Why Texas A&M Football Fans Won't Lose Sleep if Walter Nolen Leaves

Nolen is an immense talent, and Texas A&M football would love to get him back. But if he leaves, the Aggies will be okay.

Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Walter Nolen (0)
Sep 23, 2023; College Station, Texas, USA; Texas A&M Aggies defensive lineman Walter Nolen (0) / Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
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Why Texas A&M Football Will Be Just Fine Even If Nolen Doesn't Return

The crowing by rival fanbases when Texas A&M football luminary Walter Nolen entered the portal came early and often. Even though there was some significant doubt as to whether he would really enter—the time between his announcement and actual entrance was somewhat lengthy—he is officially in the portal at this point, much to the delight of those who despise the Aggies.

Nolen has been on visits to Oregon and Ole Miss so far, and some are projecting that he might end up with the Rebels. That said, it's still an unknown as of now as to whether he really will end up in Oxford—according to Billy Liucci of Texags, everything surrounding his situation and future is remarkably opaque at the moment. Those who cover the Rebs are confident, however. Nolen would be a crown jewel for a very impressive portal class in Oxford.

Even if Big Walt really does finally depart College Station, though, the Aggies will be just fine.

Really. I mean it.

Let's think about this. Yes, in this scenario, the Aggies would be losing Walt, McKinnley Jackson (to the draft), and possibly Fadil Diggs and Isaiah Raikes. That's three starters along the line and one guy who has played a lot—not insignificant.

That said, though, if there is one single program in the country that is equipped to handle that sort of attrition up front, it's the Aggies. Just look at who they would bring up in the stead of those players. How does former 5-star and top-5 player in his class David Hicks sound as a replacement on the inside? What about another former 5-star in Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy? Or Shemar Stewart, who just keeps getting better and living up to that top-10 pedigree?

I firmly believe that Hicks and Dindy on the inside can be just as good as Walt and McKinnley Jackson. That's how good those two dudes are—yes, less experienced, but go and watch when they've been in the game during mop-up duty. They flash insane potential on nearly every snap. This bowl game might be the perfect time for them to give Aggie fans a further sneak peek at just how good they can be as a duo.

That's just the guys they have on campus, too. If they are able to close out these top recruitments in the 2024 class, they'll be adding three uber-high-quality defensive linemen as freshmen: Dominick McKinley, Dealyn Evans, and Solomon Williams (currently uncommitted, but leaning the Aggies' way). That's a 5-star with as high of a ceiling as anyone in the sport and two top-150 players that programs like Texas and Alabama are doing everything they can to bring into their respective folds. I don't know about you, but that sounds like a solid haul to me.

Would Texas A&M football like to get Nolen back for a third year? Without a doubt. All else being equal, he's a piece you'd want to keep around. But if he does decide to forge a different path, the Aggies will be just fine.

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