A&M Spring Depth Chart Quick View: Safety / Nickel

This is a series of Texas A & M’s pre-Spring Ball depth board reviews, which includes first-time 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.

The Aggies’ safety squad has been more geared towards tackles and stoppers than the guys who play deep down the field. This should start to change in the spring when the old four star Antonio johnson goes from nickel to deep defender. Johnson was named an All American by Pro Football Focus and was one of the top rated secondary defenders in the country by that outlet. He combines the unique attributes of being able to use his long frame to break passes and get ground pass receivers with closing speed. He played the position like a linebacker, except he could cover faster slots and prevent opposing quarterbacks from being able to use them to move chains.

Now he’ll be someone who can roll over two and three high covers to make plays on the ball much faster than his predecessors and help stop the big plays that have been a problem for the Aggies at times.

Senior Demani Richardson returns to play the near linebacker role he has had since arriving at College Station. He rolls into the box and either where he belongs in the running game, or he plays on short throws like he did during his interception from the end zone against Alabama.

Gilbert Garden had a good start as a freshman and although he looked like a newcomer at times, he also improved the group’s athleticism. It will be better able to cover receivers when tasked with doing so in human cover.

Newcomers to the group include the first registrants Bryce anderson and Jarred kerr. Kerr has height and center-style skills, but he’s going to make the jump from small school Lexington to the much brighter lights of Kyle Field. He has a track background which should help him with the fit.

Anderson played several positions in high school and was not a full-time goalie. So, he also has a period of adaptation, but of a different type in terms of positional challenges compared to the level of ball he has played.

Either way, A&M is adding players around six feet tall with frames to get a bit bigger while still maintaining their athleticism. More importantly, they have experienced and high-end talent before them that should allow them to be able to do an apprenticeship instead of being immediately thrown into the fire.