Texas A&M football is 22 days away, and in the days leading up to the Aggie opener we’re answering the 50 biggest questions for the 2018 season.
Jimbo Fisher will be implementing a whole new offense as he takes over the Texas A&M football program. It will not rely on receivers as much as Kevin Sumlin’s air raid offense did.
Fisher will emphasize getting north and south, being physical, and using the run to set up the passing game. His passing offense is more traditional and doesn’t use a wide variety of route combinations, but it does try to switch up personnel and use a multitude of formations to keep defenses guessing.
Sumlin ran most of his offense with four wide receiver sets, so there were plenty of opportunities for the wide receivers to see the field. With the tight end being more involved now, and Fisher will even sometimes using two tight ends, wide receiver reps will come at a premium.
There are plenty of questions at wide receiver. Can Jhamon Ausbon dominate from the outside? Can Kendrick Rogers, Hezekiah Jones or Quartney Davis thrive in a No. 2 outside role? Last but not least, which inside guy between Camron Buckley and Roshauud Paul will be the go-to slot receiver for Texas A&M’s quarterback?
Looking at the statistics from last season, it would appear to be a close race. Buckley finished with 17 catches for 282 yards and three touchdowns, and Paul finished with 16 catches for 187 yards and no touchdowns. Slight advantage to Buckley.
However, if you look at their production game to game, it trends a little more in Buckley’s favor. Paul did most of his season damage in the seven catch, 129-yard performance against New Mexico. Buckley had six games of 20+ yards receiving. Paul only had the one.
Buckley has the size to play on the outside as well, but says the coaches have him all over the field so far in practice.
“As of right now, throughout practice I’ve been moving around.” he said, according to 247 Sports. “[I’ve been at] both outsides, slot. Wherever they need me, I’m going.”
Despite the numbers from a year ago, Paul seems like the more natural fit to take over for Christian Kirk as the slot receiver of choice. He is smaller, very shifty, and also had five special teams touchdowns in high school while also being his team’s quarterback as well.
At the end of the day, both of these guys proved they belong on the field as true freshman and are working their tails off to compete for snaps in practice.
Given that Buckley not only had the more consistent true freshman season, and that he had a better Spring Game than Paul (five catches for 65 yards and a score vs. four catches for 34 yards), he seems like the best man for the job right now.