Sunday, January 6, 2013
Texas A&M 10: Post-Cotton Bowl
By Sam Khan Jr.
Johnny Manziel was the clear leader for Texas A&M this season.
Each week this season, GigEmNation ranked Texas A&M's top 10 performers of the season. After the Aggies' dominating 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, here's a look at who we think shined brightest throughout the entire year:
1. QB Johnny Manziel
The redshirt freshman quarterback not only won the Heisman Trophy, but followed it up with a terrific performance in the Cotton Bowl, setting the bowl's record for total yards (516). He finished the year 5,116 total yards and 47 touchdowns.
2. LT Luke Joeckel
The junior won the Outland Trophy, which is given annually to the nation's top interior lineman. He was a stalwart in pass protection and run blocking all season long and could be a top-five pick in the 2013 NFL draft if he decides to enter early.
3. DE Damontre Moore The junior had five tackles, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry in the Cotton Bowl. He led the team in tackles with 85, tied for fifth nationally in tackles for loss (21.5) and tied for ninth in sacks (12.5).
4. RT Jake Matthews
The junior was dominant on the right side of the offensive line and was a first-team All-SEC pick. Should Matthews also declare for the draft, he's a likely high first-round pick.
5. WR Mike Evans The redshirt freshman caught seven passes for 83 yards and finished the season leading the team in catches (82) and receiving yards (1,105). He finished with five touchdown catches and is the third receiver in Texas A&M history to record 1,000 receiving yards in a season.
6. WR Ryan Swope
The senior closed out his Texas A&M career by catching eight passes for 104 yards and a 33-yard touchdown. For the season, Swope finished with 72 catches for 913 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns.
7. LB Sean Porter
The senior was one of the team's leaders all year long and was a playmaker. In the Cotton Bowl, he recorded six tackles and a sack. He finished the year with 66 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, five pass breakups, three quarterback hurries a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
8. C Patrick Lewis
The senior started all 13 games and was an unsung hero for the offensive line, handling all the protection calls for his young quarterback, helped the Aggies keep the tempo high and executing snaps flawlessly, while also doing a good job of blocking.
9. LB Steven Jenkins
The junior recorded eight tackles and a half-tackle for loss in the Cotton Bowl. The hard-hitting linebacker finished the year third on the team in tackles with 78 and added 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and two fumble recoveries.
10(tie). DT Spencer Nealy
The senior did the dirty work and brought a consistent effort to the interior defensive line, taking on double-teams every week and performing well after making the move from defensive end. In the Cotton Bowl he had five tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss and for the season he tallied 42 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss and two sacks, three pass breakups and two quarterback hurries.
10(tie). CB/RS Dustin Harris
The senior was named the defensive MVP of the Cotton Bowl, recording a team-high 10 tackles and an interception, plus a pass breakup. For the season, he had a team-high 11 pass breakups, an interception, 49 tackles and finished 14th nationally in yards per punt return (12.7).