Aggies' Michael taking aim at SEC defenses
|Texas A&M WR Ryan Swope dishes on the transition to the SEC, coming back for another year and much more. |
If not for injuries, Michael would be universally mentioned among the premier running backs in college football. Talent-wise, he’s already there.
But now comes the hard part -- staying healthy for an entire season.
“You’ve gotta go out there and do it every game and every season no matter what’s happened to you in the past, but I feel like I’ll be up there with any running back in the country when it’s all over,” said Michael, who’s had his last two seasons cut short by injuries.
“I’m just ready to go show it. You can’t do it by talking about it.”
Michael had 899 yards last season and was on his way to leading the Big 12 in rushing until he tore his ACL in the ninth game against Oklahoma.
The year before, he had 631 rushing yards before breaking his leg in the eighth game against Texas Tech.
The senior from Beaumont, Texas, has missed nine games the past two seasons because of injuries. He still has 2,374 career rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, while averaging 5.4 yards per carry. He also has nine career 100-yard rushing games.
It’s no secret that first-year Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin likes to throw the ball, but he’s also not going to forget about a weapon like Michael.
And even though Michael has never carried the ball more than 166 times in a season, the Aggies have enough depth at running back to keep him fresh. Junior Ben Malena and prized true freshman Trey Williams will also factor into the rotation at running back.
“We have a great offensive line and a quick tempo,” Michael said. “We’re going to get defenses tired and take advantage of that in the second half. It’s a great offense, and we have a great coaching staff. We’ve been training hard, and it’s time to go.”
In particular, Michael is eager to see what all the fuss has been about SEC defenses. He and the rest of his Texas A&M teammates get their first taste Saturday when Florida visits College Station for the Aggies’ SEC debut.
“It seems like years since I’ve played in any football game,” said Michael, who missed the Aggies’ final four games a year ago. “I’m just hungry to get out there against these SEC guys and put all the struggles I’ve had and all my motivation out there on the field.
“I know there’s a lot of people who don’t believe in us and don’t think we’re ready for this. We want to go out and show not only them, but show ourselves that we’re one of the best teams out there.”
Michael, who was once described by former Texas A&M teammate Von Miller as a “hybrid, mutant running back” with the “speed of a cheetah,” has only one individual goal this season.
While others may talk about 1,000-yard seasons and joining the likes of Marcus Lattimore and Knile Davis as an All-SEC performer, Michael said his goal is be the “strongest man on the field and the most aggressive guy on the field in every game.”
He added, “I just want to put it all out there, and we’ll see how everything turns out.”
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.