Editor’s note: It’s a make-or-break year for Kevin Sumlin in his fifth season as coach of Texas A&M. His staff is loaded with experience and the roster is arguably the most talented it has been since his arrival in 2012.
During the next few weeks, SEC Country takes a look at the 25 most important Aggies who will determine whether Texas A&M is destined for success or doomed for failure in 2016.
No. 19: James White, RB
White arrived at Texas A&M in 2013 and spent his redshirt year adding strength and speed to his 6-foot, 220 pound frame while waiting for his shot on the field. He was used sparingly during the 2014 season while the three-man attack of Tra Carson, Trey Williams and Brandon Williams handled the bulk of the carries, but did manage 153 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 22 carries.
That offseason, Trey Williams declared early for the NFL draft while Brandon Williams moved to corner, leaving a hole behind Carson in the depth chart that some hoped White might fill. That hope, however, was short lived.
White suffered a high-ankle sprain in the Aggies’ 2015 season opener against Arizona State. He returned to limited action against Mississippi State, logging just three carries before being removed once again.
Coach Kevin Sumlin remained quiet on White’s health status, as he typically does for non-season ending injuries, throughout the year. White’s best performance came against South Carolina on Halloween, when he ran for 44 yards on 10 carries and scored his only touchdown of 2015. It was the only game White received double digit carries, furthering the belief that a nagging injury was limiting the Pearland, Texas, native.
This season, White should play a larger role in the offense if he can stay healthy. He doesn’t possess breakaway speed and is much more of a straight-ahead runner rather than an east-to-west threat. However, he also excels in protecting the quarterback, which could come in handy given the team’s inexperience on the offensive line.
Check out previous entries from this series below, and be sure to bookmark the SEC Country’s Texas A&M Facebook page and return daily to see the newest names on the list.
Up next: Checking in on the defensive line