Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Notes/observations from Aggies' scrimmage
By David Ubben
Enjoyed my visit to College Station, which featured quite a bit of things, including a scrimmage on Monday morning. Here are a few notes and thoughts:
- Cornerback Terrance Frederick had one of the plays of the day, stepping in front of a Ryan Tannehill pass to the sidelines and returning the interception for what would have been an easy touchdown -- had coaches not blown the play dead once Frederick was clear. "It was just a bad decision. We've been talking about banging that smash [route] all week, and just made a bad decision and threw it out there," Tannehill said.
- I'm consistently struck by how physical Texas A&M plays everywhere on the field. They were in full pads, but Oklahoma is the only team that might be more physical than the Aggies the past two seasons, and we saw who won the battle up front when those two teams played in 2010. If A&M does end up in the SEC, that will serve them well, versus some of the other spread teams in the Big 12 that don't have a downhill running game anywhere near as powerful as Texas A&M or a front seven that is tougher.
- Christine Michael had a ridiculous 20-plus yard run on a draw play that featured a pump fake from Tannehill. He made three or four guys miss before bowling over the defender that did tackle him. "Man, let's go eat!" Michael yelled once he was back on his feet. Eat he did. All scrimmage long.
- Cyrus Gray and Jeff Fuller sat out, but the impact of receiver Nate Askew was huge. He had a handful of catches, despite a couple drops, and was all over the field. It sounds like he'll be a big part of what Texas A&M does offensively. "He's come a long way. It was a long summer and he put in a lot of work," Tannehill said. "We expect a lot from him this fall just because of how he progressed through the summer. He's continued to play well and it's great to have him out there because it's not much of a step off if he comes in behind Jeff or the other side behind EZ [Uzoma Nwachukwu]. He's a great player, a big target that can move really well, so we're excited about what he can do.
- Tannehill says Ryan Swope is Texas A&M's fastest receiver. I had no idea, but I'm not too surprised. I would have probably guessed Kenric McNeal or Nwachukwu.
- Hit of the day was easy: Tight end Michael Lamothe was held up by a couple defenders until a darting Steven Jenkins laid a huge hit that anyone near Kyle Field had to have heard, knocking off Lamothe's helmet.