It’s safe to say that the Texas A&M defense had its fair share of struggles last season, areas that this offseason are looked to be improved upon by the Aggies’ defensive players and coaches. Spring practice is a great time to turn those weaknesses into strengths, and with books officially being closed on Texas A&M’s spring practice, defensive lineman Shemar Turner reflected on the defense’s areas of improvement.
“One thing I can say we improved on a lot is tackling, because last year we did miss a lot of tackles and that caused us some games,” Turner said.
The Aggies only gave up 21.2 points per game last season, ranking fourth in the SEC, but had more struggles in their run defense versus their pass defense. In 2022 Texas A&M gave up the most rushing yards per game in the conference with 208.8, but on the backend boasted the SEC’s best pass defense only giving up 156.2 yards in the air per contest.
Tackling is a great place to start in improving the Aggies’ run defense, but not the only way, as Turner revealed another area the team’s defense has improved that’s a lot more mental than physical.
“And another thing I can say we’ve been picking up on is our energy, like last year we’ll make plays and some of the defense will turn up, the other half (won’t turn up). But now when we’re making plays in practice and stuff like that it all builds up,” Turner explained.
Turner could have an impact this season in providing the Aggies with some more energy as he enters his third season with the program. Turner was a five-star recruit out of DeSoto, Texas where he was ranked the No. 13 overall player and the No. 5 defensive lineman in the 2021 class according to On3’s Industry Ranking, a weighted average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.
He started all 11 games he played in last season, recording 32 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and half of a sack last year. Turner received the defense’s Mr. Dependable award last year for Texas A&M and believes that cutting out the team’s missed assignments on the defensive side of the ball could take the Aggies to new heights this upcoming season.
“And I feel like for us to be a championship defense, I feel like we just got to take out our MAs. We just gotta lock in and stop missing assignments, because when we’re doing our job, when everybody’s in the right place ain’t nothing happening, the ball not moving,” Turner said.
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