With much buzz from the fanbase, and National Signing Day right around the corner, lets discuss true freshmen and how much we can expect out of first-year players.
Lets take a look back at the last handful of years for Aggie football, and which true freshmen made positive impacts on the team.
The biggest, I can recall, was Davon House, who started the second half of the 2007 season at cornerback. He finished the season with 37 tackles, four interceptions, eight pass breakups and a memorable 100-plus yard touchdown return against the University of Idaho.
In 2008, defensive ends Pierre Fils and Dante Savage saw their playing time increase as the season went along.
In 2006, Joseph Palmer received playing time on the offensive line and Tonny Glynn started two games at running back after moving over from DB.
In 2005, wide receiver A.J. Harris made 39 grabs for 448 yards and four touchdowns.
Defensive end/linebacker Michael Brewer made 29 tackles in 2004.
It's not unusual for freshmen to be worked into the lineup slowly, gradually fed the playbook and, over time, grow into their role. Which of the recruiting class this year might be asked to step in and take the field fairly early on?
I think that two linebackers who have verbally committed — Anthony Joyner and Dylan Davis — will get a shot to play right off the bat. The linebacking unit is wide open and I would think fresh recruits would have an opportunity to make an impact.
What about at quarterback? I think this would also be a position with no real frontrunners to win the job and open competition taking place in camp. Jeff Fleming and Trevor Walls both played last year while Tanner Rust redshirted. That, and some first-year players are expected to be at camp as well — namely Andrew Manley. But who knows what new offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar likes in a quarterback? Again, I would expect an open competition at this position.
Pieces are expected to be added along the offensive line and some newcomers could get some looks. I'm not sure if that will include true freshman Davonte Wallace.
In the secondary, I would expect last year's starters to enter camp as the frontrunners, with prospects Charles Garrett and Darien Johnson being groomed for the future. There's depth at this position.
Johnson was a standout kick returner in high school. Special teams is an option for true freshmen to step in right away and flash their ability.