WEEK 5: Texas A&M vs Arkansas (Southwest Classic)
The Aggies of Texas A&M field a young team under second-year head coach Jimbo Fisher with only two senior starters. On offense, center Colton Prater anchors this Aggie line. Listed at just a shade under 300 lbs., Prater is an athletic blocker with good lateral quickness who is capable of executing this zone scheme well where he’s asked to reach block and climb to the second level often.
On special teams, Braden Mann is arguably the top punter in the nation this year and he showcased his strong leg early and often in the game. On Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Mann boomed three of his four punts 50+ yards downfield, secured three inside the 20-yard line, and even had one downed inside the 10-yard line. As we said in our summer position rollout, consistency is what’s key for specialists trying to make it to the NFL, and every single one of Mann’s punts hung in the air in excess of four seconds.
On the other side of the stadium, Arkansas has several senior NFL prospects, none more impactful Saturday than TE C.J. O’Grady, who made several plays in the passing game while leading the team in receptions. O’Grady is a thickly built man with the size to block inline, but that aspect of his game takes a backseat to his impressive receiving skillset.
Teammates on the D-line who also showed well against the Aggies were 3-technique McTelvin Agim – who recorded his first QB hurry on the game’s opening snap – and nose guard T.J. Smith, who later joined in on the action by recording a sack while working a line stunt beating the opposing left tackle. Agim is a well-known prospect in the scouting community due to his quick twitch and ability to affect the opposing passer, while Smith is an under-the-radar player who the coaches speak highly of and is really coming on in his final year at Arkansas.
Playing directly behind Agim and Smith is one of my favorite players in the country in linebacker De’Jon “Scoota” Harris. On Saturday, Harris showed his importance early in the game while scooping and scoring off an Aggie fumble, recording the first points of the game for the Razorbacks. Harris – who led the SEC in tackles in 2018 – is a stockier inside linebacker with excellent instincts and toughness, which allows him to play faster than what may be perceived when people see a 40 time. Harris will be in the NFL next season, likely earning his keep as a backup on special teams.