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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Josh+Reynolds
Photo by Bryan Johnson
Josh Reynolds

Last fall was, for lack of a better term, a roller coaster ride for Aggie football and fans.
It started with Kenny Hill breaking Johnny Manziel’s single game passing record in a top 10 road win at South Carolina. Then a big time comeback in overtime to win in Arlington against Arkansas. A roller coaster always goes up, then comes down, and A&M came to a low in a 59-0 loss at Alabama. But to end the year, A&M upset playoff contender Auburn on the road and won their bowl game 45-37 in a shootout with West Virginia.
A&M returns with a good amount of players from 2014, including Liberty Bowl MVP quarterback Kyle Allen. Along with the returning starters, the Aggies garnered the 10th best recruiting class in the nation, according to Rivals.com.
“He’s really like a born leader,” said A&M receiver Josh Reynolds. “He took that position and ran with it.”
The Aggies return key starters from 2014, both on offense and on defense. The engine that makes the Aggies run in 2015, however, will be the seniors.
A&M has a senior class that has seen it all, from the beginning of the SEC to now. Not only is their experience valuable on the field, but it’s also helpful when having to mentor the younger guys in the locker room.
“I’ve been in a lot of bowl games so it’s easier to shed light to younger kids, especially incoming freshman and the young talent we have,” senior Julien Obioha said. “It’s easier to talk to them because they know that I’ve started a lot of games and have been in a lot of games. It’s easier to rally the troops when stuff goes bad because there have been plenty of games where until the final minutes we didn’t think we could win the game so it helps when stuff starts to not go our way so that we can regroup and do what we need to do.”
The 2015 SEC West is tougher than it has ever been. All seven teams in the division could very well make a bowl game, as they did last year. But this year, the division is even stronger than it was in 2014. Media members from around the SEC have predicted the Aggies to finish sixth in the division, but the players and coaches know from the past two years that pre-season predictions matter very little.
“Our first year in the SEC, we were picked last in the SEC West and we tied for second. Then last year, we were picked to finish pretty high and ended up being a little bit lower than we wanted to,” said senior punter Drew Kaser. “All that really does is show people’s opinions.”
Impact freshman
Kyler Murray:
The most successful quarterback in Texas high school football history follows in his dad’s footsteps to A&M. He is a dual-threat option who can create with his legs or his arm. Murray has potential to really open up the Aggie offense even more.
Daylon Mack:
2015 Under-Armour All-American from Gilmer comes to A&M and can make an immediate impact. The 6-1, 340 pound defensive tackle has speed and strength that will gave A&M solid depth along the defensive line.
Christian Kirk:
A&M gets another talented recruit from the Grand Canyon State. At wide receiver, he stands 5-11, 200 pounds, and has game changing potential. He joins an Aggie receiving corps that is one of the best in the country.
Justin Dunning:
His addition gives new defensive coordinator John Chavis a four star safety on the depth chart. He will probably see playing time his first year out, so he will get SEC experience very quickly.
Justin Evans:
While he is not a freshman, he was part of the 2015 recruiting class. He transferred from JUCO, and could start immediately at safety alongside sophomore Armani Watts.
Jay Bradford/Kendall Bussey:
The Aggies added two running backs to the roster and they got two very good ones. Bradford (Splendora) and Bussey (New Orleans, La./Newman) were four-star and three-star recruits, respectively. They both give A&M enormous depth in the backfield.
Final analysis
In 2015, one word describes Aggie football as we enter August: potential. A&M has the chance to do something very entertaining. A lot of young talent combined with experience of the older players makes for a locker room full of chemistry. If the Aggies stay consistent throughout the year, and a John Chavis/Kevin Sumlin combination can work together in harmony, the outcome should be successful.

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