Saturday, August 18

We close out our fall training camp coverage with a final blog edition as the Aggies concluded camp with a scrimmage of about 90 minutes inside Kyle Field. Rain threatened in the area early in the day, but held off and led to hot, steamy conditions inside the stadium.

While it's the end of camp, it's not the end of fall for the Aggie football team. They've got workouts scripted out until they leave for Shreveport on Wednesday the 29th. Following this scrimmage, however, the coaching staff expects to solidify a two-deep and start zeroing in on preparations for Louisiana Tech.

Make sure to check back on this page by Sunday, we'll have exclusive highlights from this scrimmage right here on 12th Man TV. And in case you missed it, we wired Coach Sumlin for sound on Friday. Check it out.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin (full audio and video available through links above):

  • last week everyone was happy about offense, and defense was better today. Had a little more continuity with the ones. The twos struggled. The quarterbacks did okay. Turnovers were going in--had a fumble going in, and a dislodged ball going in.
  • we worked a lot of situation stuff, red zone, and coming off our own goal--try there to get two first downs and turn the field over if you have to punt it. Thought we accomplished that.
  • were some good things. Hard for me coming off the field to say how things went. Was disappointed with the energy out there. We're not a good enough team to just go out there and play football and go through motions. We have to play with energy. I didn't see that today like we have been. We practiced twice yesterday--actually had eight practices last week in five days, today would be nine.
  • will give them tomorrow off, come in and watch video. And the good news is we didn't get anyone hurt today. We got 70-something snaps. That's valuable.
  • hoal today was to scrimmage the backups, and what you got out there was backup football today. That's why we're trying to develop those guys and see who will come up. Some guys did some good things today. De'Vante Harris continues to hold his own. Linebackers were better today. Front was better. Mathis makes a difference. We held Ennis today for a reason. Nealy's playing really well.
  • all three QBs have played well. They understand only one can play but as you can see all will continue to get better because you never know when your chance will come. They all know that. You can do two things--take where you are in life and try and improve it, or hang your head and say that's that. These guys aren't doing that. Have a couple of positions out there now that if they were competing at level the QBs are competing, we'd be alright. Have some guys we think have accepted their roles, and that's disappointing.
  • some guys playing real well and some we don't know what they're going to do. And because of that they won't play. As long as guy is consistent with what they do and we can trust that he's playing with effort, he'll give us a chance. Regardless of if you're a scholarship or a walk-on, guys playing at high-effort level are ones that will play.
  • no doubt Everett will be on field, just where. Really good corner, but he's a physical guy. We have to get our best four or five guys on field. No doubt he'll be one of them. Held Steven Campbell today, he's been doing great job for us. Think Steven Terrell is coming on. Got to just figure out who fourth or fifth pieces are. Toney Hurd is working pretty well at nickel.
  • getting back down to one practice a day. Getting through camp, really going through full pads for 2 hours 20 minutes last night and then scrimmaging today, I think the energy level showed. But we have to fight through that. That's where you have to be a tough team physically and mentally. That's reason we did that, to let them know they can, but you have to create your own energy. Our team didn't do that today and that's a learning experience. You can't play this game at a high level without emotion, and we lacked that today.
  • not frustrating that we haven't heard yet on Brandon Williams. We'll figure it out. Sure we'll hear something this week.
Friday, August 17

Friday marked the final day of two-a-day workouts, which brought up a cheer from the team upon the completion of the evening session. After working out in warm, steamy conditions in the morning, the squad earned a break of sorts in the evening. With start-time temps at 99 degrees, clouds quickly moved in, followed by intermittent drizzle and then thunder, lightning and eventually heavy rain--forcing the second-half of practice indoors.

The program welcomed over 100 participants to town for the weekend and the very popular annual Kickoff Camp. Participants numbered over 100 again this year, with nearly 20 newcomers to the program--which allows people in meetings, inside practices and to join in meals. The money raised goes directly back to the football program, which donates parts of the proceeds to the Aggie Band and the Evans Library.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin (full audio and video available through links above):

  • looking to stay healthy tomorrow. Also will get about half the plays from last weekend, majority with second group. Will mix and match just to figure out where the two-deep is and who will go with us to Shreveport. We need to solidify the two-deep and as important practice special teams units together. Will be figuring out who our core special teams guys are too. Tomorrow we need to figure out who backups will be and how they'll help us moving forward on special teams.
  • Dustin Harris has done nice job of focus in return game. Worked on things we've asked him to work on punt-return wise. Have a bunch of guys kickoff-return wise that can do it.
  • Helps having guys out in front of crowd, or even in that stadium.
  • De'Vante Harris is knowledgeable player. Can tell he's got some real bloodlines. Quick, intelligent. Got savvy. We'll see. Have put him in all kinds of positions and he's been able to make plays and continues to get better.

Practice soundtrack (a sample of music played at Friday's workout):

  • "Power" - Kanye West
  • "Evenflow" - Pearl Jam
  • "This is How We Do It" - Montell Jordan
  • "Springsteen" - Eric Church
  • "Ghost Riders in the Sky" - Johnny Cash
  • "Up In Here" - DMX

In Case You Missed It: We mic'd up linebackers coach Matt Wallerstedt on Thursday.

Coming Saturday: Coach Sumlin donned our mic for Friday's workout (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … you've got until tonight at midnight (CT) to sign up at a 25 percent discount off the regular 12-month price ... don't miss out!)

