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

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

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

Sumlin’s best: The top-five players during his six years

Quarterback+Johnny+Manziel+runs+upfield+during+the+game+against+then+No.+1+Alabama+on+September+14%2C+2013.
Photo by FILE

Quarterback Johnny Manziel runs upfield during the game against then No. 1 Alabama on September 14, 2013.

With Kevin Sumlin’s tenure coming to an end, here is a ranking of the top five players to suit up in maroon and white during his time in Aggieland.
1. QB Johnny Manziel (2012 – 2014)
Johnny. Football. You can’t mention Kevin Sumlin’s time at A&M without thinking of the Heisman Trophy winner. Manziel was instrumental in the Aggies’ 2012 season, which wrapped up with an 11-2 record and a victory in the Cotton Bowl. Manziel led the Aggies to a 9-4 season in 2013 before darting for the NFL Draft. In just two seasons at A&M, Manziel racked up 7820 passing yards, 2,169 rushing yards and 93 total touchdowns.
2. DE Myles Garrett (2014 – 2016)
Simply put, Myles Garrett was a beast in maroon and was the first No. 1 Draft Pick in school history. Garrett came to College Station as the No. 2 overall prospect in the nation and didn’t waste any time jumping into action, breaking A&M’s freshman sack record of 5.5 in just six games. Garrett finished his freshman campaign with 11.5 sacks and 53 total tackles and was a consensus Freshman All-American. Garrett continued his immense success in his sophomore year, leading the SEC with 12 sacks and 57 total tackles. Though his junior season was plagued with injuries, Garrett still recorded 8.5 sacks and 32 total tackles. Garrett is remembered in Aggieland as one of the best defensive players in A&M’s history.
3. WR Mike Evans (2012 – 2014)
Mike Evans saw action in just two seasons as an Aggie, but in that time proved to be the best receiver Sumlin has coached. Evans shined his redshirt freshman year establishing himself as Johnny Manziel’s go-to receiver. Evans started in all 13 games and led the team with 82 catches and 1,105 yards, earning Freshman All-SEC honors. Evans progressed his sophomore season with 69 receptions for 1,394 yards. After the season, Evans earned the Biletnikoff Award, given to the best receiver in college football.
4. WR Christian Kirk (2015 – Present)
Kirk has been Mr. Reliable for the Aggies the past three seasons, catching at least two passes in all 38 of his games at A&M. During those three seasons in Aggieland, Kirk has accumulated 2,667 yards and 23 touchdowns. Additionally, Kirk has also been one of the most successful return men in the country, returning both kicks and punts for the Aggies each season. Kirk is averaging 22.1 yards per return on kickoffs and 22.8 yards per return on punts. Prior to this season, Kirk was named to the Preseason All-American team as both a wide receiver and a punt returner — a rare feat.
5. DB Armani Watts (2014 – Present)
Armani Watts came into A&M winning the starting safety job as a freshman and never looked back, playing in every game that season. It wasn’t until the 2015 season that Watts came into his own, leading the team with 126 tackles, one interception and two forced fumbles. Watts picked up where he left off in 2016, recording 56 tackles and two forced fumbles. Watts has continued his excellence this season with 87 total tackles and four interceptions thus far. After this season, Watts will likely be an early round Draft Pick.

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  • Defensive end Myles Garrett looks towards the sidelines during the season opener against UCLA in 2016. 

    Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel
  • Wide receiver Mike Evans finished his sophomore season with 69 receptions for 1,394 yards. Evans earned the Biletnikoff Award after the season, which is the award given to the best receiver in college football.

    Photo by FILE
  • Junior wide receiver Christian Kirk was caught at least two passes in all 38 of his games at Texas A&M.

    Photo by Photo by C. Morgan Engel
  • Senior safety Armani Watts walks out onto the field at Tiger Stadium for the Saturday night match up against LSU.

    Photo by Photo by Cassie Stricker
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