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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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Aggie spring football: day two

Day two of Texas A&M spring football has come to a close with continued intensity and competition brewing at all positions.
Other than life without Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder said consistency – especially from safety Howard Matthews – has seemed to be the theme of this years spring practices.
“Consistency is the key for Howard,” Snyder said. “For a lot of our guys, consistency [is key]- especially the younger guys. I can handle the younger guys a bit because they haven’t played much, but the older guys, its all about consistency, and that needs to be his goal this spring.”
Snyder said having spring practice start early this season has benefited this year’s team coming off a short layover from A&M’s bowl win Jan. 1.
“It seems like we just played not too long ago – it’s really nice having spring this early, a lot of carry-over,” Snyder said.
With last year’s defense ranking at the bottom of the conference, Snyder believes the youth that hurt last years squad can only add to the depth this year.
“Well we all know that we’re very young and a lot of guys saw a lot of action he probably wasn’t ready to see – especially in this league,” Snyder said. “But again, what hurts you then helps you in the future and hopefully we’ll see that come Monday when the pads go on.”
Following his first game as play-caller for A&M in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, new offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said he will use the spring to add wrinkles to the offense.
“The thing that I’m looking for in the spring is to practice little wrinkles,” Spavital said. “This is the perfect time for us to start messing around with things and do things that we haven’t shown before and go through these 15 practices and see if it’s any good. We may trash a lot of the things that I’m trying to do, we may keep evolving with it, but the main thing is to focus on getting better individually and what we do schematically, but also throw some wrinkles out there and see if we can evolve this offense a little bit.”
Naturally, the quarterback battle has drawn a lot of attention. Spavital said he likes the competition going on between the likely candidates and that the door is open for someone to play their way onto the field.
“Quarterbacks doing good, we got a good competition going on right now, we got three guys going,” Spavital said. “We got Matt Joeckel who is the most experienced guy and its crazy how he’s evolved as a quarterback in this system because he’s going on his third year, so he already knows how this thing operates pretty efficiently. Going on to Kenny Hill, year two of the system, you’re going to keep getting naturally better at it. He’s more and more comfortable each day and that started last year when he entered fall camp. Kyle Allen, we had a good amount of time to work with him because he is a mid-year kid, so, we got about two good months in of just learning the offense so that the communication and the operation is running pretty smoothly for him. His head is spinning just a little bit, but I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing out there.
Spavital was impressed with how newcomer and highly touted recruit Kyle Allen has handled himself, while “making some big time throws out there as well.”
As Johnny will no longer be scampering around in the backfield, the Aggies offense will have a different look at quarterback, but Spavital is not ready to say that the scrambling portion of the offense is gone.
“These type of quarterbacks we have are similar to what I had at West Virginia and Oklahoma State and you’ve just got to utilize their strengths and you’ve got to take advantage of what they do best,” Spavital said. “Obviously, they are probably going to be more of pocket passer guys, but I think some of them are mobile enough to maybe get some things out there on the perimeter.”
With a new quarterback taking the reigns, the Aggies are going to look to their running game to ease the pressure off the quarterback. Spavital said the best way to help a new quarterback is to lean on the running backs and offensive line – two of the Aggies strong suits.
“With the threats of Trey Williams and Brandon Williams and Tra Crason and then even throw in James White in the mix, I think you have a good mix of all types of running backs,” Spavital said. “You have your speed guys, you have the guys that can juke people you’ve got the guys that can get down hill and run power with and you also got guys who can do both, so there are some things that we can do with it but right now I think we are going to have to rely heavily on the run game and try to mature these quarterback and make them feel comfortable when they go out there in game time situations.”

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