September 1, 2006

Early Grades: Defense

Yesterday we took a look at the A&M offense as it heads in to the season.

Now we take a look back at the preseason and hand out some grades for the defense and special teams.

Defensive Line: B-

In the Dennis Franchione era, the line has been the strongest and deepest unit on the defensive side of the ball. Coach Stan Eggen has been one of the staff's most prolific recruiters and has closed the deal on several talented prospects in recent years. Those prospects signed are now juniors and seniors, so expectations were high going into the spring and fall.

Red Bryant, Chris Harrington and Bryce Reed have done nothing to disappoint and seem primed for a solid season. Young guys that have stepped up this fall include Kellen Heard who should see plenty of time in the rotation, and Vincent Williams who has had an impressive fall. However, with so many upperclassmen in the two-deep, expect the redshirt freshman to make his impact next year.

Jason Jack will likely start at defensive end given injury issues with Michael Bennett. Bennett is back in action, but his limited practice participation has him a couple of weeks behind schedule. The Bennett setback magnifies the one area of concern with this unit, and that's the quick edge rusher that can disrupt the opponent's backfield.

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