Up Next: The team will close camp with an open scrimmage on Saturday inside Kyle Field (11:30 a.m.).

Thursday, August 16

As training camp heads to a close this weekend and the team hits the back half of workouts leading into the Louisiana Tech game, the Aggies took to the Coolidge Practice Fields Thursday evening in full pads for about two hours under sunny skies and a temperature of 100 degrees.

With the starting quarterback news fresh on everyone's mind, most of the media contingent's cameras were zeroed in on Johnny Manziel as he went through stretching and a few early drills--getting as much footage as they could of the newly-minted signal caller before practice was closed off for the day.

Observing practice was a special guest, longtime NFL general manager Bill Polian--whose son, Brian, is the Aggies' special teams coordinator and tight end coach.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin (full audio and video available through links above):

  • some good things and some bad today. Yesterday went into Kyle Field and scrimmaged a bit. Gave us a chance to look at some of the guys we still have questions on and get them in a live situation.
  • Saturday hoping to get 25 plays or so (a quarter) out of the 1s and two quarters out of the 2s. After that we'll basically be ready to get into game preparation and really into a routine.
  • No school next week, different for me. Usually camp ends and school starts, but we're playing early so it'll give us another chance to really zero in on what we're trying to do without school starting. A first for me, but it's a good thing for this team right now.
  • On Manziel decision - was not that other QBs playing poorly. Think they all improved. Said from beginning that watching them in spring, not having chance to really be in the system, then getting ground rules for system (reads, progressions, etc), working on that through summer--seen guys get better. They've all gotten better. Was real competition in fall. Basically gets down to this--he's played very very well. Is he perfect? No. He's nowhere near where we want him to be, but he has improved. Doing what we need him to do. Our philosophy with two weeks to go, we can't get three quarterbacks the same amount of reps to be ready for a game. Really can't get two quarterbacks same amount. So we had to make decision. We communicated with all three guys, they understand and they will keep working. But throughout competitions and throughout the fall Johnny's moved the team and been extremely efficient with what he's done.
  • Johnny's extremely athletic. Wants to be good. Soaking things up off the field. All our QBs are. Every one of them. As I said a week ago every one of them has things they do really well and they have some deficiencies. He needs to continue to do the things he does well. He knows he can run. Think he's done better job this fall by staying in pocket little bit longer instead of just escaping early and running all over the field. Improved in that light.
  • Other two were good. They were disappointed like anyone would be. I told them is different than a lot of positions. Can't move from mike to will linebacker. Can't move from X to Z receiver. Can't go from corner to safety. There's one quarterback. They understand and just like anybody else you're a play away from playing so you have to prepare yourself. Playbook doesn't change in middle of game. Have to be into it and in tune with it. You don't have to necessarily accept it but you have to deal with it and understand if or when you get your opportunity you have to be ready to handle it.
  • Johnny's done a lot of things internally since June 29. Coming up on two months since that incident. Lot of things he's had to do internally--first off to get back in the team's good graces, and then to continue to be on team. Handled those, probably done more than a lot of people even know. Something to that. There's a respect of the position. Got to be able to lead yourself before you can lead a team. And in order to do that you first have to have respect. Internally been some things he's had to complete just to get to this point, to be able to just put the uniform again. And he's continued to do that.

Practice soundtrack (a sample of music played at Thursday's workout):

  • "Wanna Be a Baller" - Lil' Troy
  • "Rollin'" - Big & Rich
  • "Glory Days" - Bruce Springsteen
  • "Still Dre" - Dr. Dre. feat. Snoop Dogg
  • "Fly Away" - Lenny Kravitz
  • "Ramblin' Man" - Waylon Jennings
  • "Same Song" - Digital Underground

In Case You Missed It: We talked to seniors Christine Michael, Patrick Lewis and Sean Porter about the naming of Johnny Manziel as the starting quarterback.

Coming Friday: We mic up linebackers coach Matt Wallerstedt (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … you've got until Friday night to sign up at a 25 percent discount off the regular 12-month price ... don't miss out!)

Up Next: The team will work out twice on Friday before closing camp with an open scrimmage on Saturday inside Kyle Field.

Wednesday, August 15

Wednesday's two workouts brought the Aggies to the true halfway point of fall workouts, with 14 practices down and 14 to go before departing for Shreveport and the season opener. In the afternoon, the team moved inside Kyle Field for a short 30-minute scrimmage followed by a 60-minute practice.

The news out of camp on Wednesday was the naming of redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel as the starting quarterback for the opener at Louisiana Tech.

“Johnny has performed the best at this stage and we will proceed until the season opener with him getting the first-team reps,” head coach Kevin Sumlin said. “My policy is simple really; the best player plays. Competition is a great thing and we need more competition at all of our positions. All of our quarterbacks have competed well, and I expect them to continue to push Johnny.”

Manziel (man-ZELL rhymes with yell) hails from Tivy High School in Kerrville, Texas, where he earned Parade All-America honors as well as being named the National High School Coach Association Football Player of the Year. He earned Texas Associated Press sports editors Player of the Year after a senior season that saw the righthander throw for 3,609 yards on 228-of-347 (65.7%) passing with 45 touchdowns and five interceptions. The 6-1, 200-pound quarterback also carried the ball 170 times for 1,674 yards and 30 touchdowns. He even had one touchdown reception and returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

The quarterback competition is between Manziel, sophomore Jameill Showers from Shoemaker High School in Killeen, sophomore Matt Joeckel from Arlington High School and true freshman Matt Davis who enrolled at Texas A&M in January from Klein Forest High School.

