Texas A&M Football: SDS has interesting choice for Aggies’ defensive MVP

Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Antonio Johnson, Texas A&M Football (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

The Texas A&M football team is projected as an early candidate for the College Football Playoff despite falling very short in the 2021-22 season. With the greatest incoming class of freshmen in the history of college football, Jimbo Fisher is ready to reload and give it another shot.

Still, much like many rosters in college football at this point, A&M’s is full of question marks. After all, the Aggies will be losing more than a handful of key players including DeMarvin Leal, Leon O’Neal, Aaron Hansford, and others. Oh, and the Aggies lose their defensive coordinator in Mike Elko, who will be replaced by DJ Durkin.

This creates an obvious, but important question — who will be the defensive MVP of a team that has had some stout units in recent years?

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Saturday Down South thinks Antonio Johnson will be the defensive MVP of the Texas A&M football team in 2022

In fairness to Saturday Down South, their article on who will be each SEC team’s defensive MVP in 2022 is relatively brief. At this stage of the offseason, nothing is meant to be taken overly seriously, especially considering the fact that half of the depth chart is probably not full yet.

Here’s what Saturday Down South said about Johnson in their article.

"Johnson was one of the Aggies’ top defenders while playing the nickel spot as a true sophomore last season. He’ll have an even bigger impact as a junior."

Again, the article was brief. That said, I think they’re wrong on this one — Antonio Johnson will not likely be the defensive MVP of this team.

This isn’t a knock against Johnson, who was arguably the most pleasant surprise on the Texas A&M football team’s roster in 2021. As a true sophomore, the Aggie safety recorded 79 tackles, which was second-most on the team, and 8.5 tackles for loss on the year. He also notched a forced fumble, an interception, and five passes defended in 2021.

Heck, we’ve seen players in the secondary succeed in Jimbo Fisher’s system — just look at Jalen Ramsey at Florida State a half-decade ago. He was a two-time All-American and two-time first-team All-SEC.

This year, however, there’s simply too much talent on the defensive line for the team’s MVP to not be on that unit.

You’ve got Shemar Turner set to fill into a starting role, while second-overall 2022 prospect Walter Nolen will have a chance to explode onto the scene in his freshman campaign. Andre White and Edgerrin Cooper will be looking to have breakout seasons with the departure of Aaron Hansford in the linebacker corps. There’s a lot of talent on this defense.

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I think Antonio Johnson will have a great season. Heck, I think he could be one of the best defensive backs in the entire country — this defense might simply be too talented to have one singular defensive MVP.