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Texas A&M Football: 'Running Back U?' or 'Defensive Line U?'

Some universities have a knack for developing talent at various position groups. What about the Aggies?

Debating the best position groups in college football is a staple of discussion this time each season.

It's no different for college football fans and media outlets alike, and 247Sports addressed the question.  

They approached it with the thought of building a college football program from scratch and picking the best position groups from different college football programs. They could only pick one unit per program and could not double up on teams.

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Texas A&M appeared on the list, in what we think is a peculiar way. By their thinking, 247Sports believes it's the running back position that is the most prolific group available for the Aggies:

"There are a lot of great running back rooms across college football. Yet I’d submit no group combines star power with down-to-down versatility better than the Aggies. Isaiah Spiller is the bell cow. He ran for 103.6 yards per game last year while averaging 5.5 yards per carry and scoring nine touchdowns. He was elusive, too, forcing 44 missed tackles on the year (10th nationally), per PFF College. He’ll be the Aggies’ feature back. 

Sophomore Devon Achane is the ultimate change-of-pace threat behind Spiller. A dynamic all-purpose threat with sub-11-second 100-meter dash speed, Achane ran for 364 yards and four touchdowns last year on 8.5 yards per carry. He also averaged 19.4 yards per catch, showing the potential to emerge as one of the SEC’s top overall playmakers during his late-season breakout. The Aggies have added depth, too, as top-50 prospect LJ Johnson – the No. 3 overall back in the 2021 Top247 – is on campus and ready to contribute.

Don’t forget about Ainias Smith! While he’s really more of a receiver at this point, Texas A&M still lists Smith as a running back. Call him what you want – I’m just going “weapon” – Smith is one the nation’s most dynamic multi-purpose threats after running for six yards per carry last season while catching 43 passes for 564 yards."- 247 Sports' Chris Hummer

We're not here to debate whether or not the running backs at A&M are worthy of this list. They certainly are. We think another group could've been considered, however.

Despite the departure of All-SEC tackle Bobby Brown III, A&M's defensive front projects to be maybe even better than a year ago.

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Defensive end DeMarvin Leal has been overlooked by some, but projects to be overwhelming for opposing offensive linemen in 2021. He was denied post-season honors even though he tallied eight quarterback pressures, three deflected passes, an interception, and a forced fumble. 

Add Jayden Peevy and Michael Clemons, both of whom opted to return for their senior seasons, and there isn't a flaw on a defensive front. 

Clemons had four sacks in five games before an ankle injury. McKinnley Jackson was so impressive as a freshman as Brown's backup, he should be able to fill that role of nose tackle nicely in 2021 without any significant drop in production.

The Aggies allowed just 92 yards per game on the ground, good enough for No. 2 in the nation, and allowed just 29 total rushing plays of  10-yards or more last season.

Those numbers might even improve in 2021, with this beast of a defensive line. So, maybe the Aggies have two positions that just can't beat? 

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