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Texas A&M Post Spring Depth Chart: Stability at Linebacker in 2022?

Two of Texas A&M's top tacklers return for the 2022 season under new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin

Exit Mike Elko, enter D.J. Durkin. It's a good thing both defensive coordinators ran a two-linebacker set in 2021 at Texas A&M and Ole Miss, respectively. 

Under Durkin's play design, the Aggies are still expected to run a 4-2-5 base in 2022. A&M is set to replace multiple names on the defensive line, but only one linebacker is off to the NFL come this April. 

Aaron Hansford filled in well enough during the 2020 season for Anthony Hines that he ended up becoming the leader of the defense in 2021. Taking over for Buddy Johnson as the team's "MIKE" backer, Hansford led the team with 89 tackles, four pass deflections and a pair of sacks on the way to an 8-4 record. 

Hansford's departure opens up two full-time starting roles for the impending season. As of now, the two spots are filled by veterans, but a newcomer could end up stealing reps early in the fall. 

Here's the current outlook for A&M's depth chart after spring practice. 

Stick with AllAggies.com as we break down the Aggies spring football depth chart outlook.

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MIKE - Andre White Jr. 

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In a rotation, White served as the team's run-stopping linebacker over Cooper. Known for his physicality and hard-hitting demeanor, the rising senior should overtake Hansford's role as the team's "MIKE" backer, staying close to the line of scrimmage. 

A thumper type in today's game, White is at his best playing the run. Last season, he recorded 58 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for losses, and a sack against Colorado's Brendon Lewis in Week 2. White also finished six games with five tackles or more, making him one of the more consistent wrap-up tacklers. 

MIKE 2 - Chris Russell 

Russell has been a reliable second option when on the field. Although he's perhaps best used on special teams, the time he sees action on defense is impressive despite limited overall production. 

Last season in the rotation, Russell recorded 11 total tackles. He did play most of the second half against Prairie View A&M and made four stops, including one in the backfield for a loss of two yards. He's an ideal swing option that should be able to play both spots should White or Cooper suffer an injury.  


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