Work in Sports
Texas A&M Aggies
For once, A&M looks to sneak up on Big 12
'99: 8-4, 5-3 Big 12
CoachR.C. Slocum (12th season, 102-32-2)
Key offensive players
Ja'Mar Toombs, FB, jr.
Chris Taylor, WR, Sr.
Seth McKinney, C, Jr.
Key defensive playersRocky Bernard, DE, Sr.
Top producer among the Aggies' solid defensive front.
Jason Glenn, LB, Sr. Fast, aggressive defender who teams with Roylin Bradley to give the Aggies the best pair of outside linebackers in the Big 12.
Michael Jameson, FS, Sr. Lone returning starter in A&M's inexperienced but athletic secondary.
Key newcomerRichard Whitaker, TB, RFr.
Favorably compared to former A&M All-American Leeland McElroy after winning starting job at tailback during the spring.
Throwback playerMLB Brian Gamble is a solid inside run-stuffer who plays with the subtlety of a bulldozer.
21st century playerWR Bethel Johnson has the speed to develop into the Peter Warrick-type receiving threat the Ags have always lacked.
Fast factSophomore QB Mark Farris spent four years in the Pittsburgh Pirates' farm system before beginning his college football career last spring.
OutlookExpectations are lower than they've been in years around College Station. The Aggies open the season with huge question marks at quarterback (Farris, redshirt freshman Colby Freeman and redshirt freshman Vance Smith are all in the mix) and in the secondary, and must settle on a kicker and punter. If those potential problems are settled, the Aggies could be the surprise team in the South Division. A&M has strong running backs, steady receivers and the fastest and most athletic front-seven defenders in their division. Those positives might be enough to boost them into a divisional title showdown with Texas in the season finale if they can avoid injuries.
-- Tim Griffin