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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 genesis of Gennesy: Left tackle poised to shine

Avery+Gennessy
PROVIDED
Avery Gennessy

Junior college transfer Avery Gennesy fills one of the most vital, yet unsung roles on a football team — he protects the quarterback’s blind side. 
In this case, the Texas A&M left tackle establishes and maintains a cozy pocket for starting quarterback Kyle Allen.
“I am very comfortable,” Allen said. “And, just the way that he [Gennesy] has progressed since he has gotten here, out of JUCO [junior college], and just his attitude, and the energy he brings to the field is huge for our offense.”
At 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds, Gennesy fits the prototype of left tackle, a fruitful position at Texas A&M that has yielded elite NFL talent in recent years. Former Texas A&M left tackles Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews and Cedric Ogbuehi were each selected in the first round of the 2013, 2014 and 2015 NFL Drafts, respectively. 
Gennesy’s football career took shape at Southaven High School, located in his hometown of Southaven, Miss. Upon his recruitment in 2012, Gennesy had not yet garnered major national attention. He had to make a decision between Arkansas State, who was led by current Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, and East Mississippi Community College. 
“When I was trying to make my decision, coach Freeze was there,” Gennesy said. “And I had asked him, ‘Was he still going to be there?’ and he said, he doesn’t know. And I said I really didn’t want to wait anymore, so I didn’t feel like taking the chance to just go there and then he leaves, so I decided to go on to [junior college].”
Gennesy’s election to go the junior college route paid dividends as he committed to a successful program and enhanced his own brand as a viable force at left tackle. In 2013, he helped East Mississippi Community College to an average of 62.3 points per game, an undefeated record and a National Junior College Championship. 
Gennesy ranked as the No. 12 overall junior college prospect in 2014, according to ESPN.com. He fielded several scholarship offers from power five football teams across the country, including one to play for Freeze at Ole Miss. 
“In the early stage, I really didn’t want to stay at Mississippi anymore,” Gennesy said. “And then, plus, I had a good relationship with coach Price, our defensive line coach. So, it really helped me out with my decision, and it felt like home even though it was far away from where I was staying at.”
Offensive coordinator Jake Spavital, with an understanding that there would be an opening at left tackle in the near future, knew that a seasoned and talented junior college player such as Gennesy could fulfill the role with minimal if any drop-off.
“When we were recruiting him, we knew that we needed to fill a void right there,” Spavital said. “Because we knew we were going to lose some pretty important tackles. And he got the ability to come in … he got to travel to all of the away games, he got to run the offense for an entire year and he’s very athletic. He’s probably our most athletic offensive lineman we got. And every single day, he gets better.”
Texas A&M redshirted Gennesy in 2014 for his first year on campus, which allowed him to learn under the tutelage of former starting left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi. Then, Gennesy presumably took the starting spot in 2015 with two years of eligibility remaining.
Gennesy embraced sitting out a year and even took the opportunity a step further by earning the respect of his teammates, such as wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones.
“He is a hard worker,” Seals-Jones said. “Even when he had to sit out last year, he was on the sideline, encouraging. Coming to the sideline, he’s right there, you know, telling you ‘Good job,’ you know, ‘Hey, come on man, let’s play.’ So, he was always an uplifting guy and when he got this year, it was nothing change, he works hard, he knows his stuff.”
In addition to experience, Gennesy also has an advantage no other offensive tackle in the country has. That is, Gennesy must block A&M defensive end Myles Garrett in practice on a daily basis. 
“It’s slowed the game down for me,” Gennesy said. “Really slowed the game down for me. When I go against, you know, I respect everybody in the conference, but his [Myles’] first step is like no other in the SEC.”
Gennesy’s daily battle with the pre-season All-American is one he admittedly does not always win, but the challenge only fortifies his ability in the position. And combining the former with his skill, size and junior college experience, Gennesy sits poised to follow in the footprints of previous A&M greats at left tackle.
Only, this chapter will be his. 

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