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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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Carper finding his stride in spring

Defensive+coordinator+Mike+Elko+works+with+the+defensive+backs+during+spring+football+practice.
Photo by Meredith Seaver

Defensive coordinator Mike Elko works with the defensive backs during spring football practice.

In Keldrick Carper’s third spring football session, the sophomore defensive back is taking more of a leadership role among the secondary following the departure of Donovan Wilson.
Although he received limited action in his first two seasons, Carper is content in his role among an increasingly talented defensive back group to be the player that is prepared to come in at a moment’s notice.
“Coach [Mike] Elko challenged me to be a guy that knows everything,” Carper said. “That needs to know everything so I can come in in case something happens, or somebody who needs me to come in and play a special part in a certain game plan.”
Last season Carper registered nine tackles and two pass breakups in ten games and also received the Strength and Conditioning Defensive Aggie award at the team’s banquet. The sophomore said that he isn’t looking to be a headline guy anytime soon.
“My personality, I’m more of a lowkey kind of guy,” Carper said. “I’m okay with staying away from all of the headlines and stuff like that. I’m a firm believer that you put in the right amount of work, you’ll reap the benefits.”
Former defensive coordinator John Chavis recruited Carper from high school to play for A&M in 2017, but quickly made the transition to current defensive coordinator Elko when head coach Jimbo Fisher took over the program in December of 2017.
“Both of them had different philosophies,” Carper said. “Different defenses, different coaching styles, so nothing against coach Chavis’ [he’s] a great coach, but it was just a matter of different philosophies, both of them are great coaches.”
Carper said that Elko’s coaching style revolves around adjusting to every detail, every week. While Chavis’ style meant knowing what they ran, Elko’s style meant adjusting a lot more to the opponent.
“That spring was a bit tough on us,” Carper said. “Flushing out everything we knew, you know, and just regrouping and learning. Once the summertime came along, we got together on our own time to really focus in and figure out the playbook. As the season approached, even from fall camp to the last game against NC State, we grew week-by-week.”
Texas A&M announced on Monday that junior defensive back Antonio Howard had entered his name into the NCAA Transfer Portal to find an option outside of Aggieland.
“Antonio, we call him ‘Speedy’ for a reason,” Carper said. “Wherever he goes, he will be the fastest guy on the team more than likely. I’m just amazed by his speed and whoever gets him, they’re gonna get the guy you put in the right position, he’ll make plays for you.”
The Aggies will host its annual spring game at Kyle Field on Saturday, April 13. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. and will be televised on SEC Network.

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