Players to Watch: Jerrel Brown takes over for dynamic Austin Franklin as Aggies' No. 1 wideout

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WR Jerrel Brown (Sr.)

New Mexico State had a tough time doing anything right last season. Despite a disappointing 1-11 season, the Aggies finished No. 59 in the NCAA in passing yards and receiver Austin Franklin had a lot to do with that. Franklin led the team last season with 74 catches, 1,245 yards and nine touchdowns while amassing 100 yards in seven games last season but was ruled academically ineligible and will miss the entire 2013 season. Jerrel Brown will be the man to fill those shows. Brown finished last season with a modest 18 receptions for 239 yards, but his 13.3 yards per reception gives the Aggies something to work with. Brown is similar in size and speed to Franklin and has the potential to fill in perfectly in his absence. Replacing a No. 1 wideout is a difficult task and it is likely that Brown will get a lot of looks Saturday. 

 

FS Davis Cazares (Sr.)

After finishing as the No. 120-ranked scoring defense last season, the Aggies established themselves as a defense that cannot defend. While the defense appeared balanced in its protection as it allowed 27 rushing touchdowns to 28 passing touchdowns, 39.4 points per game against a team pokes holes in a defense’s ability. Safety Davis Cazares was a bright spot for this defense, however, leading the team with 116 total tackles on the year. Although leading a team like this in tackles isn’t a huge accomplishment, his numbers are about as consistent as anyone would like to see. Cazares showed the ability to dazzle last season with his versatility, racking up almost 10 tackles per game while forcing a fumble, breaking up a pass and blocking a kick last season. Texas will likely bulldoze the Aggie defense, but Cazares will be at the top of the stat page when the game ends.

 

RB Germi Morrison (Sr.)

His numbers won’t jump out at you but Germi Morrison was the workhorse for the Aggies offense last season and should be a player to watch this season. Morrison led the team with 159 carries for 757 rushing yards last season while putting the ball in the end zone two times. Morrison is a bigger back, standing at 6-foot, 215 pounds, which should allow him to pick up big yards if the Aggies can make it to the red zone against the Longhorns. He averaged 13.3 carries per game last season so the ball will be in his hands often against Texas. He may not pick up an astounding amount of yards but Morrison will get his opportunities in Saturday’s season opener.