position this Fall, starting with a solid spring performance.

Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire