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College Sports: One of Texas A&M’s top defenders recovering from surgery, likely to miss Gator Bowl

One of Texas A&M’s top defenders will likely miss the Gator Bowl.

A&M coach Jimbo Fisher said he doubts senior linebacker Otaro Alaka will be available when the No. 19 Aggies play N.C. State on Dec. 31. Alaka recently had wrist surgery, Fisher said.

“They thought he needed to get some things cleaned up,” Fisher said after Tuesday’s practice.

Alaka was not dressed as the Aggies opened bowl week with a practice at the University of North Florida.

This year, Alaka has been one of A&M’s most experienced players and one of the team’s most important players. The redshirt senior leads the team in total tackles (79) and tackles for loss (14.5).

Entering next week’s game against the Wolfpack (8-4), Alaka is tied for the team lead with 38 straight starts. He has 45 career starts, the most of any player on the roster.

Fisher said sophomore Buddy Johnson will take Alaka’s place if the senior is not available.

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