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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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Young talent impresses veterans as spring practice continues

Hours after former Texas A&M players occupied the McFerrin Athletic Center Wednesday to showcase their talents for NFL scouts, the Aggie football team took to the facility for day four of spring football practices.
While Johnny Manziel was in attendance for the beginning of practice, focus shifted to the young A&M players looking to replace Manziel and the other players participating in Wednesday morning’s pro day.
“The thing that excites me the most is these young guys, they’re balling out,” said senior receiver Malcome Kennedy. “I feel like we’re further ahead than we were this time last year. These guys, they freak me out.”
Despite the departure of Mike Evans, Derel Walker and Travis Labhart, who accounted for 171 catches in 2013, Kennedy said he was excited about the potential of newcomers like receiver Speedy Noil.
“For him to be a high school receiver – and coach Beaty talks about it a lot – he already possesses a lot of the skills that college receivers have,” Kennedy said. “As far as fundamental stuff, getting in and out of breaks, Speedy’s far along. He’s pretty much a beast, man.”
The A&M defensive line has been working with early enrollee Zaycoven Henderson, who has impressed junior defensive lineman Julien Obioha.
“That guy is very, very strong. He has meat and potatoes,” Obioha said. “Henderson is a strong guy. Strong, fast, athletic – whatever is good about a D-lineman, Henderson has right now. He has all the talent in the world and if he keeps this ambition up he can do whatever he wants in football.”
Obioha said the youth of last year’s defense has turned to experience despite the absence of injured freshmen Jay Arnold and Daeshon Hall, who both turned into starters by the end of last season.
“Last year we had a lot of young kids and now we have a lot of experienced kids,” Obioha said. “I see a lot more intensity right now. A lot of guys are playing with their hair on fire so everyone is flying around right now.”
When Arnold and Hall are able to return, the Aggies will be closer to welcoming defensive recruits like Myles Garrett who can offer the defense immediate depth, Obioha said.
“When you think about a two-deep or three-deep you think about playing maybe 35 plays and you can come off 100 percent and not be tired,” Obioha said.
While Kennedy considered entering his name into the NFL Draft this year, he opted to stay on campus due to his optimism for this year’s team. Now, he and Obioha find themselves in leadership roles among their peers.
“I just think this spring is going to help me get better at my game and become more of a leader,” Obioha said. “We have a lot of freshmen who can come in and play if somebody can come in and lead them. I’m hoping to be that leader.”

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