Texas A&M LB Martrell Harris Jr. may be the key to opening up the Aggies’ pass rush

Texas A&M’s 48-33 loss to Miami will continue to be a sore spot for Aggie fans until changes are made, and hopefully seen as soon as this weekend’s home matchup vs. the visiting UL Monroe Warhawks.

Yes, you guessed it, I’m referring to A&M’s porous defense coached by second-year defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin, and when I say defense, I mean both the secondary and the pass rush, as the run defense actually did their job after holding the Hurricanes to 77 yards on the ground.

Whether it was missed tackles or a blatant lack of discipline in coverage, Texas A&M’s pass rush was nowhere to be found, recording two sacks against Miami while allowing quarterback Tyler Van Dyke to pass for an efficient 21/30, 374 yards and five touchdowns through the air, basically having enough time to take a quick nap in the pocket in the second half.

Again, Texas A&M’s starting and 2nd-team defensive line rotation is filled with blue-chip prospects with NFL futures, but to provide consistent pressure off the edge, it’s all about length and athleticism, which leads us to one of the more underutilized players on the roster, sophomore linebacker Martrell Harris Jr. Appearing in four games last season, Harris recorded two sacks in consecutive contests against Auburn and UMass, looking like the best pass rusher outside of starting Edge Fadil Diggs, his moved most of 2022 due to injury.

Seemingly buried on the depth chart, Harris recorded two tackles in the season-opening win vs. New Mexico. Still, he barely saw the field against the Hurricanes, which, after watching the horrific defensive tape, Durkin may be forced to change things up scheme-wise, giving athletes like Harris the chance to go one-one-on-one with the outside tackle to provide pressure and free up the D-line to finish the job.

At 6-2 and 220 pounds, it’s no wonder Martrell Harris Jr. is constantly near the quarterback once he makes his move. Time to give him a shot.

Texas A&M will return to Kyle Field to take on Louisiana Monroe on Saturday, Sept. 16, as the game will air on the SEC Network at 3:00 p.m. CT.

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Story originally appeared on Aggies Wire