Thursday, June 27, 2013
Aggie Snapshot: LB Donnie Baggs
By Sam Khan Jr.
During the summer, 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 -- that could make notable impact this fall in our Aggie Snapshot series. Starting with No. 1 De'Vante Harris, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 95 Julien Obioha.
From No. 1 De'Vante Harris to No. 95 Julien Obioha, GigEmNation is evaluating the Texas A&M two-deep numerically. View the entire Aggie Snapshot series.
Impact thus far: Baggs played 10 games as a true freshman but became a valuable reserve in 2012, playing in 12 of 13 games including starting one at weakside linebacker. He finished the season with 27 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception, two pass breakups, and two quarterback hurries. During the spring, Baggs began to emerge as one of the leaders on defense.
Expectations for 2013: After spending last season working as an outside linebacker, Baggs made the transition to middle linebacker this spring. With starter Jonathan Stewart having graduated, there's a void to be filled and Baggs is tabbed as the guy to do it. The Aggies are expecting him to be a key cog in the front seven, because of his responsibility and the fact that he's a veteran in a in a young, mostly new front-seven.
Best-case scenario in 2013: Baggs adapts quickly to his new position, is consistently productive and an effective leader and becomes a playmaker for the Aggies in 2013.
Worst-case scenario in 2013: Added responsibilities of playing middle linebacker, including making calls and getting his teammates lined up correctly, become tough to juggle and hinder Baggs' play. Also his size (6-foot-1, 230 pounds) which is smaller than some SEC inside linebackers, makes the transition tough as well.
Future impact: Getting a chance to start a game and play regularly last season is going to go a long way toward helping Baggs this fall and next. Look for him to really grow into his new role this season and become a true leader for the Aggies' front seven for the next two seasons.