This is a series of Texas A&M Depth Board Reviews before Spring Prom, which includes the first registrants but not those arriving during the summer. A&M lose ten players to the 2022 National Football League and so there will be plenty of opportunities for a talented recruiting class of newcomers to push the veterans back.
Texas A&M has generally played a big five tech that can give the advantage against the run as well as a sideline that can rush the passer (or fall into cover). Last season they rotated three away players and one of them (DeMarvin Leal) was often found indoors since he had the size to play both spots. This improved the Aggies’ ability to rush the passer, but also came at a price in the running game as they allowed 135 rushing yards per outing, which was the highest of the Mike elko/Jimbo Fisher time.
Now, A&M is at a crossroads of sorts in the position and especially as Fisher decides who will take the defense: will A&M continue to employ a player the size of a defensive tackle or will he move on. to a smaller roster given the frequency with which programs are now launching football in the Southeastern Conference (nine teams averaged over 30 assists per game in 2021 compared to just five in 2018)?
Bowl play workouts indicated that the former five-star Shemar turner spent time outdoors and this third year player Fadil Diggs was at the limit. It’s a continuation of what we’ve seen during Fisher’s tenure, with Turner being the closest player physically to Leal on the roster. Nonetheless, A&M has recruited enough from the start to use the same kind of flexibility in 2022 as in 2021 and use a number of different looks depending on the opponent.
Biggest players who could line up on the outside include Turner and the sophomore men Tunmise Adeleye and Elie Jeudy. Both are listed at 295 pounds, which is even bigger than Turner’s 285 pounds. Diggs is tall enough to have seen the time behind Leal but is more like Michel Clemon in that it could line up in both places. Other returning edge players who could line up at this location with Diggs include Jahzion harris and Donnell Harris.
However, the Aggies have gone from a substantially veteran rotation to a rotation that is going to be a lot younger and this is a group that could be really young if the early entries. Anthony Lucas and Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy get a lot of reps. The two are more akin to five heavy tech and could line up inside (and Brownlow-Dindy plays like an Aaron McDonald or Olivier Olivier clone with its descent and pad level).
Trying to find playtime for everyone is a good deal, but it’ll be interesting to see how much growing pains there are along the way and which players should ultimate.