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How secondary forms emerge after spring exercises

Eighth in a position-by-position series looking at the 2024 Texas A&M Aggies after spring football practice:

Bryce Anderson, junior
Tyreek Chappell, Sr
Dalton Brooks, sophomore
Jayvon Thomas, sophomore
Bravion Rogers, sophomore
Jarred Kerr, junior

Demani Richardson
Deuce Harmon
Bobby Taylor
Garden Gilbert
Jacoby Mathews
Alex Zettler
Tony Grimes
Sam McCall
Josh DeBerry
Sam Mathews.

Jordan Pride
Myles Davis
Dezz Ricks (Alabama)
Will Lee (Kansas State)
Jaydon Hill (Florida)
Trey Jones (Central Michigan)
Marcus Ratcliffe (San Diego State)
BJ Mayes (Alabama-Birmingham)
Donovan Saunders (Cal Poly).

No unit saw more turnover in the offseason than the secondary, and new A&M coach Mike Elko has been particularly active in the portal to fill the gaps with experience and intrigue, starting with former five-star recruit Dezz Ricks, who is his first season at Alabama but still registered as a redshirt freshman.

Ricks will compete with veterans Tyreek Chappell and Jayvon Thomas and transfer Will Lee (Kansas State) for playing time at cornerback. Aside from those four playmakers, so many of the defensive backs in Elko's defense are interchangeable that every attempt on a depth chart in the spring is just that.

New additions Jaydon Hill, Trey Jones and Marcus Ratcliffe are expected to play together in the defensive backfield behind arguably one of the most formidable front sevens in the Southeastern Conference.

Safety Bryce Anderson has been a leader since arriving on campus from Beaumont West Brook High, and as a junior he is finally a senior.

Anderson will help linebacker Taurean York call the shots in new defensive coordinator Jay Bateman's scheme, and Bateman is fortunate to have acquired a veteran like Anderson to help the new staff transition from former defensive coordinator DJ Durkin, who is with the Jimbo Fisher regime left.

An optimistic Elko said this week that he was most impressed by the improvement in the secondary drills over spring drills.

“This group will be noticeably improved this fall,” Elko said.

Cornerback
Tyreek Chappell
Jayvon Thomas

Cornerback
Will Lee
Dezz Ricks

Strong security
Bryce Anderson
Trey Jones

Free security
Jaydon Hill
Marcus Ratcliffe

nickel
Dalton Brooks
Jarred Kerr

Anna Harden

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