Alabama v. Texas A&M: Five Aggies to Watch
The Alabama Crimson Tide travels to College Station this weekend to take on the Texas A&M Aggies in a battle of SEC West rivals. The Tide and the Aggies have a brief history, having only competed in 13 games over the years, with most of the games occurring since Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012. In 13 meetings, A&M has only been victorious twice against Bama, with one win coming during their inaugural season in the SEC in 2012.
Texas A&M have had their fair share of talented players to come through College Station in the past and this year is no different. Despite being on a two-game losing streak, their roster boasts some of the best players in the country. Let's take a look at five players to keep an eye on this weekend and for the rest of the season.
1) LG #55 Kenyon Green
Kenyon Green is one of the country's top interior offensive lineman and potentially a top 10 pick in next year's draft. Green is a 6-foot-4 325 lb. junior offensive guard out of Humble, TX. The former high school offensive tackle has shown the ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line. He started at right guard in his freshman season and is now playing on the left side. He combines intelligence, toughness, power and quick feet, for a man of his stature, to move defenders. Phidarian Mathis, Tim Smith, and the other Alabama defensive lineman will have the tough task of shedding his blocks in pursuit of the Texas A&M ball carriers.
2) DL #8 DeMarvin Leal
DeMarvin Leal, similar to Green, is also a top player at his position. Standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing in at 290 lbs., Leal has been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks this season. He has four and half sacks and 22 tackles through five games for the Aggies. The junior defensive lineman from San Antonio,TX has been an impact player for the Aggies since arriving in College Station, playing all 13 games as a freshman and starting in seven of them. He's looking every bit of the top 10 pick most preseason mock drafts have him penned in as.
3) RB #28 Isaiah Spiller
Isaiah Spiller is yet another member of a very talented 2019 Texas A&M recruiting class. In Spiller's first two seasons as an Aggie, he rushed for at least 900 yards and is on pace to do it again this year. Spiller currently has 445 yards on 68 carries and two touchdowns through five games. The junior running back is a big, physical back that stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 215 lbs., but don't let his size fool you. Spiller is very fast, has big play ability and is a receiving threat out of the backfield. Along with Green and Leal, Spiller is looking like a first round pick in next year's draft as well.
4) TE #85 Jalen Wydermyer
Jalen Wydermyer may be the player Alabama's defense fears the most. The junior tight end is a 6-foot-5 255 lb. monster who frequently beats teams over the middle. Despite being one of the top at his position, he currently has only 15 catches for 176 yards and just one touchdown through five games. His lack of production could be linked to instability at the quarterback position; however, with starter Haynes King suffering a fractured leg and his replacement, Zach Calzada, being very inexperienced. Wydermeyer caught six touchdowns passes in both of his first two seasons at Texas A&M, and most draft experts have him touted as the best TE in the 2022 Draft class.
5) WR #0 Ainias Smith
Ainias Smith is another one of the Aggies' top playmakers on offense. Texas A&M involves him in a multitude of ways. Smith currently has 20 receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns this year, but is also a serious rushing threat. Texas A&M frequently hands the ball off to him, and in three years, the junior has 61 carries for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Smith is also a big play waiting to happen in the return game; this season he has 15 returns for 218 yards. Though his jersey may say so, he is certainly not a zero on the field.
Texas A&M's 3-2 record does not define the talent they have on their roster. The Aggies are one of the more talented teams in the country; their defense includes two safeties that will likely play on Sundays in the future, while their offense has a young quarterback who only get better with time. Aggie talent will be on full display as they take on the Crimson Tide this Saturday at College Station, with Alabama looking to improve to 6-0.