The college football season begins on Sept. 2 for 12 of the 13 FBS teams in the state of Texas. The lone exception in the Lone Star State is UTEP, which face Jacksonville State in Week 0 to begin Conference USA play.
As we approach the start of another season, we'll countdown the 50-most important players in college football. We'll go one-by-one until Sept. 1 as we enter the Top 20.
No. 6 Texas A&M WR Evan Stewart
Stewart was one of many crowned jewel recruits in Texas A&M's historic 2022 class. The 6-foot wide receiver from Frisco Liberty earned the No.3-overall spot in DCTF's 2022 rankings with trackstar speed that made him a threat to score on every type of throw, from a screen to a go route. He was the best wide reciever in the nation, and he lived up to the hype. Stewart stepped up for the Aggies after Ainias Smith was injured for the season in the fourth game of the year and led the team with 53 catches for 649 yards, pacing SEC freshmen with 64.9 receiving yards per game and landing on numerous Freshmen All-American teams.
If Texas A&M is to rebound from a disappointing 5–7 campaing in 2022, they'll need Stewart to blossom into the WR1 role. The Aggies were 84th in the nation last season in passing offense, but optimism abounds with Conner Weigman assumed to take over the full-time starter role at QB. Weigman flashed as a freshman, tossing eight touchdowns to zero interceptions, but he'll need to rely on Stewart to improve upon his 55.3 percent completion percentage. The receiving core will get a boost with the return of Smith, but the tight end position is in flux after sophomore Donovan Green tore his ACL in fall camp.
Texas A&M is perhaps the most talented team in Texas, and Stewart is perhaps the most talented athlete on Texas A&M's roster. New offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino is taking over the playcalling duties. Judging by his track record piloting Arkansas offense from 2008-11 and Lousiville during Lamar Jackson's tenure, the Aggies should have plenty of new wrinkles in head coach Jimbo Fisher's scheme. The offense should improve now that Texas A&M won't rotate between three different quarterbacks and the top three receivers return. Will it be enough for the Aggies to reach double-digit wins for the first time in the Fisher era? On paper, yes. On the field, it remains to be seen.
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