Worst Case Scenario No. 3
Anthony Hines is not the linebacker of the future
Who is the best linebacker that Kevin Sumlin has brought to Texas A&M? Stumped? That’s probably because there really aren’t many options to choose from. The Aggies brought in two linebackers in 2016: Aaron Hansford and Tyrel Dodson. Hansford is a tight end now while Dodson is expected to see an increased role on defense in 2017.
When you go further back it doesn’t get much rosier. Signed in 2015, Claude George and Richard Moore were both serviceable, but they’re gone. Landis Durham and Dwaine Thomas are both more reserve-type players, not stars. Shaan Washington might have been the most productive linebacker to date that Kevin Sumlin has recruited. He wasn’t drafted following his senior season a year ago. Otaro Alaka could be a key piece in 2017, but injuries have prevented him from fully exhibiting his talents.
That leaves Anthony Hines with a big burden to carry. If he doesn’t come through the entire linebacker unit could go up and flames and consequently, the entire Aggie defense as well. It sounds dramatic, sure. But the Aggies have yet to consistently stop the run under Kevin Sumlin. A large portion of that falls on the linebackers. Why else do you think that Texas A&M safeties have led the team in tackles in two of the last three seasons.
If Hines doesn’t live up to the expectations it’s going to be a colossal problem. He was the No. 2 linebacker in the nation in the 2017 recruiting class. He has to be the best linebacker Kevin Sumlin has ever had and he has to do it in year one.