Sunday, August 12, 2012

Aggie practice report: offensive line holds key

After observing the New Mexico State University football team through a week of August practices, an important factor stands out above all else.

The development, and play, of the Aggie offensive line will play a critical role in the team's season (of course, when does it not?).

But when considering the belief here is the Aggie defense will be improved in 2012; And that, in turn, NMSU must perform at a similar level offensively from a season ago to achieve its goals; then it comes back to controlling the line of scrimmage.

Yes, I think the Aggie quarterback position is OK again — Andrew Manley looks to be the No. 1 guy, although I also like what I see from junior college transfer Andrew McDonald, and sophomore Travaughn Colwell continues to improve. Heck, even walk-on QB Nick Carey looks good to me during August.

The team has four running backs — Robert Clay, Tiger Powell, Akeelie Mustafa, and Germi Morrison — competing for time during fall camp.

I believe NMSU is OK at wide receiver if their starting two — Austin Franklin and Kemonte Bateman — stay healthy and on the field throughout the season.

And these pieces will fit if the line can provide time for the QB, and open holes in the running game.

The team is set at left tackle with Davonte Wallace (a third-year starter as a junior, and a perennial All-WAC player in 2012).

At guard, there's Andrew Kersten (a returning starter from a season ago), and Andy Cunningham (red-shirt freshman with potential to get the job done).

Center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke started last year as a freshman, and can hold his own at his position.

And at right tackle, Dada Richards is getting snaps, along with Faison McKinnis (this position has to come around, and could be the unit's biggest question area at this point).

No injuries can be suffered along the offensive front, and I do believe the unit has its work cut out for it going into the 2012 campaign. It's play could very well be the biggest key for the offense, and this year's Aggie football team.


Speaking of injuries, the Aggies really can't afford to lose anyone (like any other year, for that matter).


Again, the quarterback position looks good to me again for the second-straight year.

If Manley missed any time, I believe McDonald could fill in fine.

Colwell continues to make strides and Carey's got good size (6-foot-3, 210 pounds).


A player who looked good during Saturday's practice session was second-year wide receiver Jerrel Brown.

Brown was a walk-on player last year and showed flashes, taking the field against San Jose State and scoring a touchdown against UNM.

This offseason Brown — listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds — was was awarded a scholarship, and from the looks of things on Saturday, could develop into a No. 3 wideout behind Franklin and Bateman.


Click on links to read stories:

Aggies have a camp competition at running back

NMSU's front-seven looks to be strength of defense

Follow me on Twitter @TeddyFeinberg


Anonymous said...

WR's: What about Coach Walker's son? Is he in the mix to get some playing time? After all, he played for Oregon St.

What's the point in having a blog if your gonna update the comments every 3-4 days?

IndyAg said...

Couldn't agree more about the O-Line. If they can hold up their end of the bargain, it feels like the Offense can produce similar numbers as last season.

As for Jerel Brown, that's exactly what I like to hear. I thought he showed flashes of being a quality receiver last season, but just wasn't as consistent (which Freshmen rarely are). In fact, the consistency is what excited me the most about Franklin. And, as the previous poster pointed out, if Kevan Walker can contribute as well, that's a pretty good start to a receiving corp. My question is, who has the ablity to stretch the field like Rogers did for us last season? Also, if we can get the TE's involved, it would be a big boost to the offensive production as well.

Can't wait for the season!


Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

I noticed Jerel Brown seems to have taken Kevan Walker's place and Adam Shapiro is now in Brown's spot. No sign of Walker??? What's up?

Anonymous said...

So are we going to see a 2 TE set or just single?

We seem to have a good TE in Kaka and Walls.

Also, any word if Ramondo will be allowed to suit up this season? He sure would help.

Teddy said...

Kevan Walker has an injured knee that he is going to try and play on this season, although he has not been practicing with the team.

As for the two tight ends, I don't see how the Aggies don't run it considering they recruited to the position. With that being said, Kaka is on a mormon mission — look for it to be Walls and Perris Scoggins.

NMSU is still waiting word on Ramondo, but if he is granted a hardship waiver and is able to play immediately it would obviously be a big boost to for the Aggies. He is practicing with the team. We're talking about a defensive lineman who was originally granted a scholarship to a BCS school in Michigan State.