This key Texas A&M football player won’t play in the Gator Bowl

DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Texas A&M football team was shooting for the College Football Playoff all season long. They fell short, and to be honest, it wasn’t very close. Instead, the Aggies will be playing in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl.

It’s not what anybody was looking for, but with an opponent like Wake Forest, the Aggies could be playing in one of the most entertaining bowl games of the season. Wake Forest was undefeated through eight games before losing in three of their last five.

As things stand, the Aggies are considered a touchdown favorite against the Demon Deacons. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, as Texas A&M is a competitive SEC team and Wake Forest is a fading ACC team.

The Texas A&M football team could be in trouble without its best defensive lineman in DeMarvin Leal

Unfortunately for Texas A&M, they might be playing in the Taxslayer Gator Bowl without their best defensive player in DeMarvin Leal, who recently declared for the NFL Draft. Here’s what Jimbo Fisher said about his stud defensive lineman.

"“We’ll have to wait and see for sure, but I don’t believe he will. I’m sure he will go train and do the things he will do to get ready for the draft.”"

Technically speaking, the possibility still exists, but I’m not sure how many players have decided to come back and risk an injury in a relatively meaningless bowl game. Aggie fans should prepare for a Leal-less Gator Bowl this year.

On the season, Leal recorded 58 total tackles, 12.5 for loss, and 8.5 sacks. The Aggie defensive lineman also deflected two passes and forced his second fumble of the year. He will be missed if he elects not to play.

That said, this opens up a unique opportunity for TAMU fans to get a closer look at some younger guys against a formidable opponent. I’m talking about those who are behind Leal on the depth chart like Shemar Turner and Tunmise Adeleye, two young top-50 defensive linemen from the 2021 class.

Even though they may not be as refined of players as Leal yet, both of these guys are among the most talented at their position in the entire country. Against Wake Forest, Aggie fans will get a glimpse into the future of this team’s defense.

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That said, it would still be nice to see Leal suit up in the maroon and white one more time. Time will tell, but it looks like this Aggie superstar’s career is in the rearview mirror.