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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Lanfear back to full strength on O-Line

Photo by By Kate Hanson

Junior offensive guard Connor Lanfear returns to practice after suffering a knee injury last season.

Connor Lanfear was having a consistent sophomore campaign in 2016, starting in Texas A&M’s first seven games at right guard.
His season would be cut short, however, after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Mississippi State.
“I look back at some of the early film, obviously there’s improvement week-to-week, but I thought I was having a pretty decent year,” Lanfear said after Wednesday’s practice. “It was pretty tough to have that taken away from me.”
Recovery road was daunting for Lanfear from a mental aspect.
“There were some discouraging days. I just didn’t feel as strong as used to be and it was hard to get through those times,” Lanfear said. “Ultimately I just kept my nose down, kept plugging away at it and came back to where I am now and I’m feeling good.”
Nine months later, Lanfear has returned to being the Aggies’ rock at right guard.
“It’s great to be back on the field again and to be out there going to work, having the pads popping again,” Lanfear added. “I missed it.”
Despite feeling depleted in strength while rehabilitating, Lanfear affirmed that he is back to 100 percent.
“I felt like my feet might have been a tad bit quicker, but now that I’ve gone through the rehab process, I feel like I’m back to where I was before hand,” Lanfear said. “The power and everything is still the same it was before, I haven’t lost any strength.”
A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin has emphasized multiple times how the Aggies return more starts up front than last year. Added with the duo of Trayveon Williams and Keith Ford in the backfield, Lanfear said the team has stressed increasing A&M’s run game.
“In that room, we always want to run the ball. That’s when we’re at our happiest is coming off the ball and putting our face in someone’s chest and driving them off the ball,” Lanfear said. “There’s a lot of emphasis on it this year, but even more so this year, we’re planning to put our hand in the dirt, run the ball up the gut and just play a hard, tough brand of football.”
With the Aggies picking from quarterbacks with limited or zero collegiate playing experience, Lanfear added that having a reliable run game can allow pressure to be taken off A&M’s first year signal-caller.
“I feel like it does give him confidence to know even if he doesn’t come away with a good play or the result of a play he wanted that we’ve got backs and O-Line that can make things happen on the ground,” Lanfear said.
A&M replaces both tackles from 2016 and has also moved Colton Prater to center and slid Erik McCoy to left guard. Despite the shuffling up front, Lanfear is confident in his unit.
“We have more experience, so I think we can be more fundamentally sound. It’s our second year in this system and our second year under Coach Turner, so I think our footwork will be a lot better, our technique and our overall understanding of the scheme will be a whole lot better,” Lanfear said. “I think we have the potential to be just as good if not better than last year’s O-Line.”

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