Texas A&M Football: Transfer Portal Catch-Up + News & Notes

Aug 27, 2022; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Sam McCall (11) runs the ball against Duquesne Dukes defensive back CJ Barnes (13) during the first half at Doak S. Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Well, merry Christmas and happy New Year, everyone!  After some time off, I’m back with a catch-up article about what the Texas A&M football program has been up to in the transfer portal— and make no mistake, there’s been plenty of activity.

First and foremost, the Aggies made a huge addition with the commitment of former FSU DB Sam McCall.  This was one that wasn’t really on the radar for many Aggie fans and seemed to come out of nowhere, but is certainly a welcome development at a position of need.

McCall is a former top-50 player and saw limited playing time for the Seminoles this past year.  He is a versatile piece in the defensive backfield and very athletically gifted, as you would expect.  While not a shoo-in to start for the 2023 Texas A&M football team, he will be tough to keep off the field.

In less positive news, DL Anthony Lucas announced yesterday that he will be entering the transfer portal.  Lucas was a prized recruit out of Arizona and was a huge head-to-head win over Alabama for the Texas A&M football program.  Lucas is the final of the four suspended freshmen to announce his departure via the portal.

While Lucas spent the second half of the season suspended along with Chris Marshall, Denver Harris, and PJ Williams, it was thought that he had handled his business well and would have been able to make a return to the team had he wanted to.  With that in mind, I think it’s important to remember that just because a player is in the portal doesn’t mean they’re necessarily a definite departure. I would not be surprised if Jimbo and company make a hard run at keeping Lucas around.  As an early enrollee last year, he made an immediate impression in spring practice and had many insiders projecting him as having a huge impact on the future of the Texas A&M football program before injury and suspension derailed his freshman year.  This is one to keep an eye on, for sure.

The Texas A&M football program received some more great news as far as roster retention when senior DB Demani Richardson announced he would be utilizing his COVID eligibility to return to the team next year.

Richardson has had a knack for making huge plays in his time with the Aggies, including two of the most memorable plays from this previous year in the fumble returns against Arkansas and LSU.  His return makes it 9 out of 11 starters coming back for the Aggies this next year on the defensive side.  This is a huge win for Jimbo Fisher and his staff, convincing a guy who could’ve definitely headed to the pro level to come back and up his stock with one more year.

Ainias Smith is another player with a similar decision facing him and has yet to announce his future plans.  It certainly seems that his fellow returning players are pushing him to return, however, as evidenced by this tweet from Edgerrin Cooper:

Smith would be another huge addition not only on the field but off, as a veteran presence for what promises to be yet another young roster next year.  After this season was cut short for him following a major injury against Arkansas, I can’t help but feel that returning and showcasing his skills and versatility for another year as part of a premier program would help dispel doubts in the minds of NFL front offices.

Some quick notes on potential transfer portal targets and a few observations:

  • Charlotte WR Grant Dubose has withdrawn his name from the portal.  He seemed to be a target for the Aggies early on but began to lean Auburn before deciding against transferring.
  • Oklahoma State WR John Paul Richardson entered the portal.  Richardson is the son of former Aggie QB Bucky Richardson, and the Texas A&M football staff seems to have interest.  TCU is thought to be the other team in the running here.
  • Another couple of receivers the Aggies might take a look at are (another) OKST pass-catcher Bryson Washington and CJ Williams of USC, who both recently announced.
  • Can we talk about whatever’s going on at Oklahoma State vis-à-vis the transfer portal?  They’ve had a lot of contributors hop in recently (with 20 players overall entering), and it seems like no one is talking about it.  Whenever the Aggies have someone announce, however, people can’t wait to jump on it.  Maybe that’s just my viewpoint as a fan, but I’m not hearing any of the same rhetoric about the Cowboys as I do about the Aggies.
  • The addition of Sam McCall bodes well for the Aggies in the sense that it certainly seems as though the coaching staff is doing a lot behind the scenes.  No one was talking about McCall as a potential addition to this Texas A&M football team even right up until it happened.  I’d expect the staff to have a few more surprises up their sleeve in the same vein.
  • I’d love for the Aggies to take a look at another pair of DBs in Baylor’s Al Walcott and Arkansas’s Jalen Catalon.  Both were bigtime contributors for their respective programs and would be huge adds for the Aggies.
  • Linebacker continues to be a position where the Aggies need immediate impact players.  After missing out on Mason Cobb, there haven’t been a lot of names that have surfaced at that position through the portal; however, as I observed above, there could definitely be some stuff in the works that we just haven’t heard about yet.

That’s about it in the way of updates.  Now that the new year is here, I expect a flurry of action in the portal, recruiting, and (hopefully very soon) on the OC front.  Let me know what your thoughts are on the transfer portal for the Aggies thus far down below!