Texas A&M football: 6 people to watch against Northwestern State

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) /

1. Keaton Sutherland

In recent memory, it’s been the Maroon Goons that have led the Aggies to have such an explosive offense. Guys like Luke Joekel, Jake Matthews, and Germain Ifedi are just a few names that did so well on the o-line. Now the Aggie o-line is in sort of a rebuild mode.

There are new, younger faces with a lot of ground to cover and little time to get there. Next Saturday, the Aggies face a Clemson defensive line that is projected to all go in the first round — seriously.

What the offensive line needs is experience, coaching, and leadership. Experience will only happen with time and they have the coaching staff they need to succeed. Who then will provide the leadership? The answer is the only starting senior for the Aggies’ o-line, Keaton Sutherland.

The Flower Mound, Texas native returns for his fourth year of football and this year he’s made some changes and ready to lead this Aggie line back to prominence. After making the transition from right guard to left guard, he feels he’s found his home. But finding his home wasn’t the main issue this year.

Something that Coach Fisher has really been pushing is toughness. The Aggies lost some of that dog in them recently and have yet to get it back. According to the video above, Sutherland has made it his mission to bring that fight back to Kyle Field. Sutherland admits to being soft and only a decent player. He now says he “expect(s) a change in mentality,” and that he expects himself, “to be a lot more physical just all the time… bring a different mentality of toughness onto the field.”

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Toughness is something that Jimbo’s offensive scheme requires. There’s no way around it. With an explosive back like Trayveon Williams, they’d be foolish not to try and run it down everyone’s throat. A run blocking o-line is a tough o-line. Look for Sutherland lead the young position group this season and to bring the intensity back to big boys up front.

***Data from Texags.com, oddsshark.com,  247sports.com and nsudemons.com***