The Aggies enter the 2015 season with one glaring question mark. Who will start opposite of De’Vante Harris at defensive back. Tavares Garner, Nick Harvey, and Victor Davis all competed for the open spot in the fall, but not a single person separated themselves from the pack. This prompted the coaches to move Brandon Williams from running back to defensive back, a move that has several people worried. Throw incoming freshman Roney Elam and Deshawn Capers-Smith into the mix, and the Aggies have a 6 person race for the open spot heading into fall camp.
The hope is that someone will emerge as a lockdown cover for the 2015 season. Chavis’ scheme demands it, often forcing single coverage with the defensive backs. The only issue entering this season is that the talent level at that position is largely lacking behind the likes of LSU and Alabama. To make matters worse, most of that talent came from the state of Texas.
A&M’s inability to reign in Kendall Sheffield (Bama), Tony Brown (Bama), Edward Paris (LSU), or Jalen Mills (LSU) over the years is now catching up to them. Luckily, help is on the way. Former 5-star recruit, Priest Willis, has decided to transfer from UCLA to A&M. Although he struggled to see much action in his first 2 seasons at UCLA, the talent is definitely there.
At 6’2” 185lbs, Willis is the perfect press corner that Chavis seeks out for his defenses. In high school he was listed as a 5-star recruit from Scout and a high 4-star recruit from Rivals and 247. After notching 55 tackles his senior season and 2 interceptions, he was named all-state and given the honors of #1 player from Arizona. With him along with Kyle Allen and Christian Kirk, the Aggie roster now boasts the #1 player from Arizona three years straight.
His impact in 2016 is far from a guarantee. He struggled to see action at UCLA for a reason. That being said, sometimes players need a fresh start and a new scheme that fits their skillset. If Priest Willis is able to capitalize on this fresh opportunity, the Aggies could have a terrorizing secondary next season.