Coming Thursday: We mic up offensive line coach B.J. Anderson (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … you've got until Friday night to sign up at a 25 percent discount off the regular 12-month price ... don't miss out!)

Up Next: The team will work out once on Thursday and twice on Friday before closing camp with an open scrimmage on Saturday inside Kyle Field.

Tuesday, August 14

Tuesday brought another warm afternoon to the Coolidge Practice Facility (it's Texas...what else do you expect), with temps hitting 99 degrees at the start (just after 6 o'clock). The team went in full pads for just over two hours. Several scouts were in attendance, including a few from the New York Jets. Also taking in practice were members of the Houston Baptist University staff, which is beginning a program and will play a limited schedule in the fall of 2013.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin (full audio and video available through links above):

  • tomorrow marks halfway point of preseason. What makes it tough is it's a two-a-day. It's a grind, but mostly mental. Like that for everyone around the country. You start feeling sorry for yourself, there are 120 other teams around the country doing the same thing. If you're not, you're not winning. Got to push yourself through it, and that's where we are.
  • Damontre Moore coming along. Problem with him has been kind of feast or famine deal. He's a guy we have to corral and has to understand his role, has to be every-down player that has to be consistent. He is very, very talented guy. We need him to be productive for us and has to be solid in other parts of the game, not counterproductive. He's shown the ability.
  • getting Mathis and Ennis back on d-line, gives you Hatten and Nealy in there. Have four guys going. Moved Polo in there, Alonzo's been in there a bit. Got those four guys in there while freshmen starting to feel their way. Outside looking at Stansbury/Obioha at one end. They've done nice job. Obioha been really, really good for us. On the other side Damontre is really playing well, and young Taylor has come in. He's getting closer to 240 and really shown a motor and ability to flash. Young guys done nice job coming in from an effort standpoint and really pushed our veterans. Really have whole new d-line than we had in the spring. We're not where we need to be but feel lot better than we did in spring.
  • Sean Porter understands defense more and whole package. Has better feel for coaches. Understood adjustment quicker and been able to become leader quicker. He understands things and is able to communicate. Will need his leadership to get through not only camp but through season. He's done everything we've asked him to do.
  • Campbell has been good. Have to keep an eye on his foot. I'm a little bit protective of that. When you're practicing safeties back there have to have two back there communicating. Not practicing just one. He has to get reps and has to talk. When he gets reps he goes hard. Been really pleased with him and Terrell back there. Deshazor bouncing back and forth between corner and safety. De'Vante giving us some flexibility with Raven and Otis Jacobs. We've got some pieces back there, we don't have a lot, but it's up to us as coaches to get them in right spot.

Catch of the Day: During 7-on-7 drills, Gaston "Gator" Lamascus went deep over the middle and made a laid-out, over-the-shoulder diving catch of a 35-yard throw from Johnny Manziel.

Practice by the Numbers: Athletic trainers Karl Kapchinski and David Weir gave us some insight as to some of the numbers that go into a typical practice. Rolls of tape? Over 125 per workout. Gatorades? Over 250, and that's just outside on the field...there are another hundred-plus waiting inside, along with water, for the players to use to maximize rehydration.

Practice soundtrack (a sample of music played at Tuesday's workout):

  • "Musta Had a Good Time" - Parmalee
  • "Hypnotize" - Notorious B.I.G.
  • "Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangsta" - Geto Boys
  • "It's Not My Time" - 3 Doors Down
  • "Swagga Like Us" - T.I. feat Jay-Z, Kanye West, Lil Wayne
  • "Highwayman" - The Highwaymen
  • "The Way I Are" - Timbaland

Up Next: Wednesday is the second-to-last two-practice day for the Aggies (both closed to the public).

Monday, August 13

After Saturday's scrimmage and a day off Sunday, the Aggies got back to work in a big way on Monday. A&M went through the first of three two-a-days, closing with an evening session in full pads. Including single workouts on Tuesday and Thursday, the team will work out eight times before concluding the camp with Saturday's closed scrimmage.

It was another typical Texas August afternoon, although lighter winds than usual made sure everyone felt the 99-degree temperature at the start of practice. By the time the two-plus hour workout was over and the sun began to set, things had cooled off considerably.

Coach Sumlin began his post-practice comments to the media with thoughts on Monday's tragic shooting, which happened just a few blocks from the practice fields. The team was not on the field at the time of the incident, though.

"We'd just got off the field at 11 o'clock, and guys were eating," Sumlin said. "I had just come out of the shower. You get that Code Maroon, which means there's a serious situation on campus or near campus. We went into action and locked the building, got a hold of all the players that were here and told them they can't move, and told the players that were out of the building at that time to not come back. That's a very tragic situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with people who lost their lives today in a very senseless way. It hits home for you. A lot of times you see that on the news, and when you look up and the national news is five blocks away, it really hits home for you. It's a very, very serious situation for us. It didn't affect us directly but it had to affect our guys emotionally today."

