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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 pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Dolezal’s Dash

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Johnathan Sheen — THE BATTALION Junior running back Brice Dolezal speaks to the media at Tuesday’s mid-week press conference.

Between Brandon and Trey Williams and bruiser Tra Carson, the Aggie running back corps stacks up to any in the nation, even without considering redshirt freshman James White, who scored two touchdowns in A&M’s 73-3 victory over Lamar.
But no A&M running back had a bigger moment Saturday than walk-on Brice Dolezal, who rushed for his first career touchdown on a 41-yard gallop at the end of the fourth quarter.
“It was incredible,” Dolezal said. “I’ve been playing for three years and just been trying my hardest and doing everything I can for the team, and to get in the end zone was just a big relief for me and I was excited to do that for the team.”
A junior, Dolezal hails from Austin where he attended Westlake High School, earning all-district honors twice as a running back and once as a kick returner. Westlake has produced NFL talents such as New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, and Baltimore Ravens place kicker Justin Tucker. It was also home to A&M’s all-time receiving yards leader Ryan Swope and his brother Louie, who walked on as a defensive back for the Aggies.
“Ryan was a big mentor for me when I grew up,” Dolezal said. “Going into my freshman year he was going into his senior year. I worked out with him and he was just a freak. I was just trying to keep up with him. It was awesome watching him play his last year, and then coming here I followed him and Louie Swope.”
Coming out of high school, Dolezal came close to walking on at TCU, Texas Tech or Baylor before a last-minute phone call from wide receivers coach David Beaty gave him the opportunity he coveted in coming to College Station to play for the Aggies.
“I wanted to follow my mentor, Ryan, and Louie was a good friend of mine,” Dolezal said. “When coach Beaty called me and told me to come, I knew this was the place for me.”
Dolezal has recorded 235 yards and one touchdown on 49 career attempts and said he enjoys the competition among the group.
“The talent’s insane and the competition is even better,” Dolezal said. “Everybody wants to start, everybody wants to play. James White won the player of the week last week and he’s our fourth-string guy. It just shows that everybody can participate and show what they’ve got.”
Three A&M walk-ons were awarded scholarships in August — defensive back Sam Moeller, linebacker Justin Bass and quarterback Connor McQueen. Though still in search of a scholarship, Dolezal is focused on his role on the team and was happy for the trio who earned the scholarships.
“The walk-on thing here is so competitive,” Dolezal said. “They could bring in a bunch of guys, but they don’t because they want to see the guys that can compete and want to actually travel and play in the games. They had a few scholarships to give, and the guys that really deserve it are the ones that are going to get it. My job is just to provide for the team on scout team and on special teams or wherever they need me, so whether that comes or not, I just want to help the team out.”
After Dolezal scored last Saturday, he was greeted by many of his peers as if he’d just scored the game winning touchdown. Head coach Kevin Sumlin said the display showed his team’s character.
“I think this team is one that genuinely enjoys being around each other and roots for each other’s success,” Sumlin said. “You see our fifth-string tailback score and we almost get a penalty with guys leaving the bench to go down there. That’s a big deal.”
When asked about the warm welcome, Dolezal echoed Sumlin’s sentiments about the nature of him and his teammate’s relationship with one another.
“It just shows the kind of team camaraderie that we have and how close everybody is to each other,” Dolezal said. “I’m just happy to have such great teammates around me and it was an awesome experience.”

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