Texas A&M's All-Decade Team: Von Miller, Myles Garrett lead dominant defense
Editor’s note: Saturday Down South has selected an all-decade offensive and defensive team for all 14 SEC programs.
Though they haven’t matched the tenacity of the Wrecking Crew of the 1980s and ’90s, the Texas A&M defenses throughout the 2010s have had some big stars of its own.
As a team, the Texas A&M defense hasn’t exactly lit the SEC on fire. In its last 2 seasons in the Big 12, the Aggies ranked 5th and 3rd in the conference in total defense. But since moving to the SEC, it hasn’t finished better than 7th — and that was last season. The Aggies finished last in the SEC in total defense in back-to-back seasons (2013-14) but since then have made vast improvements.
Individually, however? The Aggies continue to pump out some of the nation’s top talent, as evidenced by the fact 12 defenders have been drafted this decade, including Myles Garrett (No. 1 overall in 2017) and Von Miller (No. 2 overall in 2011).
Here is the Aggies’ All-Decade Defensive team.
DL: Myles Garrett, Damontre Moore, Daeshon Hall, Kingsley Keke
Garrett (below) was a 2-time 1st-team All-American and the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He put up some gaudy numbers 2014-16, including 141 tackles, 47 for loss. His 31 sacks rank 6th all-time at Texas A&M. He led the SEC in tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (12.5) in 2015.
Moore’s 26.5 sacks ranks 8th. Moore and Hall were 3rd-round picks in the NFL Draft, and Kingsley Keke was a 4th-rounder.
Backups: Daylon Mack, Zaycoven Henderson, Spencer Neely, Tony Jerod-Eddie
Mack was a 5th-round pick in 2019. Henderson, Neely and Jerod-Eddie weren’t drafted but were forces in college. Jerod-Eddie, an undrafted free agent, spent parts of 5 seasons in the NFL.
LB: Von Miller, Sean Porter, Tyrel Dodson, Shaan Washington
Miller played his final season at Texas A&M in 2010, so we would be remiss in leaving him off this list. The 2-time 1st team All-American was the No. 2 player take overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He led the nation with 17 sacks and finished his college career with 181 tackles, 50.5 for loss, and his 33 sacks rank 5th all-time at Texas A&M. In addition, the hard-hitting Miller forced 7 fumbles.
Porter was a 4th-round NFL Draft selection, after recording 260 tackles at Texas A&M, 34.5 for loss and 14.5 sacks. Both Dodson and Washington finished with outstanding careers at Texas A&M, putting up big numbers as well.
Backups: Michael Hodges, Jonathan Stewart, Steven Jenkins, Otaro Alaka
It wasn’t exactly a stellar decade for linebackers at Texas A&M, but this group nevertheless accomplished the goal of making the Aggies a better team for having them.
Secondary: Armani Watts, Jordan Pugh, Donovan Wilson, Brandon Williams
Watts recorded a whopping 126 tackles in 2016, including 6.0 for loss. He was a 4th-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Pugh and Wilson were 6th-round picks in the 2010 and 2019, respectively. Williams played just 1 season at DB after moving over on the defensive side of the football from his RB position. But he played it so well that he was taken in the 3rd round in 2016 and has played 3 seasons with the Arizona Cardinals.
Backups: Terrence Frederick, Justin Evans, Howard Matthews, Toney Hurd, Jr.
The Aggies have had some good secondary players come through the program, but these 4 rose above the rest to make the list. Frederick was a 7th-round pick in 2012. Matthews led the Aggies in tackles in 2014 with 82.