Countdown 2007: Websider Impact Players - #4

Aggie Websider continues its look at 25 players who can make the biggest impact for the Aggies this year. These rankings are not necessarily based on talent, but rather, what contributions can be made by individuals to put Texas A&M back among the nation's elite programs. Senior defensive tackle Red Bryan is No. 4.

With all of the turmoil going on at the University of Oklahoma surrounding the paying of players who didn't perform any work, "Big Red" has become synonymous with the scandal. But in College Station, "Big Red" means one thing—Red Bryant.

Bryant is one of the critical leaders of this year's team, and him coming back from knee surgery is a crucial piece of the 2007 puzzle on the Aggie defense. His ability to make the big play, and his leadership on the defensive side of the ball are the reasons that he is No. 4 on the list of 2007 Impact Players.

What he's done so far

As a redshirt freshman in 2004, Bryant wasted no time in making a name for himself. He started all 12 games at tackle and finished with 34 tackles (3.5 TFL), batted down two passes and blocked a kick.

In 2005, Bryant's total number of tackles decreased a bit, but his big plays became his trademark. He racked up 28 tackles (7.5 TFL) and three quarterback sacks. He had a strong finish, registering at least a half tackle for a loss in the final four games of the season.

Before being injured last season, Bryant continued to be a force on the defensive line. He posted 19 tackles (1 sack, 2.5 TFL) and started eight games before having season-ending knee surgery in November. His biggest moment in 2006 was making the game-winning extra point block in overtime at Oklahoma State.

Why he's important

If Bryant can return to his same capabilities before the injury, it will give the A&M defense a tremendous boost, especially with All-Big 12 candidate Chris Harrington lining up next to him at defensive end. The combination of Bryant and Harrington will give opposing offensive lines hell to deal with, and none of the offensive lines will be as talented as the line that the two will face in practice.

If Bryant is not able to come back and play with the same fire and emotion as before, it would be a big blow to the defensive line and the A&M defense as a whole. Bryant—a four-year member of the Leadership Council—is the Stephen McGee of defense and the unit needs him to be there.

Read more about Bryant's return in tomorrow's feature

2007 Aggie Websider Impact Players
5. Martellus Bennett, TE
6. Chris Harrington, DE
7. Danny Gorrer, CB
8. Jordan Pugh, X/LB
9. Mark Dodge, LB
10. Chris Alexander, FB
11. Jordan Peterson, DB
12. Devin Gregg, S
13. Alton Dixon, S
14. Misi Tupe, LB
15. Cyril Obiozor, DL
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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