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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M football in home stretch before fall kickoff

Courtesy of Craig Bisacre/Texas A&M Athletics

The Texas A&M football team is set to begin their 2021 season against Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 4 with a 7 p.m. kickoff time at Kyle Field. 

With less than two weeks before Texas A&M football returns to Kyle Field, the maroon and white is being pushed to the absolute limit in preparation for the upcoming season.
In a press conference held Saturday, Aug. 20, covering the second week of Fall Camp, players and coaches alike dived into the work which goes into training a championship-contending team.
Head coach Jimbo Fisher said he has never seen a group of athletes work so hard in pursuit of its goals.
“They’re banged, bruised, bodied,” Fisher said. “Now you start to find out who likes football and can play and push through those things. That’s what camp is about. Practices have gotten good and heated and intense, like they should be.”
For some players, this “top-level grind” is a new experience. Sophomore punter Nik Constantinou, hailing from Melbourne, Australia, said he was neither expecting nor prepared for the aura surrounding A&M football during practices.
“It’s unbelievable to be part of this,” Constantinou said. “We have nothing like this at home. I’ve never seen anything like [the Aggie Network] in my life.”
Sophomore defensive back Jaylon Jones said even returning Aggies who have played football for their entire lives are being forced to make adjustments beyond what they have already known with Fisher’s squad.
“I came early in January of 2020, getting a feel for college, then COVID[-19] hit,” Jones said. “Getting the whole college atmosphere here at camp is totally different. As a defense, we’re looking to do our job, do what we’re supposed to and help our team get to the national championship. We focus day-by-day.”
If last season is any indication, the defense will have no problem putting its hard work to good use. Jones started all 10 games in 2020, leading the team with six pass breakups to go with an interception and seven passes defended on his resume.
Sophomore running back and track and field member Devon Achane said training against this dominance on one side of the ball has helped improve the Aggies’ offense going into the fall season.
“The [defensive] line we play against at practice is the best. They’re scary,” Achane said. “When we get into games, it’ll be way easier. Now, I believe we have the best backfield in the country. We’re all interchangeable. Nobody else can do that.”
Though his team is still working to reach its highest potential, Fisher said he is pleased with how his athletes have performed throughout Fall Camp thus far.
“We’re making some good progress,” Fisher said. “We have some things which we can get better on, which is everything, but it’s been fun to watch them learn and watch them grow. We’re getting there. I’m really proud of our offense and defense.”
The Aggies have entered the home stretch of summer training and preparation before the season opener on Saturday, Sept. 4, against Kent State, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. at Kyle Field. If A&M is to live up to the hype surrounding its 2021 season, including a No. 6 AP Preseason ranking, it needs to fully capitalize on the remaining practice time before the “triumphant return” to Aggieland.
Regarding the upcoming season, with another two weeks left to improve, Jones had just one thing to say.
“I feel bad for the opposing teams we’re going to play,” Jones said.

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