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Friday, January 4, 2013
Talking Aggies in the Cotton Bowl mailbag

By Sam Khan Jr.

GigEmNation's Sam Khan Jr. took questions from fans on Twitter for a mailbag in advance of today's AT&T Cotton Bowl clash between Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Here it is:

From Manziel Fan Club (@JFFootball2): Who do you think replaces EZ [Uzoma Nwachukwu] and Ryan Swope next year as starters. And [what will be] the role of Tra Carson and Brandon Williams next year?

Johnny Manziel
QB Johnny Manziel has had a whirlwind month since winning the Heisman Trophy.
Sam Khan Jr.: I think Malcome Kennedy's emergence throughout the season means he'll certainly be a candidate to take Swope's role next season. The Aggies have a ton of receivers coming in the current recruiting class but I think Kennedy has already proven that he deserves time on the field and as long as he continues to show progress in the spring, summer and fall camp, it should be his job to lose. As for Nwachukwu's spot, I imagine Sabian Holmes, Ed Pope and Derel Walker are all possibilities. They're all young and unproven but they all have ability. That could also be a spot where one of the new recruits has a chance to fight for a job, perhaps someone like Ja'Quay Williams or Ricky Seals-Jones. As for Carson and Williams, my guess would be that Williams steps into a role similar to what Christine Michael had this year as the secondary back and a guy who can go between the tackles or hit the outside. I expect Ben Malena will still be the starter next year. Williams has a ton of ability though and if he can hold on to the football, I could see him push for a decent amount of carries. He's an explosive player. Carson, with his big body, my guess is he could have a role as a short-yardage guy.

From Rusty Woolley (@RWoolley7780): Is Johnny Manziel still wearing a knee brace after the injury scare against Mizzou? Has he said if there are any lingering concerns?

Sam Khan Jr.: The knee doesn't seem to be an issue. Manziel didn't appear to have a knee brace on during the open-to-the-media portion of Sunday's practice (practices since then have been closed) and I haven't heard anything said about it. It wasn't deemed serious at the time and it shouldn't be a factor come game time.

From Brian (@vonderlic): Are there any Army All-Americans or Under Armour All-Americans that you expect to commit to A&M? I've read comments from people speculating.

Sam Khan Jr.: There are two Texas A&M targets announcing their commitments on Saturday during the U.S. Army All-American game: linebacker Mike Mitchell and receiver Tony Stevens. I expect Stevens to announce that he's heading to Texas A&M, while Mitchell appears Ohio State-bound. As for the Under Armour game, I don't expect anybody to announce during that game that they're going to Texas A&M but there is one Under Armour All-American, linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea, who is still being targeted by the Aggies. He said he won't announce until national signing day and it's a neck-and-neck race between UCLA and Texas A&M for his services, so the Aggies are certainly in a good position with him.

From Jaxson Howard (@SidekickToHero): Whats the latest on Derrick Griffin? Is he in or out? And do you think we pull Tony Stevens on Saturday?

Sam Khan Jr.: As we get closer to signing day, I think we'll have a better feel for what the future holds for Griffin. From what I hear, it still seems unlikely he'll qualify in the 2013 class. I think the fact that Texas A&M continued to recruit receivers when they have as many as they do is a sign of that. For instance, the fact that Stevens could join the class on Saturday at the Army game shows that they're stocking up and that could offset the loss of someone like Griffin. I'll never say never, but I think it's a long shot he makes it. And as for Stevens, yes, I think the Aggies do land him on Saturday. The commitment train continues to roll.