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Looking ahead: Texas A&M’s 3 most important newcomers for 2016

COURTESY OF TEXAS A&M ATHLETICS
COURTESY OF TEXAS A&M ATHLETICS

We continue our “New Guys” series by spotlighting the three most important newcomers for Texas A&M this season.

Texas A&M truly needs two newcomers, in particular, to come through. It’s not a stretch to say that duo could determine the course of the season.

Newcomers come in five categories: true freshmen, redshirt freshman, junior college transfers, graduate transfers and "regular" four-year transfers who are eligible after sitting out last season.

Here are Texas A&M's three most important newcomers.

3. LB Tyrel Dodson

Class: True freshman, from Franklin (Tenn.) Centennial
The skinny: At a position in desperate need of improvement, Dodson (6 feet 2, 235 pounds) could play a key role. The Aggies have a history of starting true freshmen at linebacker since Kevin Sumlin took over, and it would not be a surprise to see Dodson in the starting lineup early in 2016. While there might be more physically gifted new arrivals in College Station, Dodson – from the Nashville suburbs – works as hard as anyone. And there certainly is playing time available at linebacker.

RELATED: Texas A&M's most important game in 2016

2. RB Keith Ford

Class: Junior, transfer from Oklahoma
The skinny: Ford was a five-star recruit out of high school in the Houston area, but for a variety of reasons, including an injury, he started just three games in his two seasons in Norman. He left for A&M following the 2014 season, then sat out last season. Ford (5-11, 215) is expected to be A&M's feature back. Ford has more big-play potential than Tra Carson, last season's starter who ran for 1,165 yards as a senior. Ford also won't have as heavy a workload as Carson did last season; Carson had 242 carries, with the next-most being 55 for backup TB James White. While there are more options behind Ford, he still needs to produce at a high level.

RELATED: Sumlin: 'I like ... that people don't think we're worth a damn'

1. QB Trevor Knight

Class: Senior, graduate transfer from Oklahoma
The skinny: A&M needed stability at quarterback and Knight (6-1, 215), a quality individual with genuine leadership capabilities, fits that bill. Knight started at OU in 2014 before losing his job to Baker Mayfield last season. He lacked consistency when he started, but he certainly looks to have a good surrounding class, especially at wide receiver. New coordinator Noel Mazzone has a solid track record with quarterbacks, and if he can get consistency out of Knight, the Aggies will be in good shape. Indeed, a solid year from Knight – a San Antonio native – will help Aggies fans forget the two quarterbacks who left them high and dry after last season.

(You can follow Cavender Neutze on Twitter @neutz9)

© 2016, Cavender Neutze. All rights reserved.

© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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