Texas A&M and Wake Forest will meet in the Gator Bowl on New Years Eve in Jacksonville.

It should prove to be a great matchup, as the Aggies have one of the best defenses in the nation while the Demon Deacons have one of the best offenses.

Texas A&M will likely be without one of its best defenders, however.

DeMarvin Leal announced last week that he would be entering the 2022 NFL Draft and Jimbo Fisher said Sunday night during a Gator Bowl press conference that he doesn’t think Leal will play in the bowl game.

“I don’t believe he will,” said Fisher when asked if Leal will play. “We’ll have to wait see for sure, but I don’t believe he will. I’m sure he will go train and do the things he will do to get ready for the draft.”

Fisher also said that he doesn’t anticipate that injured quarterback Haynes King will be available either.

King broke his leg in September against Colorado and following surgery has been out ever since.

“I don’t know about ready to play,” said Fisher when asked about King’s availability. “He is able to start running and getting back, but he hasn’t done anything for 3 to 4 months, so that’s probably a very unrealistic thing and something we probably wouldn’t want to do.

“Maybe he will come out and get some practice time because you get 15 practices or whatever we can get in here. We’ll have 12, 14 of them. Maybe get him out on the field a little bit. He hasn’t played since the opening game, and he is just now getting back, and we still have to see where he is at … It’s just good to get him back on the field and get him running.”

In his career, Fisher has fared well in bowl games. He’s 3-0 at Texas A&M and was 5-2 at Florida State.

To what does Fisher attribute that success?

“I’m a traditionalist,” he said. “The bowl games, I respect them. I remember watching them as a kid on the holidays and couldn’t get enough of them … and it’s important to me. More important, they’re keeping score, so we’re going to play our tails off and prepare our tails off and hopefully play our tails off. It doesn’t matter to me. We’re keeping score.”