The Texas A&M football team had a really odd 2021 season. The Aggies were competitive for most of the year but ultimately fell short of expectations, landing at just eight wins for the second time in Jimbo Fisher’s four seasons.
But despite the shortcomings on paper, Texas A&M was still an extremely threatening football team. With a handful of injuries on the offensive line and in the secondary, this team was set back from the start and still managed to make noise in college football this year. As a result of this chaos, there were a handful of departures from this Aggie football squad.
These departures include coaches and players, with a few notable members of TAMU football already on their way out. Today, I’m giving you a list of each one of these departures. To clarify, I’m only discussing coaches and players who are leaving early or unexpectedly — this list does not include seniors.
The Texas A&M football team will be slightly set back but should still manage to compete in 2022
Mike Elko, DC: This is, by far and away, the biggest departure for the Texas A&M football team. Mike Elko was one of the best defensive coordinators in football and it was only a matter of time before he left for a head coaching gig. His defense survived a handful of suspensions and injuries throughout the 2021 season and still managed to be among the best in college football.
Where he is now: Duke, Head Coach
Josh Henson, OL Coach: Henson was the Aggies’ offensive line coach and, considering the cards he was dealt, did an incredible job in 2021. The 2021 group was riddled with injuries and still performed pretty well, while his 2020 offensive line was among the best in the country, coming in as a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, given to the best offensive line in the country.
Where he is now: USC, OL Coach/Co-Offensive Coordinator
DeMarvin Leal: In terms of players, this is the most impactful departure for Texas A&M. It’s not unexpected — Leal was one of the best defensive players in college football this year. That said, it’ll still have a huge ripple effect on this Aggie defensive line. Leal will likely be a first-round draft pick and should find success in the league after putting up 12.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in his final season of college football.
Where he is now: NFL Draft
Isaiah Spiller: Some thought that Isaiah Spiller may elect to stick around for another season — those people were wrong. After eventually splitting duties with Devon Achane, Spiller elected that it would be best if he departed for the 2022 NFL Draft. In terms of importance, A&M will likely be able to make up his production better than any other departing player.
Where he is now: NFL Draft
Zach Calzada: Zach Calzada basically came in for Haynes King, beat Alabama, and dipped out of College Station. In seriousness, he may not have been the most consistent quarterback but it’s impossible not to appreciate the heart that Calzada put into each and every game under center. He’ll be a Texas A&M legend forever, but with the original starter returning and a five-star joining the team, his odds of starting in 2022 were slim to none.
Where he is now: Transfer Portal
12/20 UPDATE: Jalen Wydermyer has declared for the NFL Draft and opted out of the Gator Bowl.