Texas A&M football spring position preview: Defensive end could be nation's best

The talent level that Texas A&M football has at the defensive end position could be the highest in the country.
Oct 1, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive end Nic Caraway (5)
Oct 1, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Purdue Boilermakers defensive end Nic Caraway (5) / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Texas A&M football spring position preview: Defensive end has unbelievable upside

If there's a position of strength on this Texas A&M football team, it's the defensive end spot. A combination of high-level recruiting over the last number of years and a recent portal pickup in Nic Scourton has this position as the one to watch going forward for the Aggies.

First things first: the return of Shemar Turner is huge here. In 12 games last year, Turner racked up 10.5 TFL and 6 sacks, and is poised to do even more this upcoming season. He routinely made eye-popping plays like the one below:

He came back because he knows he can improve his stock with a huge year. Though no one has their name on the list of starters yet written in sharpie, surely his can be pencilled in.

The guy who will be opposite him is pretty good too: Nic Scourton, last year's sacks leader in the Big 10 conference, has joined forces with the Aggies this spring. He totaled 10 sacks and 15 TFLs by himself last year as a member of the Purdue Boilermakers; with teams less able to dedicate attention to him due to the other talent on the line, I wouldn't be surprised to see him exceed those marks.

Unbelievably, the depth and talent along the line means that a guy as talented as Shemar Stewart won't even be starting for the Aggies—what a problem to have! Now, of course, along the defensive line, not being a starter isn't a huge slight—you'll see a lot of rotation up front—but Stewart would be a no-brainer to be with the first unit on nearly every other team in America.

This could be the year for #4 to break out in a big way. He's made some huge, flashy plays, but I think this will be the year he finally gets the numbers to match up with how he looks out there on the field.

One of the top names to watch as a riser for Texas A&M football is redshirt freshman Rylan Kennedy. It was a late, furious rush for Kennedy's signature in the 2023 class, as an athletic monster that had been flying under the radar was suddenly discovered closer to signing day, but the Aggies won out. He showed a bit of pop in the bowl game, and is a candidate to make a huge jump this year.

Another new name to be aware of is Solomon Williams. The first huge recruiting victory for Mike Elko was also one of Nick Saban's last recruiting defeats, as the new Aggie coach outlasted the Tide legend in this hotly-contested battle. It was for good reason, too: Williams is a complete stud as a pass rusher, and he could see the field soon—if he can make his way past the cornucopia of talent in front of him.

There are several other players that could be listed at defensive end, but I sorted guys like David Hicks in my DT preview, as that's where I foresee him getting the majority of his snaps. Dedicated pass rushers will be the subject of my next preview.