Why Texas A&M has its best team since Johnny Manziel

My third stop on my road trip was to Texas A&M. This is the best the Aggies roster has looked top-to-bottom in a few years. No, there isn’t a Johnny Manziel or Mike Evans in College Station, but the receiving corps is much deeper and defensively the roster is a lot more stocked than it was in the Johnny Football days.

Sticking with the receivers, I’m told Speedy Noil has had a solid training camp so far. He’s always had freakish athletic talent, but has been held back by his off-field maturity issues. Maybe the the light has finally come on. Maybe. A&M already has a formidable top two in Christian Kirk and Josh Reynolds. Another WR to remember for down the road is Aaron Hansford, a true freshman with good size. The Aggies have a lot of experienced receivers but Hansford is one to keep in mind for 2017.

OU transfer Trevor Knight has been everything the Aggies could’ve hoped for, so far. Everyone there raves about his leadership and what he’s brought to the locker room. His temperament has been a welcome addition from the instability A&M has had with its young QBs. He’s also been very accurate and brings the threat of a good runner as well. Another quarterback that has the staff very excited is true freshman Nick Starkel, who has a powerful arm and been very sharp adapting to college.

OU transfer Trevor Knight will be the Aggies’ starting QB. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

One very pleasant surprise among their freshmen has been offensive guard Colton Prater who is tough and displayed nice feet and pushing hard for a starting job.

That said, the newcomer who may have created the biggest buzz is 245-pound freshman linebacker Tyrel Dodson. He’s built like a fifth-year senior and can really run, displaying some elite sideline-to-sideline burst for a big dude. He’s going to help a lot for a much-improved defense and be a force for John Chavis. The Aggies now have playmakers at all three levels of the defense. They have great edge-rushers, some size inside and more talent in the secondary than they’ve had since Kevin Sumlin has been in College Station. In Donovan Wilson, Justin Evans and Armani Watts, the Aggies have some excellent versatility and experience and seem light years from where they were a few years ago when they were getting shredded by Duke in the Peach Bowl.