Texas A&M Football: Defensive Line Coach Hire Important One for Sumlin

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2012

Photo by Austin-American Statesman
Photo by Austin-American Statesman

Texas A&M's defensive line coach Terrell Williams was just hired by the Oakland Raiders to coach in the same capacity in the NFL. This leaves a large void in Kevin Sumlin's first staff in Aggieland.

Williams was the one coach that Sumlin retained from Mike Sherman's previous staff and was known as a great recruiter and an outstanding defensive line coach.

Williams helped the Aggies build one of the top run defenses in the country over the past two years. In 2011, they only gave up 2.6 yards per rush after allowing 3.5 yards per rush in 2010. Williams' defensive line was a big part of that.

He is a Los Angeles native who will be returning home to work under new Oakland head coach and former Aggie football player and graduate assistant coach, Dennis Allen.

The Aggies are moving into the Southeastern Conference in 2012, where great defensive line play is a must. The SEC has produced six straight national title winners because they have the top defenses in the country.

It all starts up front on the defensive line. The SEC has some of the most dominant D-lines in the country. It has produced notable linemen like Marcell Dareus and Nick Fairley. If you want to win in the SEC, you have to have a great defensive line.

A&M now enters this conference without anyone to coach its most important aspect. Kevin Sumlin needs to take care that he hires a great coach and recruiter. Next to the quarterback coach, the defensive line coach is probably the most important position coach on the staff in the SEC.

You need to be able to stop the run if you want to win in the conference, and that all starts with the big guys up front.

Photo by gousfbull.com
Photo by gousfbull.com

The Aggies need a great defensive line coach to go on the road and recruit against LSU, Alabama, Auburn and the rest of the SEC West.

Keep an eye on South Florida defensive tackle coach Kevin Patrick. He coached under current A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder for the past two seasons. Patrick has been recognized as one of the top recruiters in the country and has had a lot of success preparing defensive linemen for the NFL.

Sumlin has placed a premium on hiring great recruiters while building his staff at A&M, and Patrick definitely fits the bill. Williams was known for his recruiting prowess in Florida and Patrick would be able to fill that loss.

Whoever Sumlin decides to hire it needs to be one of the best in the nation, because anything less will be exposed in the SEC.