Coming into the season, Texas A&M boasted one of the nation’s most talented and deep receiving corps. Now, the Aggies are beginning to wonder where the future of the position is headed.
Unfortunately for the Aggies, there aren’t many backups with quality experience to fill the voids. Texas A&M graduates its top target Josh Reynolds, along with other seniors Jeremy Tabuyo, Ed Pope and Boone Niederhofer. Sophomore Frank Iheanacho announced his intention to transfer following the Aggies’ bowl game and fellow sophomore Jamal Jeffery is expected to follow suit.
With all the departures, A&M’s second-leading returning receiver is to-be senior Damion Ratley who totaled just two receptions for 26 yards this season, ranking him 12th on the team in receiving – not a sight A&M wants to see.
That said, the Aggies must turn to a talented pool of redshirt freshmen and true freshmen to fill some shoes. Who exactly has the best chance to start out wide for the maroon and white next season, though?
For those currently on roster, four names jump out as potential replacements.
Kirk Merritt: The Oregon transfer will be a junior next season after sitting out in 2016 due to NCAA rules. Merritt has been said to have played a key role on the scout team while team while ineligible and will pose a versatile threat in the slot position alongside Kirk.
Quartney Davis: The freshman was in line to compete for a starting job and a spot in the rotation this year before tearing his ACL during summer workouts. He should contribute, though the only question will be if he is healthy.
Kendrick Rogers: The freshman didn’t see action this season as he sat behind arguably the deepest receiving corps in the country, but when his time comes, he should make an impact. At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Rogers has drawn comparisons to former Aggies great Mike Evans.
Clyde Chriss: A third freshman, Chriss also didn’t play this season, but some believe he may be the fastest wide receiver the Aggies have to offer and could pose a true downfield threat.
The Aggies also bring in a nice haul of receivers in their 2017 recruiting class, with four-stars Jhamon Ausbon and Hezekiah Jones, along with three-stars Camron Buckley and Roshauud Paul. Ausbon, Buckley and Paul all are expected to come as early enrollees.
Texas A&M may have talent, but it is still unknown how well the newcomers will perform when they will undoubtedly be forced onto the big stage. Following Noil’s decision to turn pro, however, Kirk stated via Twitter that he was ready to take charge as the captain of the receiving unit moving forward.
With a new starting quarterback taking the reins next season as well, the Aggies offense will have an entirely different look. Fortunately for Texas A&M, its young crop of wideouts don’t lack in talent.
(You can follow Alex Miller on Twitter @AlexMill20)
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.