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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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6-foot-5 Seals-Jones soaks up receptions in Kennedy’s absence

Photos by Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Freshman WR Ricky Seals-Jones rose up to the challenge when senior Malcome Kennedy was injured. 

With senior wide receiver Malcome Kennedy out the past two games with a shoulder injury, Texas A&M needed someone to step up and take leadership of the Aggie receiving corps.
To the call of duty came redshirt freshman Ricky Seals-Jones. After coming down with 20 catches in the first five games, Seals-Jones has brought in 17 receptions in the last two games during Kennedy’s absence.
Seals-Jones now leads the team with 37 receptions for 377 yards. He has also recorded at least three catches in every game this season. Although the team has missed Kennedy, Seals-Jones said it is a situation the Aggies were well prepared for.
“We have a lot of weapons,” Seals-Jones said. “When a person goes down we don’t miss a beat. We just keep going. We never give up. We fight until the end. I’m going to try everything in my ability to beat [the opponent]. [They’re] going to have to bring it on every play.”
Seals-Jones and sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill have connected during their short time together, and Seals-Jones has developed into a reliable target for Hill’s shots through the air.
“[We have] great chemistry,” Seals-Jones said. “We spent time all through two-a-days and now we’ve done a lot of hanging out together. I know that whenever he’s out of the pocket and the ball’s coming my way, I’m just going to try to catch it for him. That lets him get confidence, because when he’s out of the pocket and he throws it to you and you catch it, he gets in a rhythm.”
Hill said he views Seals-Jones as a reliable target in the passing game, knowing he can count on him to reel in a catch.
“I know he can make plays,” Hill said. “I can throw it into tight windows and he comes out with it. It’s big. It’s just a confidence thing knowing I can go back to him when I need him.”
A five-star recruit out of Sealy High School in Sealy, Texas, Seals-Jones chose Texas A&M over many schools including SEC rivals Auburn and LSU. He debuted for the Aggies in 2013 before a knee injury cut his season short, and poses a unique matchup problem for defenders due to his combination of size and speed, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 235 pounds.
Earlier this season Seals-Jones and the rest of the receivers struggled with dropped passes and miscommunication with Kenny Hill.
“We were trying to run without the ball on a lot of the plays,” Seals-Jones said. “We just need to get back to the basics and keep doing what we were doing. We need to be at practice and see the ball to the tuck. We’ve been short in the games, but basically we need to get back on the right track.”
Seals-Jones said he is not worried about the past two weeks’ losses, noting them as a rough patch that comes hand-in-hand with football.
“You have got to have a short memory,” Seals-Jones said. “That’s part of the game — you lose some, you win some. Everyone’s going to have a couple drops. Going in against South Carolina everyone doubted us, and everyone doubts us now. We’ll just use it as motivation to get better. We have just got to play our game and minimize mistakes and we’ll be alright. Everyone makes mistakes on the field, but you just got to bounce back. It’s over and done with now.”
Seals-Jones said he recognizes Kennedy as the leader and captain of the receivers, and the squad will be glad to have him back this weekend considering his history against the Crimson Tide. In 2012, Kennedy scored a 24-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter in Tuscaloosa to put A&M up 29-24, a score that would ultimately be the game-winner.
Last year, Kennedy reeled in a trio of touchdowns as A&M dropped a 49-42 decision to Alabama in Kyle Field.
“Oh yeah, I was jumping up and down,” Seals-Jones said. “I’m just ready to get down there and shock them again. We took the breath out of the stadium and we won, so we’ll try to do that again this year.”
This Saturday, as the Aggies travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium, Seals-Jones said he looks forward to playing on such a big stage against high-caliber competition.
“In big-time games the competition level is crazy,” Seals-Jones said. “It’s fun to be a part of. It’s a hostile environment, but it’s like any other game really. You’ve just got to come out and play. I’m very excited to go out there and play, and have another weekend to play a tough school and just compete.”

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  • Photos by Tanner Garza — THE BATTALION Freshman WR Ricky Seals-Jones rose up to the challenge when senior Malcome Kennedy was injured. 

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