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following practice:

  • after looking at tape from Saturday, thought all the QBs were good. All did some good things. Thought Johnny (Manziel) operated very, very well. Had an excellent day, progressions were good, took care of the football. All of them did good job of doing that. Wasn't that Jameill (Showers) was bad, other guys were playing really good. Not surprised by development of all three of them.
  • had about 120 plays not counting kicking snaps. As I've said before, I wanted to get guys out with coaches off the field. I thought all those guys, even Matt Davis when came in, have progressed nicely since spring. No doubt. That's why we have competition. There's only one QB that plays, that's why competition needs to be like that.
  • thought Malcome Kennedy had nice day. Looks good from production standpoint but also his effort. He's really improved and come on and will help us. Mike Evans can make great plays for us. Guys on perimeter are ones we need to get going. Like to get Thomas Johnson the ball more. Thought (Spencer) Nealy did well. Looked by statistics that offense dominated, but when you go back and look at ones on ones, that's a different deal. Damontre Moore had some sacks. DBs defended well. Nealy has really helped us and getting Ennis and Mathis back give us solid rotation. Julien Obioha is a guy really coming to forefront and will push to not only play but do some things. Look up the depth chart today and Obioha and Davonte Harris are up there because their effort at practice is as good as anybody.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of music played during Monday's evening workout):

  • "Just Like That" - Bun B
  • "Otis" - Jay-Z and Kanye West
  • "Roll With It" - Easton Corbin
  • "Jump" - Van Halen
  • "We Ready" - Archie Eversole
  • "I Will Wait" - Mumford and Sons
  • "Get Like Me" - David Banner feat. Chris Brown and Young Joc
  • "Mo Money, Mo Problems" - Notorious B.I.G.

Spotted at Practice: Former A&M offensive lineman Matt Allen took in Monday's workout.

Up Next: The Aggies will practice once on Tuesday (closed to public).

Saturday, August 11

The Aggies took to the field for their first scrimmage on a hot, humid and sunny Saturday afternoon before a crowd of over 2,500 fans inside Kyle Field. The team worked for just over 90 minutes on all phases of the game before heading to the locker room and then to sign autographs for fans inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium.

We've got exclusive pictures of the scrimmage through the link above. Make sure to check back here Sunday for some exclusive free footage from the scrimmage … it’s a free look at the kind of inside coverage you’ll get all season long when you sign up for a premium membership to 12th Man TV.)

Some quick scrimmage notes:

  • First Play: Johnny Manziel pass complete to Malcome Kennedy for five yards.
  • QB breakdown: Manziel and Jameill Showers split time through the first half of the scrimmage, with Matt Joeckel getting in a few snaps. Joeckel played most all of the second half of the scrimmage and looked strong, throwing multiple TDs.
  • Run of the Day: true freshman Trey Williams took a handoff up the middle, ran into some traffic, bounced to the outside a bit, juked a few defenders and then broke free for a 78-yard touchdown that elicited a loud cheer from the assembled crowd. The score capped a 96-yard drive for the offense. Williams finished the first half of the scrimmage (before the team started working on special situations) with 125 yards and two TDs on six carries. He would add another TD in the second half of the scrimmage.
  • Hit (and Catch) of the Day: Steven Campbell lowered the boom on Kennedy as he made a catch across the middle inside the 10-yard line. Kennedy held on to the ball for 18 yards and a first down, stayed down for just a second and got up and ran the next play, with both players earning applause from the crowd and their teammates.
  • Aggie “D”: the defense picked up four “sacks” in the first half of the scrimmage—two by Damontre Moore, one by Spencer Nealy and another by Tyrell Taylor.
  • Gator Bait: Credit Gaston “Gator” Lamascus with a slick 33-yard touchdown reception from Manziel … Lamascus caught a pass around the 15 as he was coming across the field from right to left, and with a DB about to tackle him he stopped, turned and cut back in the opposite direction – evading another defender and making it into the end zone for the score.
  • T Him Up: in the back half of the scrimmage, LB Sean Porter made a nice leaping interception over the middle, near midfield, and was racing towards the end zone (with escorts) when he realized the play had been whistled dead … to protect the QB, the referee had blown his whistle just as the ball was released … Porter made it to about the 30 before he punted the ball into the end zone, getting a nice laugh out of the crowd and his defensive teammates on the sideline.
  • Stripes: A full officiating crew was in attendance calling the scrimmage, made up of five SEC referees, several from the Big 12 and even one from the WAC. Officials, like players, look to get practice in prior to the season starting.

Here are some thoughts from Coach Sumlin’s visit with the media following the scrimmage...

    “I have to watch the film, to be honest with you. We got over 120-something plays in. I thought that was good. I thought the quarterbacks had at least 30 snaps apiece, which is good. That's about half a game. We matched them up with everybody. So I think you guys see where the quarterback race is going. (Matt) Joeckel came in and did some good things. He's had a really, really good camp. He's improved a lot. Probably the most disappointing thing was (Mike) Matthews. I wanted to get him some snaps, but he got hurt early. I thought today gave our quarterbacks a chance to operate all over the field. We threw some balls, particularly in the red zone, to see who will make some plays and challenge some people. I was not pleased with the tempo that we ran the offense with today. Our defense has got to match that tempo. We need to turn that up this week and are guys will learn from it.”

    On Trey Williams’ day… “I think he's been doing that all fall, making people miss. He's got wire-to-wire speed to go with that. He's a good player. He's got to learn the offense. You'll see him back there moving around a lot, and he got a penalty because of that. All those little things, we can work with. He wants to be great, and he'll work at it, but there are just the little things. He's coming along well. I like all of our backs. Brandon (Williams) didn't go today. I think everyone sees the value Tra Carson will bring to the table a year from now. At 230-something pounds, he's a different guy. I thought Christine (Michael) did some good things, he ran well. We were able to run it out of some different sets. We've got a good group of running backs. For those of you who didn't think we run the ball, you understand how we run it and how we utilize our running backs. And that's why we keep getting good ones.”

