Texas A&M Football: Who will start opposite of Evan Stewart in 2022?

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

A position battle that hasn’t been talked about much for Texas A&M football is at the wide receiver position. Two of the three spots are locked up by budding star Ainias Smith and freshman phenom Evan Stewart, however, the third spot could still be up for grabs.

The Aggies have a lot of options for the third spot. Chase Lane and Jalen Preston are upperclassmen who more than likely have the upper hand in the battle. Moose Muhammed and Yulkeith Brown are dark horses that could potentially make a case to start. There are also two more freshmen in Chris Marshall and Noah Thomas who have looked good in camp.

With Ainias Smith being a starter, he will more than likely play primarily in the slot, so what we are looking for is an outside receiver to play opposite of Stewart. Since that is the case, Muhammed and Brown are on the outside looking in because they also primarily work in the slot. They will most likely rotate in when Smith lines up wide or when he needs a break.

Marshall and Thomas both come in as high four-star recruits, however, their builds more than likely will require them to avoid taking majority of the snaps. I doubt they compete for starting reps, at least immediately, but they will certainly rotate in in games out of reach.

That leaves Lane and Preston. It could be a more even split than expected, but Lane seems to be the leader for the third starting spot. He has had more targets thus far in his career and handled starting duties during the first three weeks before an injury.

Lane has looked really good in camp so far and has taken the majority of the first-team snaps. He’s ran with the first-team offense during scrimmages and has looked sharp in his routes and been consistently catching the ball. Preston hasn’t shown enough in camp to warrant starting snaps, but he will most likely be the next man up on the outside.

Assuming he does win the WR3 job, Lane will provide a good veteran presence to pair with the rookie opposite of him. He will do a great job of creating separation and giving whoever is at quarterback a reliable target on the sidelines.