The 2023 college football season is here before you know it, but before all that summer chaos and news dumps that will surely set you up for a highly entertaining campaign, spring football is already underway for almost every FBS program in the country around to preview what we can see from a lineup perspective ahead of the regular season.
For Texas A&M, the April 15 Maroon and White spring game will not only introduce a host of new talent from the underrated 2023 recruit class, but will also provide much-needed ribbons for assessing key areas on offense and defense while also identifying areas of weakness, particularly concerning the linebacker -Depth chart.
This week, ESPN writers Chris Low and Harry Lyles Jr. released their own comprehensive SEC spring football preview, which primarily lists Texas A&M’s biggest storyline and new players to watch from both the transfer portal and recruiting . That came as no surprise to their “top storyline,” as both agreed that second quarterback Conner Weigman’s first year as a full-time starter, combined with the return of wide receiver Ainias Smith and the hiring of Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator, made the led the discussion:
Nobody at College Station wants to go through what the Aggies went through a year ago. They finished 5-7, lost at home to Appalachian State, lost six straight games at one point and had a handful of their most desirable signers from the No. 1 signing class in 2022 who ran into trouble from the field and eventually left the program . So finding some solidarity and regaining their focus will be of paramount importance for the Aggies this spring. Talented quarterback Conner Weigman is back, and Texas A&M got a pleasant surprise when receiver Ainias Smith decided to return to school. What will the offense look like in 2023 after a terrible year last season? After naming his own plays in the past, Jimbo Fisher didn’t stop there this offseason. He brought in former Arkansas and Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino, one of the top playcallers in the business, and is handing him those responsibilities.
When discussing who will be the most influential ‘newcomer’ this season, Low and Lyles Jr. chose the transfer portal and recruitment route:
Texas A&M added what should be an instant cornerback help to the portal with North Carolina’s Tony Grimes, a former five-star recruit who has played for the Tar Heels for the past three seasons. And on offense, freshman running back Rueben Owens has the versatility and speed to fit perfectly into Petrino’s offense. Owens signed with Texas A&M after initially signing for Louisville.
After cornerback Myles Jones moved to Duke and cornerback Jaylon Jones left for the NFL, the addition of a veteran vet like Tony Grimes is as “plug and play” as you can get at this stage, and while the Aggies end up in backcourt A three-headed monster comprised of Amari Daniels, LeVeon Moss and 5-star 2023 recruit Reuben Owens, the freshman could become one of the more dynamic playmakers in his first season compared to his peers.
While the possibilities of what Bobby Petrino could bring to this offense are endless compared to DJ Durkin’s pivotal season up front on defense, head coach Jimbo Fisher has a lot to do, but a lot of tools in his belt to make the job happen Year 2023 done.
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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire