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Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Current and future: Linebackers

By Sam Khan Jr.

As the 2012 season approaches, GigEmNation will take a look at where the Aggies stand currently and in the future at each position group. Today, we glance at the linebackers.

Current
On the depth chart: Donnie Baggs, Steven Jenkins, Sean Porter, Michael Richardson, Jonathan Stewart, Shaun Ward


Sean Porter
Outside linebacker Sean Porter tallied 9.5 sacks for A&M last season.
Porter, Stewart and Jenkins entered camp as the starters with the 6-foot-4, 244-pound Stewart manning the middle. Porter and Stewart are both seniors and linebackers coach Matt Wallerstedt cited both as leaders. Porter had a team-high 9.5 sacks and a team second-best 17 tackles for loss last year and is a preseason first-team All-SEC selection by the league's coaches. Stewart led the team with 98 tackles last year from the inside linebacker position while starting all 13 games. Jenkins, a 6-2, 220-pound junior, is coming off a 61-tackle season in which he earned honorable mention Big 12 defensive newcomer of the year honors. Sophomore Donnie Baggs, is a talent who has shown flashes but needs to become more consistent, according to Wallerstedt. Ward appeared in nine games last year as a true freshman and is an "SEC-looking Mike linebacker" at 6-2, 244, according to defensive coordinator Mark Snyder. Richardson, a true freshman from DeSoto, Texas/Desoto, has been getting positive reviews from teammates on his offseason.

Others of note: Jordan Richmond, Tyrell Taylor

Taylor, a 6-4, 212-pound sophomore, appeared in 10 games last season as a true freshman. He'll be able to provide speed at the outside linebacker spot as he continues to grow. The Houston/Galena Park product is the brother of true freshman defensive end Tyrone Taylor. Richmond, a 6-3, 225-pound true freshman from Denton, Texas/Ryan, has been getting similar positive comments from teammates and coaches like fellow freshman linebacker Richardson when it comes to work ethic and athleticism.

Future: Reggie Chevis, Darian Claiborne, Brett Wade, Edward Williams

Wade, a 6-2, 220-pound inside linebacker from Kennedale (Texas) High is the 14th-ranked inside linebacker in the country and 40th-ranked prospect in Texas. He's a good run-defender with good enough athleticism for passing downs. Chevis (Houston/Sharpstown), is also a four-star inside linebacker. At 6-2, 235, Chevis ranks 19th at the position and 50th in Texas and is a strong tackler. Claiborne, a 6-1, 220-pound player out of Port Allen (La.), is ranked 32nd nationally among inside linebackers but will likely figure in as a weakside linebacker when he arrives at Texas A&M. Williams, the 52nd-ranked inside linebacker in the country. The 6-1, 215-pound athlete is an instinctive player with a good blend of size and speed. Also keep an eye on safety commitment Shaan Washington. While he's projected to be a safety for the Aggies, he's willing to play anywhere and could be a future outside linebacker for Texas A&M.