January 8, 2010

Offseason Outlook: Can the OL get better?

Texas A&M loses three starters off its offensive line from 2009, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the line is better in 2010. That's because the Aggies have talent at tackle for the first time in a long time, and if one or two in the incoming recruiting class, which could be one of the best in A&M history, can step up then the Aggies could finally have a lot of talent manning the trenches.

But it will definitely be young, which will equate into some unavoidable growing pains. And that's where this offseason come into play.

This season, the Aggie line overachieved with senior Michael Shumard moving back to left tackle after a musical chairs at the position and Lee Grimes having his best season of his career, and not coincidentally his most healthy year of his time in Aggieland. True freshman Patrick Lewis stepped in and proved to be a star of the future as he earned first-team Freshman All-Big 12. Meanwhile, sophomore Evan Eike stepped in and surprised everyone with a much improved year from a season ago.

Eike and Lewis return along with season-opening starting guard Matt Allen in the middle. The question, however, is where the three will play and if anyone else will figure into the equation. One who was thought to fight for time in 2010 would be redshirt freshman Clint Naron, but shoulder surgery has forced him out of football.

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