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Ten Things To Know: Week 1

Ennis At Practice: Of the players currently sitting out of spring practice, Kirby Ennis is probably far and away the most important to A&M’s success next season. Ennis, who Sumlin said last week was still suspended from the team, has been at practice and stretching with the team during warm-ups. It’s unclear what “suspension” really means for Ennis, but based on his presence at practice the odds look extremely good that he will be suiting up for the Aggies next fall.

It looks like Kirby Ennis will be back in the fold for the Aggies in the fall.

Richmond not at practice: There hasn’t been an official release or statement from Texas A&M’s coaching staff, but Jordan Richmond isn’t on the spring roster, and he hasn’t been at practice.

Ifedi at RG, for now: Redshirt freshman Germain Ifedi looks to have the early inside track for the starting right guard position. He’s been running with the first group this week at practice. However, it’s too early to count out Ben Compton completely.

Clear Impressive: They’ve only had one practice in pads, but already you can see the coaching staff’s excitement with Cameron Clear. We’ve already seen him lining up in the slot and working in the passing game, as well as lined up in the backfield. He brings a little more punch than Nehemiah Hicks blocking in the run game.

JaQuay’s Hands an Issue?: Obviously it’s extremely early, but JaQuay Williams has already dropped a couple of passes he should have been able to handle in team drills this week. With his athleticism and skill at the position he should be able to work into the starting lineup this spring, but if he’s going to beat out Derel Walker, or anyone else, he’s going to have to have more reliable hands.

Defensive Leadership: This spring is really a time for the defense to find some leaders in their ranks. So far we’ve seen Donnie Baggs and Howard Matthews really take hold of leadership roles on the field. As for emotional leaders who set the energy level like a Spencer Nealy last year, that person is probably Toney Hurd Jr. A&M knows they’re undermanned on defense, so having some guys take responsibility for helping everyone else get lined up and make the right play is going to be key.

Backs on Backs on Backs: Even without Trey Williams so far in spring practice you can tell that Clarence McKinney is extremely excited about what he has to work with in the run game. Brandon Williams and Tra Carson both look ready to go, and Ben Malena has been an exceptional leader of the offense. Oh yeah, and quarterback Johnny Manziel is the SEC’s top returning rusher.

Raven Impressing Early: Floyd Raven’s move to safety has been one of the more talked about topics of the offseason, and through the first week it seems like it’s a great decision. It might also be an obvious decision, because it’s not exactly like the Aggies have options there, but early reports out of practice are that the junior has been a factor in run support and in the passing game.

New Alexander: It’s also too early to call this a full turnaround, but we can definitely already tell there’s a little extra spring in the step of Brandon Alexander this time around. He’s working with the second team now behind Gavin Stansbury, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him push for the first team job by the end of the spring. It will be interesting to see what happens when Julien Obioha returns in the fall.

New Coaches: One underrated aspect of the spring isn’t just players learning their positions, but coaches figuring each other out. So far the coach we’ve seen the most of is linebackers coach Mark Hagen, who has no problem jumping into a drill and showing the players how to do it. We’ve heard nothing but positive reviews about Hagen, as well as new quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator Jake Spavital who seems to be hitting it off with Johnny Manziel. The one coach I’d like to see more from is Jeff Banks, but we haven’t seen much special teams work yet.

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