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. 17: Avery Gennesy, OT
Gennesy checks in at No. 17 in these preseason rankings, but his potential coupled with the coaching of offensive line assistant Jim Turner could make that assessment look comically low by season’s end.
A former 4-star prospect out of Southhaven, Miss., Gennesy went the junior college route and began his career at East Mississippi Community College. After his team went 12-0 and won the 2013 National Junior College Championship, he transferred to Texas A&M, where he would redshirt in the 2014 season.
Gennesy rose to the top of the depth chart in 2015, starting every game for the Aggies at left tackle. Though the unit as a whole struggled, Gennesy consistently provided strong pass protection and opened holes in the running game.
This season, the 6-foot-5 senior claims 13 of the 19 total starts under the belts of A&M’s projected offensive linemen. Though experience on the roster is limited, coach Turner should be more than capable of getting the most out of Gennesy and the rest of the linemen given his track record for developing prospects and putting players in the league.
Gennesy was part of a line in community college that allowed the offense to put up over 50 points per game. While the Aggies won’t likely sniff a point total that high going against SEC defenses, providing quarterback Trevor Knight ample time to make decisions will still be crucial for Gennesy and the rest of the line.
A strong final season could result in a big pay day for Gennesy, who is projected to be one of the top players selected at the position in the 2017 NFL draft.
Check out previous entries from this series below, and be sure to bookmark SEC Country’s Texas A&M Facebook page and return daily to see the newest names on the list.
Up next: An up-and-coming linebacker