4. College Football News Preview 2020: Texas A&M Aggies Defense 3 Things To Know
– There might be some big question marks on the offensive side, but there’s no reason the defense can’t be far, far better. Defensive coordinator Mike Elko loses DT Justin Madubuike to the Baltimore Ravens, and reserve DE Tyree Wilson is bolting for Tulsa. There’s a shot that 19 of the top 22 tacklers are going to be back in the mix for a D that finished 29th in the nation overall and allowed just 22.5 points per game.
– The pass rush has to be better. Madubuike led the team with 5.5 sacks, and the pressure built up a bit late in the season, but Tyree Johnson, Michael Clemons, and the ends have to do more. There’s plenty of recruiting talent – stealing Donell Harris away from Miami was big – and a whole lot of SEC bulk in place to hold up inside, but this has to be a more disruptive group.
– It should be a fun linebacking corps. Buddy Johnson is a good tackler in the middle – he led the way with 77 stops – and Anthony Hines can be a guided missile into the backfield from his spot on the outside. There’s depth, versatility, and a whole lot of options to play around with.
The same goes for a secondary that held up reasonably well considering it had to deal with Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Tua Tagovailoa and Jake Fromm.
The interceptions have to come – there weren’t any over the final four games, and there weren’t any multi-pick games after coming up with four in the opener against Texas State – but everyone of note is back, starting with safeties Demani Richardson and Keldrick Carter.
This is a HUGE group of defensive backs – they’re all 6-1ish or larger – and there’s more on the way with the 6-3 Antonio Johnson and 6-2 Jaylon Jones among the nation’s top defensive back recruits.