The past few days have been filled with a significant amount of defensive recruiting news--whether it be Otaro Alaka's committment to Texas A&M or Nick Harvey deciding to take a jaunt to Austin. With that comes a lot of conversation about how our defense performed this year and how much we need these new guys to come in ready to perform.
The 2013 Aggie defense was terrible no matter how you slice it... which is hard to swallow considering that the 2012 iteration was very promising. I mean think about it, A&M held Eddie Lacy and TJ Yeldon to 122 total rushing yards. That just seems insane to me. But thinking back on it, that team had senior leaders like Spencer Nealy, Sean Porter, Jonathan Stewart, Dustin Harris, and Steven Terrell. That was also the last season in maroon and white for elite pass rusher Damontre Moore. The 2012 Aggies were also very lucky as far as injuries go.
This year was different in terms of leadership and productivity, so I decided to take a look at our recruiting classes from 2009-2013 to see how players progressed.
DT/DEs are at the top, followed by LBs, then DBs
Players who started a game this year are in maroon
Players who are no longer on roster are in gray
Players who never made it to campus are in green
Players who contributed this year are in blue
Players who redshirted are in red
Study the table for a moment. I've provided my thoughts and observations below:
- 8 out of the 24 defensive players who started a game for the Aggies this season were true freshmen.
- In 2010, A&M signed just 1 true linebacker in Dominique Patterson. It's no wonder Sumlin and company had to sign so many last year.
- A&M signed two linebackers in 2012, both of whom are no longer playing football (M. Richardson is a coach and J. Richmond is no longer on the team).
- K. Marshall is a big question mark. He's still listed on the team, but did not play.