Texas A&M Football: 5 reasons Aggies can contend in year one

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
2 of 6
Trayveon Williams
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Returning Starters

A&M returns 18 starters from a year ago. They get both quarterbacks who had starts, their offensive line group had nine different players earn starts (Koda Martin transferred to Syracuse to be with his Dad, who is a coach there, but there is plenty of experience remaining to replace their starting left tackle), they still have stud running back Trayveon Williams and a host of freshman and sophomore receivers who saw playing time in 2017.

Replacing Christian Kirk, who was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft, will be tough. A&M has plenty of talented players to do just that. Sumlin recruited the hell out of the wide receiver position.

It’s a similar story with the defense. They return all linebackers, their leading tackler, leading sacks man and leading tackles for loss guy. They lost Armani Watts, who was drafted in the third round, and that is definitely big. Watts was a four-year starter and emotional leader. Replacing him will not be easy, but there is no shortage of candidates for that, either.

Derrick Tucker earned his way into the starting lineup and was a beast despite being just 18 years old. His experience should carry over into a breakout 2018 season. A&M also gets fifth-year senior Donovan Wilson back, who missed all but the UCLA game last year with injury. Not to mention 2018 four-star safeties Leon Hall Jr. and Jordan Moore.

Fisher is inheriting a talented, experienced roster. If he can implement the new schemes quickly, watch out.