Texas A&M Football: Predicting Ainias Smith’s season statline for 2022

Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports
Ainias Smith, Texas A&M Football Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports /

One of Texas A&M football’s biggest weapons is going into his senior season, and he is primed to have a breakout year. This weapon is all-purpose player Ainias Smith.

The 5’10, 190-pound “wideback return man” is one of college football’s most dynamic playmakers and he could be on the verge of becoming a star. Smith has put together some solid seasons since coming into college.

As a freshman, he didn’t see a whole lot of production, but 22 receptions for 248 yards and three touchdowns is more than most freshmen. He saw an uptick in targets as a sophomore and hauled in 43 catches for 564 yards and six touchdowns. He also saw a lot of work in the run game as well, carrying the ball 49 times for 293 yards and four touchdowns.

Last season, it was up-and-down, and you couldn’t really blame it on him entirely. The Aggies did not stress the passing game last season at all, so his production stayed mostly the same, but he saw a big decrease of work as a running back.

However, this season will be different. Coach Jimbo Fisher has expressed all offseason that they want to make the passing game a more integral part of the offense. This opens up the potential for an explosive offense and a chance for Smith to really rise to stardom.

With that said, I am very high on what the swiss-army knife could do. He should be a primary target for the offense alongside freshman phenom Evan Stewart, and he can shoot his way into NFL scouts’ radars as well.

Predicting Texas A&M football’s Ainias Smith’s game-by-game statlines for 2022

Week 1 vs. SHSU: 3 catches, 88 receiving yards, 1 carry, 12 rushing yards
Week 2 vs. App. State: 7 catches, 131 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs, 2 carries, 22 rushing yards
Week 3 vs. #16 Miami: 5 catches, 76 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD
Week 4 vs. #19 Arkansas: 4 catches, 43 receiving yards, 3 carries, 33 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Week 5 @ MSU: 4 catches, 61 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 1 carry, 9 rushing yards
Week 6 @ #1 Alabama: 5 catches, 78 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 2 carries, 4 rushing yards
Week 7 @ SC: 6 catches, 99 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 3 carries, 17 rushing yards
Week 8 vs. #21 Ole Miss: 5 catches, 63 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 2 carries, 11 rushing yards
Week 9 vs. Florida: 5 catches, 81 receiving yards, 1 carry, 13 rushing yards
Week 10 @ Auburn: 8 catches, 133 receiving yards, 2 receiving TDs
Week 11 vs. UMASS: 6 catches, 87 receiving yards, 2 carries, 33 rushing yards, 1 rushing TD
Week 12 vs. LSU: 4 catches, 72 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 1 carry, 3 rushing yards

Smith’s season statline prediction: 62 catches, 1,014 receiving yards, 16.4 YPR, 10 receiving TDs, 18 carries, 157 rushing yards, 2 rushing TDs

To start, Smith should be highly involved right out of the gate. I expect him to tear up defenses over the course of the whole season, but especially up to the Alabama game at the least. In the game against Bama, I expect the Aggies to be playing from behind quite a bit, so I expect a lot of throws to come his way, whether he is open or not.

I don’t see Smith really having any sort of poor performance throughout the season. Playing from the slot, you get a lot of free releases and teams’ third best corners covering you, so I expect Smith to take advantage of that. This is especially considering that Evan Stewart will be on the field as well, garnering a lot of attention his way.

Overall, Smith should have a standout season. He can have a big impact through the air and on the ground. He could certainly contend for the Biletnikoff award, awarded to the nation’s best receiver as well. It will be interesting to see if they still allow Smith to return punts and kicks, but regardless, he will be heavily utilized in this Aggie offense.