Texas A&M Football: Regular season final report card and position grades

Nick Starkel, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Nick Starkel, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /


This group had a very solid 2017 season and I would say they overachieved based on what was expected. Having to replace Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall, Jarrett Johnson and the emergence of Landis Durham provided quality play. Although the numbers for Johnson will not jump off the page, he provided leadership and mentorship to the younger guys.

As the season went on, we saw more of Michael Clemons and Justin Dunning. Qualen Cunningham did not have the type of season we were all hoping for. I expect the new coaching staff to make a push in the junior college ranks to find another pass rusher with Johnson and Cunningham done with eligibility.

The interior guys consist of Zaycoven Henderson, Keke Kingsley, Daylon Mack, Jayden Peevy and Justin Madubuike. I thought this unit played very well all season. They helped bring the rush defense down to 165 yards per game, the lowest since the 2012 defense.

Henderson is the only graduate amongst the tackles so I expect this group to be even better in 2018. Look for Mack and Keke to have great years to help their draft status. As for the young guys, TD Moton, Peevy, Madubuike and Justin Rogers should play a bunch of snaps.

A couple of stats that jump out at me, the line combined for 34 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks. I expect these numbers to improve in 2018. The only reason I dropped the grade from the mid-season report is the level of disruption we saw early in the season slowly disappeared down the stretch.

That may be a bit harsh, but the line really could not get serious pressure after the Florida game. And before the visit to LSU, the defense had just three sacks against Auburn, New Mexico and Ole Miss. Based on what John Chavis likes to do, that number is hard to believe.

Expect the new staff to be very aggressive with the group in 2018. I’m still very interested to see who the coordinator will be. He will be very excited to see this group along with the two groups still to come in this piece.