Texas A&M Aggies: Tremaine Jacobs

Aggies again dip into junior college ranks 

December, 18, 2012
When it comes to junior college prospects, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has always been open to the idea of sprinkling a few into his recruiting classes.

He did so when he was the head coach at Houston and is continuing that trend at Texas A&M. While at Houston, the Cougars signed at least a pair of junior college prospects in each of Sumlin's final three signing classes.

Cameron Clear
Denzel Wright Juco tight end Cameron Clear could make an immediate impact for Texas A&M in 2013.
At Texas A&M, Sumlin closed out the 2012 class by picking up a pair -- cornerback Tremaine Jacobs and receiver Derel Walker -- and has three more committed in the 2013 class, with the possibility of acquiring one more. Wednesday marks the first day that mid-year junior college transfers can sign a national letter of intent and all three of the below names will be officially joining the Aggies then (*-denotes returning starter):

Cameron Clear | 6-6, 285, TE
Arizona Western College
Returning TEs: Nehemiah Hicks, Caleb Little, Daniel Inglett
Other committed TEs: Derrick Griffin
Where Clear might fit: Tight ends aren't used heavily in Sumlin's offense but they are used, whether it's in the running game or lining up next to the quarterback as the second back in a two-back set, which the Aggies used on occasion with Hicks and Michael Lamothe this year. There's a chance for Clear to come in and see the field quickly since Lamothe is graduating and Hicks is the only returnee that gained significant playing time on offense. Little saw action in three games while Inglett, a walk-on, saw action in two. Griffin is more of a receiver than a tight end when he arrives.

Kenny Flowers | 6-2, 228, OLB
Hutchinson Community College
Returning OLBs: Donnie Baggs, Steven Jenkins*, Michael Richardson, Jordan Richmond, Tyrone Taylor, Shaun Ward
Other committed OLBs: None
Where Flowers might fit: Jenkins is the only returning starter among the above names and Baggs made some forward strides this year, starting in place of Jenkins when he served a one-game suspension. Richardson appeared in nine games while Ward appeared in seven. There's plenty of competition for Flowers, but if he comes in and impresses, he can be in the mix.

Aggies young corners impressing

August, 24, 2012
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin's philosophy on personnel decisions is simple.

"The best players play," he said.

While that sounds logical enough (most coaches will echo that sentiment), it's part of a larger point Sumlin is trying to prove, that just because a player has been in the program longer than someone else, it doesn't automatically mean anyone has the upper hand. That can be seen throughout the Aggies' depth chart as they enter the 2012 season.

In other positions, young players are on the field not necessarily just because they are outplaying their older counterparts, but out of necessity.
[+] EnlargeDustin Harris and Terrance Williams
Patrick Green/Icon SMIDustin Harris is one of the few Aggies with game experience in the secondary.

"There's young guys there because we don't have anybody else,” Sumlin said. “Fortunately we recruited to that and we've thrown some guys into the fire."

One area where players are feeling that fire’s warmth is at cornerback. While the options are plentiful, the experience is not.

The two starting cornerbacks, true freshman De'Vante Harris and sophomore Deshazor Everett, have zero starts between them. Of the six core guys that will see time at corner -- Dustin Harris, Tremaine Jacobs, Floyd Raven and nickel corner Toney Hurd being the others -- only two (Harris and Hurd) have started a game before.

While they're light on experience, the coaches say they have plenty of talent.

"(De'Vante Harris) has had a really good camp," defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said. "You can tell he's from a football family, his dad (Rod Harris) being a football player here. Football makes sense to him. He's going to be a really good football player for us.

"Deshazor has really come along. There's a kid that can tackle and run. I've been very pleased with Deshazor as well."

Everett has received work at both cornerback and safety during fall camp. If injuries occur or the need arises, he'll be the first reserve option at safety behind veteran starters Steven Campbell and Steven Terrell.

Senior linebacker Sean Porter said that he has been impressed by the way the cornerbacks have battled throughout camp.

"That's a heavy battle," Porter said. "All of those guys out there are good. I don't really see a lot of difference in them. ... I think it's good. Competition is always healthy on a team like this. It just makes everybody better."

Terrell, a senior safety, said the secondary as a group made some mistakes early in fall camp but has cut them down since.

"I feel like we've made really big strides," Terrell said. "A lot of the mistakes we made at the beginning of camp, those are gone, especially with the young corners. ... They're doing a great job competing. That's what I really like the most: the way they've been competing and fighting to get reps with those ones and things like that. I think they've come a long way also. It's going to be good for us. I'm excited."

Defensive backs coach Marcel Yates said the group still has room to improve.

"Right now we're athletic," Yates said. "We still need to get better. They're just starting to get to the point where we're practicing hard. They still need to talk to each other. We need to get each other on the same page. The ones right now are getting pretty good. What I need, is I need the twos to push the ones. Once our twos start playing like ones, we'll be pretty good."

Despite the lack of starting experience in the group, Snyder suggested that the Aggies do have depth at the position and that all those core guys will see time on the field this fall.

"The only place that we really have some depth is at corner, because we have Floyd and some of those guys," Snyder said. "It's kind of hard to put them all on this (two-deep) sheet because we are a little bit deep."
Fall practice is nearing for the Texas A&M Aggies as they prepare for the 2012 season. The Aggies begin workouts on Friday, so let's take a glance at some of the key position battles on defense and special teams to keep an eye on in the coming weeks:

Cornerback: Deshazor Everett, Floyd Raven, Dustin Harris, Tremaine Jacobs

Everett and Raven are listed as the two starting corners going into camp. Both have good size (Raven is 6-foot-2, 190; Everett is six feet, 176) but both are light on experience. Each played a dozen games last season as true freshmen but neither has recorded a start in their career yet. For Harris, experience is a strength -- the senior has appeared in 38 games, including 17 starts and has been a significant contributor on special teams in the return game. Jacobs, a junior college transfer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College was able to enroll in January and go through spring football with the team. Also keep an eye on junior Toney Hurd. Though he's listed on the depth chart as a safety, he could fit in as a corner in nickel packages, a spot where Hurd saw some time in the spring. There's also the possibility that Everett could slide to safety if needed.

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