Texas A&M’s 2021 season came to an end in mid-December when the Aggies announced that internal issues with COVID would put them out of the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl. Although this past year was rather disappointing for Texas A&M, the win over Alabama and No. 1 recruiting class per 247Sports put the Aggies in great shape entering next season. Now, Jimbo Fisher will be required to make adjustments with his offense after the departure of Zach Calzada to Auburn. Here are some insights into the Texas A&M 2022 squad.
Fresh Talent On Offense
The three key players on the Aggies’ offense who entered the NFL Draft include Isaiah Spiller, Jalen Wydermyer, and Kenyon Green. Ainias Smith announced that he would return for his senior year; he is a reliable slot threat for Texas A&M, and he can also be dangerous in the return game.
Devon Achane will likely become the primary running back for the Aggies with Spiller leaving to the NFL. However, the biggest question mark for Texas A&M is the quarterback position. Expect Haynes King, Max Johnson, and perhaps even Connor Weigman to battle for the starting job. Calzada was rather inconsistent for most of 2021, which led to unforeseen losses. Stable quarterback play will be necessary for the Aggies to perform at a high level in 2022.
Wydermyer was the top receiver for Texas A&M this past season, so someone will have to step up to fill his role. Jalen Preston, Demond Demas, and Moose Muhammad III will likely be featured more on the offense next year. A vertical passing game is crucial to make the Aggies a more balanced offense. Top recruit Evan Stewart will also make a run to be a starting wide receiver, and he could even be the next Mike Evans for Texas A&M.
New Identity on Defense?
Notable departures on Aggies’ defense include DeMarvin Leal, Jayden Peevy, and Leon O’Neal Jr. Obviously, the biggest news was the announcement of Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator Mike Elko leaving to Duke to become the head coach. DJ Durkin will now be the defensive coordinator for the Aggies; Durkin has experience from being the defensive coordinator at Ole Miss for the past two years.
While Durkin will incorporate some of his own techniques on defense, the defense regardless should remain strong with its litter of talent. Micheal Clemons and Tyree Johnson will continue to make an impact on the line of scrimmage, and top commits Walter Nolen and Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy could also wreck havoc later in the season.
The secondary should still remain solid with Antonio Johnson and Demani Richardson stepping into bigger roles. The linebacker core is still dependable with Edgerrin Cooper and Andre White Jr. All in all, Texas A&M should remain atop the SEC come 2022.
Next year, Texas A&M will have the talent necessary to compete for an SEC Championship in 2022. The Aggies already showed what they were capable of by beating Alabama, but the Aggies have to perform at a high level consistently to make it to the postseason. This top recruiting class should put Texas A&M in a great shape the next four years to make a run for a national championship.