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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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He’s a running back, he’s a track star

Achane Graphic

Junior running back Devon Achane: 2019 Touchdown Club of Houston Offensive Player of the Year, Orange Bowl MVP, SEC Freshman of the Year, 50th Aggie in history to rush 1000 yards in their career, Maxwell Award watch list member.

Junior sprint runner Devon Achane: 2020 Gatorade Texas Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year, first male Aggie since 2014 to earn All-America honors in the 100m and 200m, 12th fastest performer in school history at the Charlie Thomas Invitational, ran to a first place finish at the Don Kirby Open in New Mexico making him the No. 3 all time Aggie in the event.

Since his freshman year at Texas A&M, Achane has been juggling being a dual-sport athlete as a member of the Aggie football and track and field teams.

“I like being a two-sport athlete,” Achane said. “It’s a lot of work, but coach [Jimbo]Fisher and coach [Pat] Henry had a system for me. When I was in track, I was doing track, but I was still lifting a little so I wouldn’t lose my strength.”

Due to his two sports requiring a focus on different aspects of athleticism — endurance versus durability — Achane has to ensure he maximizes the summer in between the spring track season and fall football season to get his body ready.

“Transition [between sports] for me is basically trying not to lose as much weight as I do going into track,” Achane said. “[Track is] obviously a lot of running and sweating, I’m going to lose weight. Just trying to stay in the weight room and keep my body maintain[ed]. You take a lot of hits, so keeping my weight up, make sure when I come back that I’m still in shape and able to [run] and catch the football.”

Contrary to what audiences may believe, while Achane’s experience as a sprinter assists in his on-field performance, racing on the track and charging down the field require different styles of running.

“My speed on the field and on track is too different,” Achane said. “If you see me running on the field you’re probably like ‘He’s not running,’ but in track it’s totally different. My advantage is my speed so I try to take advantage of that.”

Once football season concluded, Achane shifted his focus towards training his body for sprints, however, unlike many runners who train their bodies year round, Achane has a limited amount of time to prepare.  Despite this, in Achane’s first season with the track and field team, Achane reached a personal best of 20.31 at the Texas Relays earning him second place overall. 

“I honestly do not know [how fast I would be if I trained track year round],” Achane said. “That would be a scary sight because I wasn’t even expecting to run 20.3 that early.”

Leading into the fall 2022 season, Achane has high hopes for the team, not only because they excel in their respective positions, but because Achane and the other members of the backfield can switch positions depending on the play.

“I believe we have the best backfield in the entire country because it’s all interchangeable,” Achane said. “We all can do everything. We can play full back, we can all go at that wideout … we all play everything. We all switch at different things; you’ll have me at receiver or I’ll probably be in the back field with Ainias [Smith].”

With Isaiah Spiller’s draft into the NFL, Achane is set to become the starting running back for the maroon and white, a position both new and familiar to him.

“When I started high school I was a second string running back and my junior year I became a starter,” Achane said. “Same here [at A&M], I was a second string runner my freshman and sophomore year and now I am a starter my junior year. Taking on that role and being a leader for the team, it helps a lot that I am familiar with the position and phase that I am in because it’s the same from high school.”

With the expectations of fans and analysts alike, Achane’s shoulders are heavy leading into the new season, but Achane’s vision is locked on self improvement and being the best teammate he can be.

“[I want to do better] just playing,” Achane said. “Going out as a receiver, just focusing on running my routes better. I’ve been at practice catching a lot of drag [routes], just working on my hands and do[ing] what’s best for the team.”

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  • Sophomore Devon Achane competes in the 60m sprint race at the SEC Indoor Track and Field Championship on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022.

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