    Are you still on target to name a quarterback on Thursday, two weeks before the first game? “Maybe. Usually. The latest will be next weekend. But we'll see. I have to watch the video.”

    Can you evaluate the play of (Jameill) Showers and (Johnny) Manziel? “How about the play of Showers, Manziel and Joeckel? I think he scored more touchdowns with his group today than anybody else.”

    How much is Joeckel an example of why you would leave a quarterback battle open? “That's why it's open. I've got to go back and look at where they are through their reads and progressions. What they're doing, how they're getting the ball out. We mixed them up with different lines, the first and second line, to try and give them a shot. So we will see. But the evaluation is ongoing. The good news is we didn't throw the ball to the defense a bunch. For penalties, what did we have? Four or five illegal procedures? Out of 120 snaps. That's better than what we had in the spring. That's not what we want, but that's better. We only had one on defense, which is better than where we were in the spring. So there are some positives from that standpoint. What I'm concerned with is effort and toughness. (I told the guys) You need to show courage today and you need to show effort, and we will work with you from there. That's where we are.”

    It seems like the defense had a really tough time stopping the offense today… “Well, somebody's got to win. If we couldn’t move the ball, you would've said that the offense had a tough time. As a head coach, in every scrimmage, one group is always madder than the other group. I would say that based on the fact that we have one of the better offensive lines in the country and three or four 5-star running backs…we don't have that on defense right now. So I would say that our offensive line is pretty good. And we can be better. From a tempo standpoint, from pushing the ball. We're not pushing the ball as quickly as we need to.”

    Thoughts on the punting and kicking game… “Pretty good. What did we miss, one field goal? Punting, we’ve got us a war. We have some guys that need to be consistent, and they know who they are.”

    On how this sets you up for next week… “There will be some decisions made after today about some positions, and guys getting reps. The good news about this week is it gets more difficult. We've got two practices on Monday, two on Wednesday, and two on Friday. So we have eight practices in five days, and another scrimmage. The good news is we've got a lot of work to get done, but we've got plenty of time to get it done this week. And this week is big.”

Spotted at Practice: NFL Hall of Famer and native Texan Joe Greene, a scout for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was in attendance at the scrimmage, as were scouts from several pro teams.

Up Next: The team will have Sunday off before going twice on Monday (both closed to the public).

Friday, August 10

Friday's blog update will be a quick one, as we turn our focus to Saturday's open scrimmage and Fan Day, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. Admission is free, with gates opening at 10:30 a.m. The scrimmage will begin just after 11:45 a.m., and the players will be available for autographs inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium following the workout. Get details here.

Friday brought the hottest temps of the fall, but not for long. As the team took the field just after 5:15 p.m., the mercury was at 103 with a heat index of 109. Severe storms popped up just south of town, delivering a heavy cloud cover, a strong south wind and dropping temperatures nearly 20 degrees.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following the evening practice (full audio link available above):

  • took pants off team today, cut some plays down and tried to give team a little rest for tomorrow. Make sure everyone has good feel for what to do so team can play ball.
  • Saturday we're looking for consistency and effort. Will be mistakes. Will play some young guys. For freshmen and some guys who have been hurt, there are a bunch who are practicing for the first time.
  • looking for increased effort. Talked to team about preparation and approach. We can work with guys who are playing hard and are making plays. At the pace we run things, looking to see who can handle it.
  • think team is grasping things pretty good. Throwing a lot of things at them. Done enough in camp so that on Saturday we should be able to execute offensively and defensively at all positions on the field.
  • anticipate we'll be easily upwards of 100 plays tomorrow. We need it. Need it from all the young players. Usually wouldn't do that in fall, more often in spring. But this team right now we're still trying to figure out who we are. In order to do that we need to figure out who we are, and who the playmakers are, and then match them to what we're trying to do. Got QBs who need to get reps. Got a bunch of D-linemen that need to get reps. Got a back line of the secondary we need to get reps. Got a bunch of WRs that we need to get plays. Only way to not do that in Shreveport is to do it live.

Catch of the Day: Matt Joeckel hit Uzoma Nwachukwu for a 6-yard TD pass on the left side of the end zone ... EZ leapt high in the air, snagged the ball with both hands and snuck a foot in bounds for the score.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of music played during Friday's workout):

  • "My Homies Still" - Lil' Wayne feat. Big Sean
  • "Snapbacks and Tattoos" - Driicky Graham
  • "Southbound 35" - Pat Green
  • "Good Feeling" - Flo Rida
  • "We Takin' Over" - DJ Khaled
  • "You Gonna Fly" - Keith Urban
  • "Monster" - Kanye West feat. Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Bon Iver
  • "On My Way" - Eli Young Band

Up Next: The team will scrimmage for the first time this fall on Saturday (open to public), take Sunday off and then work out twice on Monday (closed to public).

