Texas A&M Football: Why Ainias Smith will thrive early in 2021

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /
Texas A&M Football
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M Football team got positives news this week when it was announced that Haynes King would be the team’s starting quarterback. While it was expected, it’ll be nice to know what to look for in the first week of the season.

Beyond King, however, there is a ripple effect of implications on this team caused by that announcement. One of the players most affected is Ainias Smith, the Aggies’ runningback-turned-wideout.

Smith is known for his versatility as a player. At 5’10” and 190 pounds, he’s small enough to be an extremely shifty player, allowing him to make plays in the slot and out of the backfield. In two years with Texas A&M so far, this has translated to 812 receiving yards and 347 rushing yards.

In 2021, he will likely shift to a more receiving-heavy role, as the emergence of Devon Achane, a similar runningback, all but guaranteed Smith’s position change this offseason. Still, we could see Smith take a few snaps in the backfield.

How the Texas A&M Football team’s announcement of Haynes King being the starter affects Ainias Smith

It may not seem outwardly obvious, but Smith’s impact on this team could go a long way in 2021. As things stand, Texas A&M will have a first-year quarterback taking snaps under a brand new center. Next to that brand-new center, you’ll have a pair of inexperienced guards. Long story short, the Aggies will have a new quarterback behind an offensive line with just a single returning starter.

Say what you want about Jimbo Fisher’s ability to develop a quarterback — we will not be seeing Haynes King launch deep balls very frequently in his first few games as the starter of the Texas A&M Football team.

The short passing game will be the Aggies’ friend this year, at least early in the season.

This bodes well for Smith, who is the ideal candidate to be a short-gain target. If he’s not receiving passes out of the backfield, he’ll be in the slot wreaking havoc on a defense that will be primarily focused on avoiding rushing gains from King.

The fact that King is such a threat on the ground will force opposing teams to pay extra attention, often dedicating a spy to contain him. 5-10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage, this will open up a whole new world of possibilities for the Aggies’ short-gain wideouts. Expect more than a handful of dump-offs and slant routes.

As a result, Smith will likely be one of King’s top targets this season. Between his versatility as a runner and wideout, he’ll be virtually unguardable. While opposing teams are distracted with deep threats like Caleb Chapman and red zone threats like Jalen Wydermyer, Smith will be good for more than a handful of chunk plays.

Next. 3 ways Haynes King will change the offense. dark

He’ll get the yards that opposing defenses don’t mind giving up.