Texas A&M Football: Devon Achane will have a huge breakout 2022 season

Devon Achane, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Devon Achane, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the more negative pieces of news for the Texas A&M football team this offseason was that surrounding Isaiah Spiller, who declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. Once again, this wasn’t a huge surprise — Spiller has been one of the SEC’s elite runningbacks for three years now.

Still, this had huge implications for Texas A&M.

That said, nobody will necessarily be hitting the panic button in College Station quite yet. This is primarily due to the fact that the Aggies’ backup runningback in Devon Achane had been breathing down Spiller’s neck for the entire 2021 season.

Texas A&M Football RB Devon Achane is set for a breakout 2021 season

When I say that Devon Achane was “breathing down Isaiah Spiller’s neck,” I mean it purely from a statistical standpoint. In fact, the argument could be made that the two runningbacks formed the best 1-2 punch in college football.

But alas, Spiller is onto bigger and better things, leaving Achane alone in Jimbo Fisher’s backfield.

This, however, should be looked at as a potential upgrade, as Achane has shown more than a flash of talent in his two years in Aggieland thus far. In the past two seasons, Achane has put up one of the best yards per carry numbers in the nation. He currently sits at third in the country, trailing the frontrunner by just .06 yards.

Achane will get to put his yards per carry prowess on full display in 2022, as he’ll be the primary runningback on this football team. Here’s what Achane’s steady improvement has looked like in his first two seasons.

  • 2020 (Freshman): 43 attempts, 364 yards, 5 Total TD
  • 2021 (Sophomore): 130 attempts, 910 yards, 11 Total TD

While his efficiency technically dropped, it would be hard to expect a player to maintain his 8.5 yards per rush from his rookie season. Achane should be able to maintain close to 7.0 yards per rush though, which would give A&M one of the SEC’s best rushing attacks again.

With Achane as the primary rusher on this team, A&M’s rushing attack will become more one-dimensional. That said, Achane could put up video game numbers.

The last time the Aggies had a single primary runningback was Isaiah Spiller in 2020. In that season, he rushed the football 188 times in a shortened season. For the sake of this article, let’s assume Achane rushes over 200 times in 2022. If you multiply this by his yards per rush number from 2021, it would give the Aggie back close to 1500 yards on the year.

Next. LSU transfer Max Johnson's impact on A&M in 2022. dark

If this comes true, it’ll give Max Johnson, Haynes King, or Conner Weigman a much easier path to success as the team’s starting quarterback.