Coming Saturday: Get up close and personal with the offensive line at practice (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Thursday, August 9

Thursday was the first day of two-a-days and, of course, brought the hottest temps--the mercury topped out at an even 100 degrees as the Aggies took the field in the evening. After about a 90-minute morning workout in shorts and shocks, the team came back out for a few hours in full pads for the evening session.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following the evening practice (full audio link available above):

  • this time of year it starts to hit, first two-a-days and warm outside.
  • did a little bit of live stuff, a tackling circuit early, just so every type of tackle you'll face you will get a look at. Did some live red zone too to take some guys to ground and play football.
  • practice started off good but kind of lulled. Was better at the end. Have to understand for players its a complete change of structure and meeting times, etc. and that takes getting used to.
  • we'll be better next week, but getting ground work in now for guys to have chance to scrimmage Saturday.
  • lull on day like this not surprising. Like that everywhere across the country, with first two-a-days on schedule.
  • coaches are doing a great job of pushing guys and demanding.
  • did some work today in red zone, kicked a couple field goals and made them. Got good competition. Have to find whole operation we're comfortable with, kicker, holder and snapper. Snapper competition is wide open. Have to develop holder's we're confident in. Of course certain kickers like certain holders.
  • Saturday will be great test of pressure. A lot easier to perform in practice with no one watching. Different in stadium with people in the stands, and a clock, and a rush.
  • punting - have had good days and bad days. Have a couple guys that are capable. Coach Polian is working hard at it. Those guys know it's an open competition all the way across the board.
  • A lot of positions like that actually, and that's healthy. Will generate some fire across camp because guys know they have to come to work every day and earn their spot.
  • hoping for great crowd on Saturday. Think it's good for players, not only for fan appreciation and to get out and meet people, but also from a competition standpoint. Got some new guys too I think people are anxious to see, particularly when we play first game on the road.

One of the key components to any training camp is the food, and we talked with Director of Performance Nutrition Jonathan Tanguay about Thursday's menu.

A lot of thought and preparation goes into each day's nutrition schedule, especially one which features two practices. Tanguay hired a catering company out of Dallas, which basically moved its kitchen down to Aggieland for the duration of training camp. All the food is made on-site from scratch, and it must accomodate about 150 people (players, coaches and support staff).

A sample of Thursday's Menu:

  • 7:00 AM (breakfast) - cereal, grits and oatmeal, smoothies, hot breakfast sandwich bar
  • 11:00 AM (brunch) - omelet bar, bagles, pancakes and french toast, breakfast casseroles, breakfast potatoes
  • 2:00 PM (lunch opens) - deli spread, grilled cheese sandwiches, soups, fresh baked cookies
  • approx. 8:00 PM (dinner) - grilled chicken, grilled talapia, lasagna, made-to-order stir-fry bar (dinner was a little heavier on Thursday to help reward the team after making it through two practices)
  • available at every meal is a fresh fruit salad, among other items ... in addition, the team gets a cherry juice antioxidant drink, which helps muscle soreness and recovery ... and of course Gatorade, water and electrolyte supplements are in ample supply.
  • Some of the player's favorite items so far: a build-your-own ice cream sandwich bar, a build-your-own frito pie bar, fried catfish plates, fried chicken fingers.

Spotted at Practice: former All-American linebacker and NFL standout Quentin Coryatt was in attendance Thursday evening, chatting it up before workouts with fellow Wrecking Crew members and current staffers Larry Jackson and Terry Price ... also out on the field Thursday was four-year starter and offensive lineman Evan Eike (2008-11).

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of music played during Thursday's workout):

  • "Very Crucial" - Yung Nation
  • "Bad Meets Evil" - Fast Lane
  • "Tattoos on this Town" - Jason Aldean
  • "Yeah 3X" - Chris Brown
  • "Time Flies" - Kenny Chesney
  • "Yeah Dats Me" - Big K.R.I.T.
  • "Back Then" - Mike Jones
  • "Everythings a Go (Remix) - French Montana feat. Birdman, Wale, Fabolous and Jadakiss

Up Next: A&M will go back to one workout, scheduled for Friday evening (closed to public) before Saturday's open scrimmage.

Don't Forget: Aggie Fan Day is this Saturday at Kyle Field (admission is free). Click for details.

A reminder to subscribe (for free) to the Official Texas A&M Football Podcast on iTunes.

Coming Friday: An all-access look inside the new Davis Player Development Center with director of football performance Larry Jackson (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Wednesday, August 8

Practice #5 took place under hot (98 degrees) and sunny skies, and without as much of a breeze that has been blowing in the past it was the warmest practice of the camp so far.

It was also the first workout of the fall in full pads for the Aggies, one of the “three big days” the equipment staff say are key to get past—-reporting day, first day in shoulder pads, and today (first in full pads).

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following practice (full audio link available above):

  • first day in full pads isn’t really much different for team than shoulder pads, team just had pants on and got hotter. Today marks the “routine” for camp, with Thursday first two-a-day.
  • Spencer Tillman talked to team for about 45 minutes prior to practice. Really blessed to have him today. Really touched some players in different ways.
  • practice was good. Team continues to improve.
  • have some real good athleticism in secondary. Anxious to see what happens Saturday when they get to tackling and doing other things.
  • real excited about Christine Michael and think he is too. Has a very high energy level. Made a few cuts I wasn’t sure he could make last few days, made me say wow. He’s come along real well after surgery. He gets hit every now and then to make sure he’s alive. His toughness is not an issue.
  • chemistry of running back group is really really good, regardless of how Brandon Williams waiver issue plays out. Coach McKinney has done outstanding job. All guys are highly recruited and competitors. Guys at that position have lot of pride and I think it shows. Making each other better.
  • everyone says we don’t run the ball, and that’s fine. But people who watched us play know about our offense. That’s why we continue to get great running backs because they know we’re going to hand them the ball. And they’re going to learn how to catch too.
  • think defensively trying to find pieces. Giving everyone a chance now. Hard to get continuity. Got so many guys up front we have to get a look at. Also at linebacker. It’s a little bit hard to get a feel for it. Defense is a team deal. Want guys to get enough good reps so they’re comfortable on Saturday to be able to play defense called and make adjustments.

