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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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Sophomore defensive lineman withdraws from A&M

 
 

Texas A&M sophomore defensive lineman Isaiah Golden has withdrawn from the University and is expected to return for summer school, head coach Kevin Sumlin said Thursday at the Aggies seventh spring practice.
“He played about every snap last year,” Sumlin said. “Spring football may not be as important for him as it may be for Justin Manning who didn’t play at all. So the experience that [Golden] has, or had, in big games against all kinds of opponents will benefit him. Certainly everyone would want him here to practice but I think what’s more important is that he gets himself together and get back in the right frame of mind.”
Golden was charged with a misdemeanor marijuana possession in February and was suspended along with sophomore linebacker Darian Claiborne who received a noise citation in the same incident.
Golden also dealt with the death of his infant daughter in September before recording 32 tackles in 12 games last season.
Golden’s absence and a slew of injuries on the defensive line has meant an increase in playing time during spring practice for players like Manning.
“Justin Manning has done some really good things,” Sumlin said. “He’s shown some twitch that he showed in high school. With the guys that are out with injury it has really given those guys a lot of turns. You take for granted that Julien (Obioha) and Alonzo (Williams) – shoot they’ve been playing since they were freshmen. They’re kind of old men right now in the spring of their sophomore year. The rest of those guys are new.”
The increase in repetitions for the defensive line will prepare them for Saturday’s scrimmage which is expected to get a hike in plays called by the A&M staff from 64 plays called a week ago to 110-120 on Saturday.
Offensive line coach BJ Anderson said he is looking to gage how his linemen can handle the tempo of the Aggie offense.
“We slowed it down a little bit early in spring to insert the offense,” Anderson said. “It takes a while to get it all inserted but it’s all in right now. We want to see the tempo up and that’s what we were looking for today. I’m really pleased with what we saw today. I thought the energy was great. The tempo was as good as it has been all camp.”
That energy and tempo begins and ends for Anderson with junior center Mike Matthews who now has the A&M offense in the palm of his hands.
“Mike has total control of the offense,” Anderson said. “He has as much freedom as any center I’ve ever coached. He can change whatever he wants to change. I trust him, guys around here trust him. He’s really a leader for us up front. He’s a great energy guy, very outspoken guy. He brings the juice to practice and brings the juice to meetings. He’s a big piece to that puzzle.”
That puzzled seemed to be nearing completion Tuesday when Sumlin spoke on how the line was shaping up beginning with Germain Ifedi’s move to right tackle from guard during spring practice. When asked about Ifedi’s play at the new position Anderson said it was “safe to say” the sophomore is on target to be the guy at right tackle going forward.
As for Matthews, he finds himself in a much different leadership role than his brother Jake Matthews who was a four-year starter and will be taken in May’s NFL Draft.
“Jake’s more laid back,” the youngest Matthews said. “We’re similar in a lot of ways but we’re different in a lot of ways. He did it when he needed to but [the energy] just a way for me to enjoy myself during practice and it makes it a lot easier. I make guys laugh in the film room and stuff like that. It’s a job but at the same time you don’t want to come in here and hate it. You want to have fun.”

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