Texas A&M football is 20 days away, and in the days leading up to the Aggie opener we’re answering the 50 biggest questions for the 2018 season.
Texas A&M football has several returning starters from the 2017 season on both sides of the ball, and they are very deep at key positions entering 2018.
The Aggies could have one of the best linebacker units in the country this season. They return Tyrel Dodson, who had 104 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for loss, three interceptions and eight passes defended last season. He was a Swiss Army knife for the defense.
They also return fifth-year senior Otaro Alaka, who led the Aggies with 12 tackles for loss and also had 5.5 sacks in 2017. Buddy Johnson was listed as a starter entering the 2017 season, but due to the Aggies struggles in pass defense they ran a lot of Nickel formation with just the two linebackers.
Those three have been working with the first team defense in camp.
The Aggies also still have one of their two-headed monster at running back from the last two seasons in Trayveon Williams. The junior has been listed on a few preseason award watch lists and could be a workhorse for Jimbo Fisher in his new offense.
More set positions on defense are safety, with fifth-year senior Donovan Wilson and dynamic sophomore Derrick Tucker getting all the reps with the first team defense in camp so far, and defensive tackle, with senior Kingsley Keke and a couple of blue chip recruits looking to step up at the position next to him.
All of these positions are deep, but they also have some players waiting to make an impact that were highly recruited coming out of high school. Here are the guys that will start the season as backups but could end up playing critical roles in the 2018 season.