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Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Current and Future: Receivers, tight ends

By Sam Khan Jr.

As fall practice and the 2012 season approaches, GigEmNation will take a look at where the Aggies stand currently and in the future at each position group. Today, we glance at the receivers and tight ends.

Current
Starters: Mike Evans, Michael Lamothe, Kenric McNeal, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Ryan Swope


Texas A&M Aggies
Ryan Swope returns to the Aggies as one of the top receivers in A&M history.
The Aggies have plenty of experience across the starting group of receivers and tight ends, with all but one being seniors. Swope, a six-foot, 206-pound senior, is coming off an 89-catch, 1,207-yard season, the most productive in terms of catches and yards in school history. Fellow senior Nwachukwu was third on the team in catches (50) and receiving yards (639) last season and comes into the season with a streak of catches in 35 straight games. McNeal, also a senior, missed the final eight games because of an injury last season and finished with just eight receptions on the year. Evans redshirted but appears ready to contribute, bringing good size to the receiving corps (6-foot-5, 218). Lamothe is listed as the starter at tight end going into camp. He lined up at fullback and tight end last year and was honorable-mention All-Big 12.

Reserves/others of note: Nate Askew, Nehemiah Hicks, Sabian Holmes, Brandal Jackson, Thomas Johnson, Malcome Kennedy, Travis Labhart, Derel Walker, LeKendrick Williams

There's a good mix of guys with some game experience and young unprovens looking for bigger roles. Walker enrolled early and participated in spring football after spending last season at Trinity Valley Community College where he caught 44 passes for 864 yards and 10 touchdowns. He caught four passes for 26 yards in the Maroon-and-White spring game. Junior receiver Askew and senior Jackson bring some experience. Askew has played in 20 games and last season saw a little time at receiver (six catches) and on kickoff return duty. Jackson (eight catches) also saw some field time mostly as a backup but did start once. He has 35 games under his belt and eight starts but only two in the last two seasons. Williams will battle McNeal going into camp. The Houston/Sharpstown product is light on experience and small (5-foot-8, 170) but has plenty of speed. Kennedy, a redshirt sophomore, showed some ability, particularly in the spring game, catching a 63-yard touchdown from Jameill Showers. Hicks, a junior tight end, started seven games last year while playing in 12 and sharing starting duties. Holmes (Southlake, Texas/Carroll) and Johnson (Dallas/Skyline) are the two freshmen signees

Future: Quincy Adeboyejo, LaQuivionte Gonzalez, Derrick Griffin, Kyrion Parker, Jeremy Tabuyo

Griffin (Rosenberg, Texas/Terry), a 6-foot-6 dual-sport star, is the no. 1 tight end in the nation and 29th overall in the ESPN 150. The four-star recruit is also a talented basketball player and likely will play both sports at the next level. Though he remains committed to Texas A&M, he has said that he is listening to other schools and looking around, so it's not a foregone conclusion that he ends up in College Station. Gonzalez (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), who is 117th in the ESPN 150 and is the nation's 13th ranked athlete, likely fits in as a slot receiver in A&M's offense when he arrives. His high school teammate, Quincy Adeboyejo, brings good size (6-foot-2, 175) as does Manvel, Texas/Manvel product Kyrion Parker (6-foot-2, 192), a former LSU commitment. Tabuyo is a burner who can run a 40-yard dash in the 4.4-second range, which will fit well in Texas A&M's offense.