As first reported by Travis L. Brown, one of Texas A&M football’s most versatile weapons in Ainias Smith announced his intention today to return to school for his super senior season.
Smith’s announcement provides a much-needed shot in the arm for a position group in wide receiver that suffered a lot of attrition during the transfer portal period, losing several depth players. Smith, of course, can play both WR and RB (and probably every other position on the field outside of OL and DL, to be honest). His versatility and leadership were sorely missed for the 2022 Texas A&M football squad after his season-ending injury against Arkansas.
You have to think that new Texas A&M offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino, in particular, is hugely excited at this news. Smith’s capabilities open up so many options for an offense— thinking in particular of something like the 2020 Auburn game, where Smith was able to go from his wide receiver position to playing at fullback, letting the Aggies go from 12 personnel to an I-formation power run game without allowing the Tigers to substitute. Concepts like that are just the tip of the iceberg with a talent like Smith.
Ainias was the leading receiver for Texas A&M football at the time his season was cut short, and one of the leading receivers in the whole conference. He seemed poised for a breakout season after a huge first game. Of course, his production dipped a bit after that against App State—as did the entire offense’s—but he, along with Devon Achane, comprised pretty much the entirety of the Aggie offense against Miami. He was beginning to catch fire against Arkansas as well—converting a 3rd-and-super-long by himself—when the injury occurred.
Not only is this a huge boon for the Texas A&M football program, this is also the right decision for Smith. Another year in school will provide him with an opportunity to showcase his skills in what will doubtless be a much-improved offensive unit. You can bet he will be one of the premier talents in the SEC, and therefore the nation, and will have the attention of scouts around the league. Welcome back, Ainias!