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Texas A&M safety Armani Watts returning for senior season

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Return of #23 is a huge boost for 2017 defense

NCAA Football: UCLA at Texas A&M Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Aggie defense will lose some significant playmakers off of the 2016 squad. Armani Watts will not be one of them! The junior safety announced on Twitter on Tuesday that he will return to A&M for his senior season in lieu of entering the NFL draft.

Watts led the team in tackles in 2015 with 126, and despite battling injury in 2016, was just as vital, totaling 56 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, six tackles for loss and two interceptions. You may remember one of those interceptions particularly well.

Watts’ return is especially important for a defense already losing safety Justin Evans, linebacker Shaan Washington, defensive tackle Hardreck Walker, defensive end Daeshon Hall and presumably defensive end Myles Garrett. In particular, it means that the Aggie secondary remains intact outside of the loss of Justin Evans, who would likely be replaced by either Larry Pryor, Roney Elam or Justin Dunning, who is recovering from a torn ACL suffered in fall camp.