- Sam Khan, Texas A&M/SEC reporter
During the summer, in our Aggie Snapshot series, GigEmNation will take a closer look at returning starters and other key players on the two-deep for Texas A&M -- excluding the Aggies' 2013 recruiting class -- who could make notable impact this fall. Starting with No. 1 De'Vante Harris, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 95 Julien Obioha.
No. 4 Toney Hurd Jr.
Senior defensive back
Impact thus far: Hurd has seen his contributions increase incrementally each season since arriving. As a true freshman in 2010, he played in 12 games with a lot of special teams action, as a sophomore he started two games at safety and played in all 13 games, and last year he saw his biggest role yet. In 2012, Hurd started seven games and played in all 13 and saw playing time at both safety and nickel cornerback. He was fourth on the team in tackles with 67, had four tackles for loss, an interception, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery. His interception sealed Texas A&M's dramatic comeback victory at Mississippi, and he was a key piece to a secondary that had constant shifting last season.
Expectations for 2013: The defensive coaches will look to Hurd to emerge as a leader. Some teammates and coaches commented during the spring that Hurd showed those qualities during spring football, which is important considering that two of the Aggies' best leaders from last season -- linebackers Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart -- graduated. Hurd's role likely will be multiple in nature again -- expect to see him in the game on nickel packages at corner and lining up at safety when necessary.
Best-case scenario in 2013: Hurd develops into a team leader, plays every game, finds a significant role and time a starter and once again is among the top players on the team statistically in tackles and several other categories.
Worst-case scenario in 2013: Hurd winds up with a limited role, as the members of the starting secondary (De'Vante Harris, Deshazor Everett, Howard Matthews, Floyd Raven) establish a firm grip on their positions and newcomers fight for time, as well.
Future impact: During his time, Hurd has been a film rat. As a true student of the game, combined with his physical abilities, he has found ways to contribute since getting on campus, and that likely won't change this year. His positive attitude, talent and tendency to be vocal enable him to be a leader, which you'll likely see him become in his final season. Chances are, Hurd is in store for a strong season and "The Shark" movement will continue.
During the summer, in our Aggie Snapshot series, GigEmNation will take a closer look at returning starters and other key players on the two-deep for Texas A&M -- excluding the Aggies' 2013 recruiting class -- who could make notable impact this fall.