Texas A&M football: Position battles to watch in spring practices

(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Defensive end

Kingsley Keke and Landis Durham are both gone, but the Aggies have a couple of players who saw playing time in 2018 that could step into those starting roles and be successful. Bobby Brown III and Tyree Johnson played well and are young, so there should be some natural progression heading into the 2019 season.

However, reports of Michael Clemons being virtually unstoppable in practices last year, plus 5-star freshman DeMarvin Leal enrolling early this spring makes this a competition for the starting positions. Leal could play defensive end or inside at defensive tackle, so expect to see the Aggies experiment with that in the spring and fall practices.

Nose tackle

Justin Madubuike is definitely a starter at defensive tackle for this coming season. He could get some preseason All American buzz and he’ll definitely get preseason All-SEC buzz. However, the spot vacated by Daylon Mack is very much wide open. Jayden Peevy and TD Moton were in the rotation last season, so naturally one of them would be the most obvious choice.

However, if the Aggies are more comfortable with Leal at defensive tackle he could slide in there. There is also Mohamed Diallo and Jeremiah Martin who could get in the mix. Derick Hunter could also be someone to watch for. If he impresses at defensive end, the coaching staff might be more willing to play Leal inside.