Texas A&M should receive a big-time boost this Saturday — two of them, actually.
Coach Kevin Sumlin said he expects middle linebackers A.J. Hilliard and Josh Walker will be ready to play when the No. 17 Aggies take on Nevada at Kyle Field, the Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman reported on Tuesday. Hilliard has finished serving a two-game suspension for “violating athletic department rules,” according to the Associated Press, while Walker returns from an injury.
“We’re back to full strength at the position, and it’s going to be interesting to watch them compete,” defensive coordinator John Chavis said to Zwerneman. “Because that’s what they’re doing: competing for playing time.”
Hilliard began the 2014 season as the Aggies’ starting middle linebacker, but he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in the team’s season opener against South Carolina. Walker made four starts at the same position last year before having his freshman season cut short by a broken foot.
The Texas A&M defense allowed 652 total yards in wins over Arizona State and Ball State.
Fellow linebacker Otaro Alaka, who missed the opener against the Sun Devils with an injury, should also find his way into the defensive mix for the Aggies this weekend.
Chavis: It's big [to get Alaka back]. We needed depth there and we're back to full strength at the position. They're all competing for PT.
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) September 15, 2015