Texas A&M football: 5 players who could take on leadership role in 2019

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Justin Madubuike

The only returning starter from the 2018 season, this is as much about Madubuike’s talent as anything else. Madubuike has been named the Defensive MVP in each of the last two springs. He’s had by far the best practices of anyone and finally got a chance to prove his worth as a starter on one of the best defensive lines in the country in 2018.

The Aggies were a Top 3 rush defense and came in the Top 20 in sacks (after initially struggling to get to the quarterback). Madubuike had 40 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2018. On a team with a ton of standouts, it was he who was awarded Defensive MVP at the team’s annual banquet for the 2018 season.

He is living up to his potential as the No. 56 overall player in the 2016 class, according to the 247 Sports composite. He could get some All-American buzz heading into 2019 on the preseason watch lists. Don’t be surprised if he’s also on some of the award watch lists as well. He will definitely be on the preseason All-SEC team.

With the seniors gone, Madubuike can lead by example even if he doesn’t take on a vocal role on defense.