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Friday, November 30, 2012
Grading the positions: Safeties

By Sam Khan Jr.

In the weeks leading up to Texas A&M's bowl game, GigEmNation will take a look back at how the Aggies performed position-by-position and give each group a grade based on that performance. Today, we look at the safety position.

GradeHighlights: Senior Steven Terrell was the only safety to play and start all 12 games for the Aggies this season and was solid from start to finish. He tied for fifth on the team in tackles for the season (58), had four tackles for loss and two interceptions, both of which came in the Aggies' 58-10 win over Arkansas. He also had five pass breakups and two forced fumbles. Late in the season, Howard Matthews came on strong and cornerbacks Deshazor Everett and Toney Hurd proved capable of playing the position during the times they were shifted back there.

Lowlights: There was hope that this was going to be a strong senior year for Steven Campbell, but it wasn't to be. A career that was marred by injuries was cut short by midseason. He appeared in two games this season and started one. He missed one game due to a suspension for violation of team rules and missed the Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana Tech games because of what Kevin Sumlin called "recurring headaches" and called it quits at that point.

Surprises: Matthews, a 6-foot-2, 206-pound sophomore, was probably the biggest surprise based on where he was to start the season. After fall camp, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said Matthews was "not in the mix" at the safety position. By the end of the year, he was a key player on defense and even led the team in tackles in the regular-season finale, recording 13 against Missouri. He started four games, including the final three of the season and finished with 49 tackles (seventh on the team) and six pass breakups (tied for third).

Grade: B. Considering how fluid the personnel was at the position with Snyder and secondary coach Marcel Yates having to mix and match the pieces, the group performed well.