Known for his offensive exploits, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin says he had to get defensive when the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012.

In an interview Friday with SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation, Sumlin said he began to realize the SEC’s different caliber of athletes up front during a home game against LSU midway through his first season.

“I looked down on the field and told Kliff Kingsbury, ‘You see those guys? That’s what I want our team to look like,’” Sumlin said. “They were a longer, more athletic football team. So we set out in recruiting to reach that profile. We learned over the last couple of years that the SEC is not only a line of scrimmage league, but it’s a line of scrimmage depth league.”

It hasn’t taken long for Sumlin to institute his updated philosophy. Thanks in large part to a tireless effort from defensive line coach Terry Price, the Aggies landed five-star defensive end Myles Garrett as the crown jewel of their 2014 signing class, the top player in the country at his position according to 247Sports.

Several of college football’s elite requested his services including Alabama, LSU and Florida State, but the Arlington native stayed in state and figures to make a substantial impact on Texas A&M’s defensive line this season.

“To be where we want to be, we had to increase our depth and athleticism on defense, specifically up front,” Sumlin said during the radio interview. “We’ve done that in recruiting, but we’ve got those guys here and now we need to develop them.”

Garrett’s college debut comes against nationally-ranked South Carolina during the SEC Network’s first live televised game on Aug. 28.