Catch of the Day: In red-zone drills, wideout Mike Evans again showed his leaping ability on a 5-yard TD pass … Jameill Showers delivered a perfectly thrown ball into the back corner of the end zone, just over the outstretched arms of a defender … Evans went high into the air, caught the ball and landed the tip of his toe just inside the back corner of the end zone, eliciting a lot of hoots and hollers from the offensive sideline.

Catch of the Day, runner up: Showers again used the right sideline in the end zone, this time floating a ball to a leaping Ryan Swope, who with his back to the sideline caught the ball in coverage and landed both feet in bounds for a 16-yard touchdown.

Spotted at Practice: Hall of Fame Coach R.C. Slocum made his first appearance of the fall … Coach Sumlin was on Slocum’s final staff in Aggieland (2002) … joining Slocum on the sidelines Wednesday was legendary A&M quarterback Bucky Richardson.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of music played during Wednesday’s workout):

  • “Tops Drop” – Fat Pat
  • “Bait” – Wale
  • “Gangsta Party” – 2Pac feat. Snoop Dogg
  • “The Rising” – Bruce Springsteen
  • “Million Bucks” – Maino feat. Swizz Beatz
  • “International Love” – Pitbull feat. Chris Brown
  • “We’re an American Band” – Grand Funk Railroad
  • “Dark Shades” – Birdman
  • “Old Alabama” – Brad Paisley

In Case You Missed It: Check out this behind-the-scenes feature on the Aggies’ competitive edge carrying into the locker room … in the form of Four Square (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Up Next: The Aggies will have their first two-a-day of fall camp, with workouts set for the morning and evening (closed to public).

Don’t Forget: Aggie Fan Day is this Saturday at Kyle Field (admission is free). Click for details.

A reminder to subscribe (for free) to the Official Texas A&M Football Podcast on iTunes.

Coming Thursday: An all-access look at the Aggie linebacker corps (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Tuesday, August 7

Before we get into today’s practice, we wanted to let you know about another exciting feature we’re rolling out here on aggieathletics.com. You can now get all the Aggie football audio you can handle delivered right to you when you subscribe (for free) to the Official Texas A&M Football Podcast on iTunes.

What’s in the podcast? What will be in the podcast? Anything Aggie football. We’ll have post-practice interviews with players and coaches during fall camp. Once the season starts, we plan to have all press conference audio each week, the weekly Kevin Sumlin Coaches Show, and last but not least a condensed version of the Aggie football broadcast.

iTunes users, simply click this link and then “view in iTunes” to subscribe. We’ll update this podcast as often as we post audio on the website. Again, this service is free for anyone. For non-iTunes users, we plan to have more detailed information on how you can sign up for the podcast available soon online.

Now, on to the workout.

Practice #4 was, as all of them are, scheduled for outdoors before a thunderstorm forced the workout inside the McFerrin Indoor Practice Facility for the first hour or so. Once the rain stopped and lightning subsided, a temperature of 99 degrees had cooled off into the mid-80s, and A&M took advantage of it.

Quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following practice (full audio link available above):

  • used today’s schedule adjustment and the move indoors to talk to the team about transition and getting out of a routine. Sometimes that’s good to try and get the team to keep the same energy. Likened it much like a road trip. Thought the team handled the change well.
  • consistency not where would like it to be after four days. That’s hard to do. Starting to infuse new talent, not only freshmen but guys who were hurt in spring. Been really pleased with their progress so far.
  • all practices are critical for young guys and vets that miss the spring, but really the whole team. Can’t think of it as one guy here, one guy there. Football is a team sport and guys work together out there.
  • young D-linemen are working hard. Got some explosive guys, guys who can help us. Just a matter of who. Ideally wouldn’t want to play them all but because of depth situation some have come in and really shown an energy level. Kind of juiced practice up a bit. Don’t really know a lot of what they’re doing yet but they’re getting better. Like having a whole different D-line even with Jonathan Mathis back. Lot of guys playing out there who staff has never seen before (freshmen and spring injuries).
  • think working against O-line is helping those guys a bunch. Some of the young guys have gotten a baptism by fire but have shown some flashes. Good for them and good for all the guys. Ability to play with a lot of energy and effort has helped bring level of energy up front up.
  • on the QB battle: all have positives. Happy they’re all here. They’re competing, helping each other. Key is the decision making. Will shake itself out in the next week or so.
  • no doubt that Jameill (Showers) has extremely strong arm and quick release. Has ability to throw balls into tight coverage. Has a cannon. Still has the ability to move around. Strong in there and is put-together (215-220 pounds).
  • Johnny (Manziel) is a guy who is a creator. He can throw it. Has become a better passer since spring, has worked on his motion. He’s able to move around and extend plays and create some offense after that.
  • (Matt) Joeckel throwing some of best deep balls of anyone in camp. He’s more of a pocket guy and he knows that. He’s a bigger guy and that plays to his strength, probably why he’s such a great deep ball thrower.
  • Matt (Davis) is just young. Not where he needs to be as a passer but as an athlete he may be better than any of the others, and that’s saying a lot because the others are pretty good athletes. His strong suit is he will take off and make something happen if it’s not there.

