Countdown 2007: Websider Impact Players - #14

Aggie Websider takes a look at 25 players who can make the biggest impact for the Aggies this year. These rankings are not based on talent, but rather, what contributions can be made by individuals to put Texas A&M back among the nation's elite programs. No. 14? Senior LB Misi Tupe.

Not many teams have a Samoan warrior on defense, but whether it was the war dance or the warrior mentality, Texas A&M senior linebacker Misi Tupe was a big reason for Aggies' improved defense in 2007. That's why he is Aggie Websider's No. 14 Impact Player for 2007.

He left a big enough impression on Big 12 coaches that they voted him Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year. With an encore performance in 2007, Tupe could start leaving impressions on NFL scouts as well.

What he's done so far

Since he's only been wearing the maroon and white for a year, let's look at what Tupe has done before arriving in Aggieland as well.

As a freshman at Dixie State Junior College, Tupe racked up 37 tackles, including nine tackles for a loss (TFL) and four sacks, recovered two fumbles and intercepted three passes. In 2005, Tupe was named NJCAA National Defensive Player of the Year after tallying 94 tackles (13 TFL) and a sack.

Tupe continued to turn heads once he arrived at A&M as a junior college transfer last season, earning honorable mention All-Big 12 honors in edition to newcomer of the year. Tupe started eight games for the Aggies and recorded 54 tackles (3 TFL) and recovered two fumbles.

His efforts against Missouri and Army last season were big factors in both victories, which totally changed the dynamic of the season. Most fans probably remember him breaking into the back field like a heat seeking missile on the final play of the game against Army to preserve the win for the Aggies.

Why he's important

Tupe seems like he's around the ball on nearly every play. He was one of the top-five tacklers as a newcomer in 2006 and this year, should be one of the top performers on defense. There's always a learning curve in the Big 12 and Tupe seemed to handle it as well as he possibly could last year.

I expect big things from him this year. If he can repeat his performance from a year ago, the Aggie defense will be looking pretty. If he can elevate his game just a little bit, the Aggies will be looking real pretty.

2007 Aggie Websider Impact Players
15. Cyril Obiozor, C
16. Cody Wallace, C
17. Matt Szymanski, PK
18. Earvin Taylor, WR
19. Kirk Elder, OL
20. Corey Clark, OL
21. Pierre Brown, WR
22. Chris Yoder, OL
23. Yemi Babalola, OL
24. Kerry Franks, WR/KR
25. Justin Brantly, P

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