Texas A&M Secondary Overview

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Eighth in a position-by-position series on the 2022 Texas A&M Aggies after spring training.

Who’s back: Demani Richardson, senior; Myles Jones, senior; Brian George, senior; Alex Zettler, senior; Jaylon Jones, Jr.; Antonio Johnson, junior; Tyreek Chappell, sophomore; Deuce Harmon, sophomore; Jardin Gilbert, second-year student; Sophomore Josh Moten.

Who has left : Leon O’Neal, Dreyden Norwood, Keldrick Carper, Erick Young, Brian Williams.

Signatories 2022: Bryce Anderson, Denver Harris, Bobby Taylor, Marquis Groves-Killebrew, Jarred Kerr, Jacoby Matthews, Deyon Bouie.

What to expect: The secondary swallowed up the importance that had been lost from linebacker over the years, with A&M — and many other programs — opting for speed over volume in the fight against more open offenses with usually an extra defensive back.

Recruiting highly rated defensive backs has been a specialty of Jimbo Fisher since he arrived on campus nearly five years ago. A&M ranked a solid 17th nationally last year in passing yards allowed (193 per game).

The Aggies tied for 60th nationally last season with 10 total interceptions, however, and no defender had more than two. Then-defensive coordinator Mike Elko is Duke’s new head coach, and Fisher replaced him with Mississippi defensive coordinator DJ Durkin. The Rebels weren’t much better with 11 interceptions this season, so ball-peddling by pick-hungry defensive backs should be a priority in August camp.

Senior cornerback Myles Jones has been around for so long that he played for Kevin Sumlin in 2017. The cerebral playmaker really became an on-court coach for the Aggies while getting injured in 2021.

Jones’ field time could be reduced, however, thanks to emerging talent at cornerback, including the 2022 addition of five-star prospect Harris from Galena Park North Shore High.

Safety Richardson is the undisputed leader of what should be a solid defense and nickelback Johnson was the Aggies’ best playmaker this side of the ball last season.

The defensive line is the overall strength of the A&M team, but the defensive field shouldn’t be far behind.

Projected depth chart

Cornerback

1. Jaylon Jones

2. Myles Jones

Cornerback

1. Tyreek Chappell

2.Denver Harris

Nickelback

1.Antonio Johnson

2. Deuce Harmon

Enhanced security

1. Demani Richardson

2. Jacoby Matthews

Free Security

1. Gilbert Garden

2. Brice Anderson

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Twitter: @brentzwerneman

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