Texas A&M Football: Aggies’ CFP dreams depend on D.J Durkin’s defense

DJ Durkin, Texas A&M football (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images)
DJ Durkin, Texas A&M football (Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football has built a great defense, but can a D.J Durkin-lead defense play well enough to guide them to the College Football Playoff? A D.J Durkin-lead defensive scheme and player buy-in are key to the changing of the guard at Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator position.

Mike Elko was able to elevate the Aggies defense from 87th in 2017 to a top-5 defense in the nation by the time he left to take the head coaching job at Duke. Durkin now takes the reins with the most talented defense he has ever had in his coaching carrier. Jimbo Fisher is very high on D.J Durkin.

"“He has done a tremendous job being multiple in his looks that cause problems for opposing offenses. In addition to being an excellent recruiter, DJ has done a great job of developing his players and has experience in the SEC.” – Fisher"

D.J Durkin is known for his ability to build his defense around the personnel that he has. He will use three or four down lineman depending on what he needs to do to defeat the team that he is playing against.

Durkin is a well-rounded coach with his most notable stops at Florida, Michigan, Maryland (Head Coach), and Ole Miss. Durkin is traditionally a 4-down linemen guy, but at his latest stop at Ole Miss his personnel required him to get innovative and use a 3-4 defensive scheme.

The Ole Miss defense was much improved while Durkin was their defensive coordinator, so much so that it caught Texas A&M’s Head Coach Jimbo Fisher’s attention. The Aggies think they have a diamond in the rough with Durkin commanding their defense.

The fans want to see an aggressive defense generating more turnovers this season. They also believe in Durkin’s ability to be more flexible to avoid a let down like they had against Mississippi State. Mississippi State gashed the Aggies defense last year and they were not able to stop the bleeding before it was too late in the 22-26 loss.

Durkin will need to get creative in 2022 as the Aggies are primed for excellence and fan expectations are through the roof. Texas A&M’s defense needs to be prepared for a gauntlet of a season, as they have a tough SEC schedule.

With top level talent, D.J Durkin needs to orchestrate a solid road map to lead one of the nations best defenses this fall. The Aggies have College Football Playoff aspirations this fall and Durkin’s defense needs to dominate their opponents to make those aspirations become a reality.

Other keys that are crucial for Texas A&M football to make the playoffs:

Ranking the Aggies’ position groups for 2022. dark. Next