With all of the twists and turns of the offseason, it is safe to assume that Kevin Sumlin and the Texas A&M Aggies are ready to officially get their preparations underway for the upcoming 2016 season. Despite the tumultuous start to the offseason, the Aggies will actually enter camp with some momentum in their favor from recruiting this summer.
To mark the upcoming start of camp, Aggie Digest begins a preview series of the Aggies by position with a first look at the running backs at what questions they will have to answer leading up to the season.
The Aggies are not short on bodies or talent coming into camp this year but they are a little light on proven experience. The most tenured back in the stable for Sumlin, and more specifically running backs coach Clarence McKinney, is junior James White who seemed poised to have a breakout season last year before an injury in the season opening win over Arizona State basically hung around all year and his emergence never really got off the ground.
White has all of the measurable and intangibles the Aggies will need to be successful in the running game, he just needs to stay healthy and show what everyone has been bragging on him about since his arrival in College Station.
Regardless of how White is able to perform, in this day and age, one running back is never enough. The Aggies get the services of former 5-star rated, and Oklahoma Sooners running back Keith Ford after he sat out the 2015 season as part of the NCAA transfer rules. Ford was highly touted coming out of Houston’s Cypress Ranch High School and showed some early promise in Norman before electing to transfer out of the program.
In addition to both of these players who have the ability to help boost the Aggies running game the Aggies also have a roster sprinkled with some very talented but younger players hoping to stake their claim to some carries this fall.
Sophomore Kwame Etwi, who walked on to the Aggies has consistently seen himself getting meaningful carries as the Aggies have fought the injury bug last year. He will almost certainly take over the “human victory cigar” mantra vacated by the graduated Brice Dolezal.
In addition to Etwi, redshirt freshman Kendall Bussey is said to be fully healthy now after an injury late in his high school career slowed his availability once he arrived in College Station. He will look to show some of the skill set that had the Aggies fighting so hard to land his commitment, even after he committed to Tennessee during his senior year.
Finally, incoming freshman Trayveon Williams was impressive in the spring and although the Aggies have a solid stable of backs, he should definitely be able to contribute on special teams as he works towards meaningful touches for the Aggies. If the injuries have taught the Aggies anything over the last couple of seasons, Williams should continue working to be ready if and when his number is called.