Texas A&M Football: Ainias Smith is the most versatile player in the SEC

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
Texas A&M Football
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas A&M has rebuilt its football program around having reliable players in each position. Nobody has stood out as a guy who will win national awards immediately, but there have been a handful of players who do their jobs and contribute to a team that could go all the way in 2021.

This year, things may be different.

While he may not stand out at any individual position, Aggies runningback-wide receiver hybrid Ainias Smith is poised for a monster season. After a year that saw him finish with nearly 1,000 yards from scrimmage between his two positions, Smith has the SEC on notice.

The Texas A&M Football’s swiss army knife will have a profound impact in 2021

Ainias Smith is a hard player to pin down. He isn’t a true wide receiver, but he excels in the slot. He can play great football at the runningback position but remains a player to watch during special teams. The guy can do it all, and it has shown up on the stat sheet.

In his first year on the roster in 2019, he was primarily a wide receiver playing in the slot, accumulating 248 yards in the air on over 11 yards per reception. He proved to be a reliable target who wasn’t expected to do much damage in his first season.

He’d build off of this in 2020, doubling his yardage and touchdown production with 564 yards and 6 touchdowns. But that wasn’t all that he would do. After an offseason position change, he was also well-equipped to be a runningback for a team that didn’t have an explosive player.

Even in a crowded room, he would find a way to excel, rushing for 6 yards per carry with 293 yards by the end of the season. Had this been a full season, his total yards from scrimmage would have likely been well over 1,000.

It’s unclear exactly where he will be playing in 2021, but it has been noted that he’ll be receiving spring reps with the wide receivers. That said, he could go either way, giving opposing teams more to think about before each matchup. That’s part of why he’s so threatening as a player — you can only prepare for him to such an extent.

In 2020, he was on the watch list for the Hornung Award, given to college football’s most versatile player, for the entirety of the season. In 2021, he’ll look to make a push for this award.

Next. Best, middle, and worst-case scenarios for Aggies in 2021. dark

In all likelihood, he will continue to progress in 2021 and show up as the SEC’s most versatile player.