Texas A&M Football has announced several new hires on the offensive side of the ball. Among them is the Aggies’ new running backs coach Jay Graham
Any coach looking at the stable of running backs that Texas A&M boasts should be ready to coach some high level talent. Running backs Trayveon Williams and Kendall Bussey will look to increase the threat of the Aggie run game going forward.
This year, the Aggies managed 155 rushing yards per game, ranking 68th in the country (just behind Florida State). Much of the blame can be placed on the offensive line being young and rotating freely, but the rushers had several games where they were severely lacking.
Graham replaces former coach Clarence McKinney, who has yet to be announced elsewhere. McKinney is a good recruiter, having served as the Aggies Recruiting Coordinator in 2014. Personally, and I’m okay with speaking for all Aggies out there, I hope that Coach McKinney is able to find success (unless his new team plays the Aggies in the future).
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Jay Graham is a Tennessee alum, holding records as a Volunteer to this day. He played running back for the Vols, the Baltimore Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Montreal Alouettes as a rusher. Since he retired in 2003, he has coached at Tennessee, UT-Martin, Miami (OH), South Carolina, and Florida State before coming to Texas A&M.
He has had a lot of experience, but we’re going to look at his time at Florida State. Moving to Talahassee in 2013, he helped the Seminoles defeat the Auburn Tigers in the 2013 BCS Title Game. During that year, Graham was the position coach for future Atlanta Falcons runner Devonta Freeman.
The 2014 season saw him as the special teams coach, so we can safely ignore it, as it will not have an impact on his time in College Station. Graham combined both jobs in 2015, and was again the position coach of a future NFL talent. Running back Dalvin Cook ran for almost 1,700 yards in 2015, and the Seminoles had another 10 win season. Dalvin Cook managed another magical season in 2016, while under Graham’s tutelage, and was drafted 41st overall in the draft.
This past year, Florida State saw its fair share of struggles. But there was promise in the backfield, with Cam Akers turning heads all year long. It is not fair to say that players like Devonta Freeman, Dalvin Cook, and Cam Akers are all the results of coaching, but it is rare to see one person coach so much talent. He should be able to come into a pretty talented situation at Texas A&M and see some success. Hopefully, he can help the Aggies improve their rushing attack, since both Jimbo Fisher and new offensive coordinator Darell Dickey are heavily dependent on rushing attacks.