Texas A&M Team News

Kevin Sumlin could have a few more believers by this time next week


If you or anyone you know sells maroon-colored Kool-Aid, you should have quite a market for it in College Station.

A week from now, everyone will get a full look at what Texas A&M is capable of when the Aggies play host to UCLA. While you can’t take whatever you see as gospel (take, for example, A&M vs. Arizona State in 2015), we’ll know a whole lot more than we do today, good or bad.

That said, following the final practice of fall camp, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin did share some insight into what fans should expect this season. He seems particularly pleased with those who will be carrying the ball.

"We feel comfortable with the top five backs," Sumlin said. "But there's three guys that have really put themselves at another level – James White, Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford. Those three guys have had really good falls, and we'll be in a position where we can rotate those guys in and feel good."

James White vs. South Carolina 2015

Kevin Sumlin seems pleased with his tailbacks, including James White (above). A&M relied too heavily on one tailback last season. TROY TAORMINA/USA TODAY SPORTS

If that coach-speak comes to fruition during the season, things could look a lot better at the running back position. Last year, Tra Carson carried the ball 242 times – a whopping 187 more than any other tailback. There was no changing it up, no fresh legs. It was all Carson, all the time.

Now, presumably, Sumlin and his staff are in a position where they can try different things and open up the playbook from a running perspective. As far as the pecking order among those backs, Sumlin knows who's in his starting lineup but hasn't been in a mood to share just yet.

When he does make the depth chart official, we can expect one of the starting linemen to be senior Jermaine Eluemunor. He spent last season as a reserve at guard but has moved out to tackle, a place Sumlin feels he'll excel.

"Jermaine has played really well this last week and having him out at tackle allows us to have two older guys, with Avery Gennesy on the other side, that can protect the passer," Sumlin said.

Eluemunor, who is a native of Great Britain, has only been playing football for a few years and still is figuring out the nuances of the game.

"(He's still learning) some of the things we take for granted. … It would be like us going to play cricket," Sumlin said. "I'd have no idea what to do."

While the offensive line will continue to be something of an unknown – and, thus, a concern – it at least sounds as if players have begun to emerge in critical places.

That has to be comforting for Sumlin. Without a strong group up front, the Aggies will finish the season where they are starting it – unranked.

In less than two weeks, that position in the polls could change. The Aggies could light it up for the third consecutive season opener and be off and running. While people won't be able to trust what they see fully in week one, an A&M win would give fans something tasty to digest.

On second thought, hold onto that Kool-Aid. In just a few more days, there could be a few thousand more Aggies looking for a sip.

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(You can follow Cavender Neutze on Twitter @neutz9)

© 2016, Cavender Neutze. All rights reserved.

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