Texas A&M Football Award Contender: DL DeMarvin Leal, Bronco Nagurski Trophy/Chuck Bednarik Award/Outland Trophy
You may notice a long list of awards listed after DeMarvin Leal’s name — that’s because a handful of the awards that a defensive lineman is eligible for have relatively ambiguous parameters.
As an example, I’ll give you the Outland Trophy. You probably remember that Kenyon Green was listed as a potential winner of this award just a couple of slides ago — that’s because this award goes to the best interior lineman in college football. I’m not even sure why they call it “interior,” as any player from offensive tackle to defensive nose guard can win this award.
I could go into further depth on each of the awards listed, but that’s not really the point here. The point is that DeMarvin Leal is one of the best defensive linemen in the country if not, the best.
What Leal has working against him is a stat sheet that doesn’t jump off of the page. That isn’t to say he hasn’t been productive — he has 8.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks on the year — he just isn’t putting up numbers like we saw out of Myles Garrett less than a decade ago. He put up 11.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss en route to winning the Bill Willis Trophy.
Maybe that’s what he should be considered for — I’m not really sure.
The point is that Leal’s numbers aren’t far off from Garrett’s that season. Like his Aggie predecessor, Leal demands a double team on almost any given play. Even so, he manages to get push-back on the opposing offensive line. He is a serious force on the defensive line.
A strong finish to the year would put DeMarvin Leal near the top of any list of defensive linemen in the country. If there’s an award to be given, Leal should be considered a contender.