Texas A&M Football Replacing Outgoing DL Production With High-Level Talent
It's no secret that Texas A&M football lost several big pieces off of the defensive line to the portal, both rotation players and starters. Fadil Diggs, Isaiah Raikes, Walter Nolen, and LT Overton are some of the names that have departed the Aggie defensive front to other teams (Syracuse, USC, Ole Miss, and Alabama, respectively).
Doubtless, the exit of defensive line coach and top recruiter Elijah Robinson for a post at Syracuse had a lot to do with this. Aggie fans had hoped that the arrival of Mike Elko, whom many of these players had either played for or had been recruited by, would stem the tide of portal entries. For all we know, it did, but you still lost a few guys that you would have rather kept.
In the face of this reality, Mike Elko, Sean Spencer, and the defensive staff have stepped up in a huge way. The insane run the Aggie staff have been on in the transfer portal has had its biggest impact on the defensive back and line positions, and it is that latter position group that has maybe seen the biggest infusion of quality additions—Nic Scourton and Cashius Howell chief among them.
Here's what I mean. Among those four players that left, the Aggies are losing a total of 107 tackles, 22.5 TFLs, and 8 sacks from last year. Between Scourton and Howell alone, the Aggies are bringing in 78 tackles, 25.5 TFLs, and 19.5 sacks from 2023. Those are two impact players, to say the least.
This is to say nothing of the sky-high potential of an add like Solomon Williams, a freshman EDGE player who looks to have immense growth potential, or transfer Scooby Williams from Florida, who, though listed at LB, is at his best rushing the passer.
As much as Elko and company have reinvigorated the back end of the Aggie defense, their work up front on the defensive line for Texas A&M football is just as impressive. The front was a strength already for the Aggies, and adding these quality pieces, putting all of them in Elko's scheme, will make the defensive front for the Maroon and White a scary unit in 2024 and beyond.