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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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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Aggie spring football: day one

Amidst the sounds of nearby construction at Kyle Field, Texas A&M spring football practice kicked off Friday to the tune of Drake’s “Trophies” blasting on the loudspeakers. Although the spring is young, head coach Kevin Sumlin said he was pleased with the overall tempo displayed by his team.
“It was a great start, weather was good, had a lot of energy which you expect from the first day, a lot of good looking [kids] – Larry Jackson has done a fine job in the off season, they’ve utilized their meeting time well,” Sumlin said. “I thought our guys understood the schemes that we tried to install and guys were buzzing around. Good tempo, had some good looking prospects out there too watching practice, a little DJ double-R cranking it up a little bit, so all-in-all I thought it was good.”
For the first time in two years, football at A&M was without Johnny Manziel. With the absence of Manziel, Sumlin said the only obvious difference was not blowing his whistle often during practice to have Manziel turn around and say “Come on! He wouldn’t have touched me!”
With the exit of one No. 2 comes the entry of another. Suiting up for the first time in the maroon and white No. 2 (practice) jersey was Louisiana native and five-star wide receiver, Devante “Speedy” Noil.
Noil’s speed has never been in question and senior defensive back Deshazor Everett said once Noil grasps a better hand on the offense, Aggieland will be in for a show.
“This new No. 2, he’s got to understand the offense more and the speed of it, that’s definitely a change at any level, but the way we run our offense is a big speed change and he’s adjusting to it,” Everett said. “But I see potential in him because he’s athletic, he runs good routes, he has good speed and he has good hands also, that surprised me, he’ll go up and get the ball. Once he gets the offense down you’ll see some things from him that will be spectacular.
Another hot topic from day one was senior LT Cedric Ogbuehi, who passed on this year’s NFL draft to return to A&M and transition from the right tackle to the left.
“I’m excited, Ogbuehi said. “That’s a big reason I came back, to get better at left tackle and show them that I can go both ways.”
In the past, Ogbuehi has struggled to keep his weight up in order to be an effective anchor on the offensive line. However, Sumlin said that Ogbuehi is starting to maintain his weight while making a smooth transition to the left side.
“I think he’s done a good job,” Sumlin said. “The process we talked about basically about his improvement – the move from right to left tackle was big. The other thing I think is Cedric athletically has been ready to go to the next level, but weight wise, this is really the first couple three-month period that he has been able to keep his weight over 300 pounds. He has hovered around that 290 to 295 area. Moving to this year and talking about the next level, against some teams he had a little troubling anchoring last year being a little bit light. He’s eating right, he’s lifting, he’s a leader and he is one of those 305 pound guys that like to walk around pool with his shirt off. That was part of the problem when he was staying at 295, but now I think that he understands that that anchor – he can still look pretty good at 305 or 310.”
Although it is still extremely early, Sumlin said he was pleased with the way the quarterbacks came out and handled the offense.
“You’ve got the old veteran, you’ve got the young guy that’s played some last year who obviously now has a sense of urgency,” Sumlin said. “And then the new guy that just showed up and threw some great balls today. I think what I like about them is you see them talking to each other, I think Jake’s [Spavital] doing a great job with them; they’re being competitive but not combative. They are helping each other, but like I said it’s still early. As we start to get into different things and start to see different things from our defense and put in more offense, we’ll see. But I was pleased today with their tempo, how they got signals, how they operated the offense and as time goes on and more and more gets on their plate we’ll see how they perform.”
The process of choosing a starting quarterback for Sumlin will be long and ongoing, but in his own words, “competition is a coach’s best friend.”
A&M spring practice will continue tomorrow at 10 a.m. and will continue Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week.

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