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June 17, 2013

Meet the new guys: Isaiah Golden

As Texas A&M's fall camp draws closer, AggieYell.com will introduce each of the players who are arriving in College Station this summer. First up: defensive tackle Isaiah Golden.

High School: Carthage

Height/Weight: 6'2", 315 lbs.

2012 stats: 76 tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, 18 QB hurries, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries

Awards/Recognitions: U.S. Army All-American; Rivals 250 member; 20-3A Defensive MVP

Why the Aggies wanted him: In 2012, Texas A&M was fortunate enough to survive with one real big body (Kirby Ennis), one converted defensive end (Spencer Nealy) and a veteran playing on a weakened knee (Jonathan Mathis) playing the two interior line positions. Through a a rigorous workout regimen and dumb luck, the three made it through the season without missing any time, but the Aggie coaching staff knew before the season even began that a second season with minimal depth would be playing with fire.

As a result, defensive tackle was at the top of A&M's list as soon as Kevin Sumlin got to campus, and Golden was at the top of that list. Built like a wrecking ball, Golden likely already has the physical strength to hold his own in limited snaps in the tough SEC -- he should be more prepared after a couple of months in A&M's strength and conditioning program. What sets Golden apart, however, is his speed and quickness. Even though he weighs more than 300 pounds, he runs a 40 yard dash in about 4.85 seconds. His first step is much quicker than most big men, allowing him to gain leverage on opposing linemen.

When Golden committed to the Aggies on Jan. 28, 2012, he was the second member of the 2013 class (the first, Kohl Stewart, will not be attending A&M as he will play professional baseball instead). He quickly became a prized recruit and, even though 29 players would follow his lead and commit to the Aggies, his role one of the crown jewels of the class never changed.

Likelihood of playing in 2013 (5 being probable starter, 1 being near-certain redshirt): 4. Golden is the odds-on favorite to back up Ennis this season and his likely replacement as a starter in 2014. The coaching staff is expecting big things from him, both this year and in the future.

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