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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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It begins: Coaches get first look at roster at spring practice open

Tim Lai — THE BATTALION
The A&M football team began spring practice Monday.
Tim Lai — THE BATTALION The A&M football team began spring practice Monday.

Aggie football is back for spring workouts as the team began its 2015 campaign Monday.
The practice marked the first time out for some new Aggie coaches as Dave Christensen and John Chavis made their debuts Monday for A&M.
Head coach Kevin Sumlin said Chavis, his new defensive coordinator, is fitting in to the new job and environment. The two had a moment to talk on the field before practice began.
“[Chavis] has been excited since he’s been here,” Sumlin said with a grin. “He was looking around at the white helmets and told me, ‘Coach, I can’t tell you how excited I am for today.’ And I said, ‘I can’t tell you how excited I am, too.’ It’s good. We’re just trying to get better as a team. I think there are some things fundamentally that we’re doing that makes sense. He brings a lot of experience not just in this league but overall. Think right now it’s one of those situations where guys are learning. It’s a new defense. Few days before we scrimmage. We’ll see where we are but I’m real pleased with the energy right now.”
The team has its fair share of injuries. Mike Matthews and Otaro Alaka are two of the handful of players who are not participating at all this spring due to injury. However, Sumlin said he does not dwell on the issue, but uses it to see what other talent the roster possesses.
“We have guys that are out completely for spring,” Sumlin said. “For us the timing of spring ball gave us seven or eight weeks of lifting and be around our guys, get things going. We stretch out spring ball as long as we can. [It’s a] chance to get a guy with something minor back. What that does is give us ability to put other guys in there and see who can be backups, or what the rotation is.”
The team has seen improvement across the board, said strength and conditioning coach Larry Jackson. However, it is the newcomers that are impressing, and early enrollee Christian Kirk is the one Jackson had his eye on throughout the day.
“[Kirk] has been doing a lot of extra work,” Jackson said. “He has been doing great. You can tell that he is the workhorse that he said he was. So it is really exciting to watch him and see where he is going to go.”
A main storyline for the team is the return of sophomore starting quarterback Kyle Allen, who stepped into the starting role during the Louisiana-Monroe game for Kenny Hill. He finished the year as the MVP in the Liberty Bowl win. Now in his second year, Allen enters spring as the starting quarterback looking to build off his good end to 2014, and he is taking spring drill seriously.
“Kyle Allen is not built that way to just ‘go through motions’ of spring,” Sumlin said. “He wants to get better. Him ending the season as MVP of the bowl game is good for him. The way he’s wired, he’s not going to just sit around and be there. He wants to be great. That is what made him one of the top guys coming out of high school. He has done a lot of explosive work and a lot of quickness work in offseason. He is taking the next step in being able to think conceptually. This process started with him when he got back.”

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  • Tim Lai — THE BATTALION The A&M football team began spring practice Monday.

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