What freshmen should Texas A&M fans expect to see on the field next season? (Defense edition)

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the dust has more or less settled from National Signing Day, in some cases more recently than others, it's time to take a look at who from our signing class will get to see the field next season.

It's no secret that the Texas A&M defense has had issues the last few seasons. I mean, let's face it, the relationship between me and my television has been irreparably damaged.

Come on, baby, you know I didn't mean it.

That being said, this recruiting class should give us a lot to be excited about over the next couple of years on the defensive side of the ball. But first? A quick look at some notable returnees.

#1: De'Vante Harris (Sr. DB): The past couple of years have been really good for Harris. He's shown clear improvement year to year especially in the tackling department. Cornerback is a position that we've always struggled with and having a Senior back at the position will certainly be an advantage for us next year, especially if he stays healthy and continues to improve.

#8 Nick Harvey (So. DB): Harvey had a very solid first year with the Aggies. Again, at a position that we traditionally have struggled with over the past couple of seasons. Versatile player as well, returned multiple punts for decent gains last season. Look for him to get a few starts next season.

#14 Josh Walker (So. LB): One of our many breakout freshman from last season, Walker had a heck of a Freshman campaign until he broke his foot in week 11. This guy is going to be a legitimate star in the next couple of seasons if he can stay healthy.

#15 Myles Garrett (So. DE): The man is a freak. Double team him, hold him, do whatever you want, he will win. He is going to come back healthy, break records, and win games. Plain and simple.

#23 Armani Watts (So. FS): Another breakout star Freshman for the Aggie Defense. Earned the starting job at free safety, and also did a few of my favorite things in the season opener when we dismantled South Carolina. See below: 851c532f-oie_animation.0.gif

#33 Shaan Washington (Jr. LB): This guy is a tackle machine. Of the 9 games he played he only had less than 6 tackles in 2 of them. He'll need to stay healthy through camp, but if he can manage that, we should see some great Linebacker play from him next year.

#42 Otaro Alaka (So. LB): Yet another break out Freshman last year, boy am I getting tired of writing that, wait, what am I saying?! The last half of the season was all Alaka. Had two forced fumbles in that glorious GLORIOUS victory of Auburn last year. He's gonna turn heads next year.

#83 Alonzo William (Sr. DL): The savior of the Auburn game will be coming back for his senior year. We don't have a lot of age on this defense so it'll be vital for him to play a role in bringing up the younger guys. He tallied at least 4 tackles in 9 games last season having his season high come in the LSU game with 10.

If you're keeping count at home that means we have 8 very strong returnees. There are plenty of other players that we should be excited about that only saw limited action, but these are the guys that are going to anchor the defense in the '15-'16 season. So under the assumption that we don't have any hidden gems sitting on the bench (which we very well might), who did we just sign that will make an immediate splash next year?

Here are 5 guys that I see absolutely hitting the field:

Daylon Mack (DL): Let's go ahead and get this guy out of the way. He'll be on the field. Period. He's a destructive force on the line and we desperately need help stopping the run. He's a virtual lock.

James Lockhart (DE): Between Garrett and Lockhart, things are going to get real scary for opposing offenses. Lockhart is a run stopper, Garrett is a pass rusher. This compliment could pose a lot of issues for opposing offenses next season.

Justin Evans (S): A top JUCO player and at a position where we need play makers. This guy had 5 interceptions last season. Expect this guy to split time with Watts and make a big impact in our secondary next year.

Roney Elam (CB): A four star recruit from Newton, Texas. Elam is 6-3, runs a 4.5 40 yard dash and has a 33 inch vertical. These factors will allow him to compete with most WRs he comes up against. He'll need to gain a little bit of weight in fall camp but assuming he does that, he'll be on the field.

Larry Pryor Jr. (S): The number 6 safety in the nation last year, Pryor will be another great addition to a secondary that needs help. Pryor is a quick footed play maker that found many ways to score in high school. As a quarterback he threw over 20 touchdowns. He's a natural scorer.

In theory it will be literally impossible to move the ball on us next year. We're entering a very special era for defense at Texas A&M and we should all be foaming at the mouth to see these guys play. No? Just me?

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