When talking about the Texas A&M Football team, you will not hear the word “underrated” thrown around much. Outside of the offensive line, this is an experienced group of players who, if they haven’t started, have played significant time.
At the center of the experience is the Aggies’ receiving corps, consisting of some of the best receiving talent in the country. Specifically, Texas A&M’s leading returning receiver in Ainias Smith may not even be the best pass-catcher on the roster. He may not even be top-3. That’s not a knock at him, either. Instead, a testament to how much talent Jimbo Fisher has at his disposal.
A relative down-year in 2020 will give the Texas A&M Football team’s wide receivers motivation in 2021
A couple of reasons are contributing to the fact that Texas A&M has an extremely underrated wide receiving corps. For starters, A&M’s 234.3 receiving yards per game lands them near the middle of the pack in college football. Specifically, TAMU was ranked 58th in that category.
Fortunately for them, this was through little fault of their own — the Aggies lost their top returning receiver due to a COVID-19-related opt-out when Jhamon Ausbon decided to forego the 2020 season. They would then lose the player who looked like he would become Kellen Mond’s top target in Caleb Chapman when he went down with a knee injury — his second in three years.
Because of this, a handful of unexpected guys stepped up as receivers, including Chase Lane and Ainias Smith, the two of whom made up over half of this team’s yardage total through the air last season. Fast forward to 2021 and neither of these guys will be Haynes King’s (or Zach Calzada’s) number one target.
Instead, that’ll likely come down to either Chapman, who will be returning from injury at 100%, or Jalen Wydermyer, a projected first-round pick tight end in the 2022 NFL Draft. These two guys combined for over 700 receiving yards even though Chapman only played in three contests.
Oh, did I mention the Aggies have a former 5-star beast of a pass-catcher waiting for an opportunity to play in sophomore Demond Demas?
Demas didn’t get playing time in 2020 as he adjusted to a more complex system. If you watch his highlights, you’ll wonder why Jimbo Fisher didn’t just throw him on the field and say “go long.” I can say with sheer confidence that there isn’t a single college football player on the defensive side of the ball who can match his size, speed, and lateral quickness.
In all, this team returns over 2,000 yards of production from the wide receiver spot, and the squad’s best pass-catchers hardly contributed to that. Teams may spend their time preparing for Wydermyer and Smith, but they’re going to get a lot more to deal with than that.
It’s hard to see a world where this unit doesn’t lead the SEC in receiving yards.