Is a big improvement coming for the Maroon Goons?
After diving into the tight ends last week, this week we take a look at the offensive line. Texas A&M’s OL struggled at times during the 2021 season due to youth, but really seemed to improve as the season pressed on. Still, this position group will need to take a big step forward if the offense is going to be better than they were last season.
Who did we lose?
First round draft pick Kenyon Green was an incredibly important and versatile piece of the offensive line during his career at Texas A&M. Green played every position on the line with the exception of center during the 2021 season. The Aggies also lost starting left tackle Jahmir Johnson. Johnson was an important piece of the offensive line last year coming in as a grad transfer from Tennessee. I think it is also important to note that offensive line coach Josh Henson is now at USC as offensive coordinator and former Boston College and Colorado State head coach Steve Addazio is now coaching the OL.
Who do we bring back?
Bryce Foster (SO): Foster was a day one starter at the center position for the Aggies, something that isn’t exactly common in the SEC. He should be an anchor at the position for this offensive line in 2022.
Reuben Fatheree (SO): Fatheree made nine starts for the offensive line in 2021. He’s another member of the offensive line that has cemented his place and will be the starter at the right tackle position in 2022.
Layden Robinson (JR): Robinson started 10 games for the Aggies in 2021 and earned AP All-SEC Second Team honors. Expect the junior to be a force up front for the Aggies in 2022.
Aki Ogunbiyi (SO): After redshirting in 2020, Ogunbiyi saw action in eight games during 2021 including four starts. The redshirt sophomore is versatile and could end up seeing action at a few different positions in 2022.
What other names should we know?
Trey Zuhn redshirted last year but saw action in four games, the Colorado native is expected to be the starter at left tackle after impressing in the spring. Blake Trainor saw action in 11 games during the 2021 season and made two starts. Jordan Spasojevic-Moko was the first team left guard for most of the spring and could very well end up being the starter come the first offensive snap of 2022. Matthew Wykoff appeared in four games while redshirting in 2021 and is projected as the back up center. The Aggies also brought in four prospects in the 2022 signing class – Kam Dewberry and Mark Nabou who project to the interior and PJ Williams and Hunter Erb who project to tackle.
Overall Grade: B
The right side of the offensive line is extremely promising with Layden Robinson and Reuben Fatheree returning in 2022 and Bryce Foster being back at center is another reason to believe this offensive line will be much improved. However, a lot of this season depends on how Zuhn performs at left tackle. If he lives up to the preseason hype, I’d expect this unit to end in the A range by the end of the season. For now though, he’s still a question mark, meaning I’m only cautiously optimistic about this unit’s performance in 2022.