Pass of the Day: In 11-on-11 drills, Matt Joeckel connected with true freshman wide receiver Edward Pope for a 60-yard touchdown … Pope used a slick move on the sideline to slip past the defender and caught the perfect pass in stride.

Catch of the Day: Redshirt freshman Mike Evans went over a defender to snag a ball in 1-on-1 drills, juggling it several times with a man under him before hauling the pass in.

Wired: With the inclement weather pushing the team inside, special teams coordinator Brian Polian donned a wireless headset microphone to communicate with his squad … in a normal setup outside, two full-length practice fields make the sound system unnecessary, but with the entire team forced indoors and the echo created by the facility’s walls, the technology was a big help to executing the drills.

Spotted at Practice: among some of the former players in attendance were four-year letterwinners and NFL Draft picks Chance Pearce (1999-02 and Billy Yates (1999-02) … both played their senior seasons in Aggieland when Coach Sumlin was an assistant … Yates played for three NFL teams in his career (Miami, New England and Cleveland), winning Super Bowl XXXIX with the Patriots … also in attendance was A&M All-American and NFL Pro Bowler Jacob Green.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of the music played during Tuesday’s workout):

  • "Forever Young" – Alphaville
  • "Let Em Fight" – Ali and Gipp
  • "Reality" – Kenny Chesney
  • "Fire Flame" – Birdman
  • "Big Pimpin'" – Jay-Z
  • "Livin’ on the Edge" – Aerosmith
  • "Double Wide Dream" – Casey Donahew Band
  • "I Got This" – Big K.R.I.T.

Up Next: A&M will don full pads for the first time this fall on Wednesday evening (closed to public).

Don’t Forget: Aggie Fan Day is this Saturday at Kyle Field (admission is free). Click for details.

Coming Wednesday: we go inside the film room with defensive line coach Terry Price (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Monday, August 6

The third practice of fall camp was the first in which the Aggies put on the pads, as the team worked out in "shells" – otherwise known as shorts, shoulder pads and helmets. For the third straight day, temperature at the start of drills was 98 degrees.

With Monday marking the first day the pads made an appearance, it's a good time to recognize one of our longtime partners. Texas A&M football exclusively uses Douglas Pads Inc. out of Houston. Company rep Brian Restivo, Aggie class of '99, was in town today putting the finishing touches on several sets before they were taken out on the practice field by the players.

Some thoughts from Coach Sumlin following practice:

  • was probably the most humid day so far. Team got a pretty good taste of what the rest of camp will be like. Some guys struggled a little bit but they made it through.
  • things are a little more mentally stressful right now because the team is going through finals.
  • want to see some more playmakers on the outside to help challenge the cornerbacks. Have had great competition out there (wide receiver).
  • it's getting competitive out there, and competition is a good thing. Have to keep doing that to get where we want to be.
  • we do everything but tackle in shoulder pads. It's full speed except no one is taken to the ground. Better teams out there you don't have to yell at people to stay off the ground. When they do that it makes it a better football team.
  • goal is to get enough offense, defense and special teams in by this weekend, then let the team play on Saturday a little bit and get the coaches off the field. Will really start to see who's ready to play the game and who's not. Trying to give everyone enough of the fundamentals and sets and such so there will be enough there to really use Saturday as a good evaluation of where the team is at.
  • offensive line established themselves in the spring. They continue to improve.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of the music played during Monday's workout):

  • "Born Stunna" – Birdman feat. Rick Ross
  • "Swag" – David Banner
  • "All of the Lights" – Kanye West
  • "Rockstar" – Kenny Chesney
  • "I Made It (Cash Money Heroes)" – Kevin Rudolf feat. Birdman, Jay Sean and Lil Wayne
  • "Headlights" – Morning Parade
  • "That's How Country Boys Roll" – Billy Currington
  • "Red Nation" – Game feat. Lil Wayne

Some Kyle Field news: workers are installing new Daktronics scoreboards (which sit on the third deck façade) for the Sept. 8 opener against Florida. Each measure 60 feet long and five feet high. The reason for the change, which also includes the play clocks, is to bring the scoring and timing system up to SEC specifications. A big change in rules between the leagues is in the SEC, the official game clock is controlled at field level. In the Big 12, the official game clock is controlled in the press box.

Installation should be complete by next week. Click here for a quick look at the new boards.

Catch of the Day, Take 1: junior transfer Derel Walker showed off his leaping ability in one-on-one drills, making a leaping catch on a 5-yard fade pass in the back corner of the endzone and getting a foot down in bounds.

Catch of the Day, Take 2: as the team worked on 11-on-11 installs, redshirt freshman wide receiver Mike Evans went up over a defender deep down the right sideline to haul in a pass from Jameill Showers, good for 39 yards and a first down.

Dunk of the Day: senior wideout Ryan Swope, who used all of his six-foot frame to slam home the football over the goalpost after scoring a touchdown on a crossing route during red zone drills.

Coming Tuesday: wide receivers coach David Beaty mic'd up (available to premium subscribers to 12th Man TV … sign up today!)

Saturday, August 4

Practice #2 is in the books on another hot, sunny and windy afternoon on the Texas A&M campus. Start-time temperature was again 98 degrees.

Some quick thoughts from Coach Sumlin following practice (complete audio file link available above):

  • pleased with the retention of a lot of guys, shows they’ve done a lot of work on their own this summer.
  • there was a little bit of an energy drop off from first day, but that’s what happens. Defense played with a lot of energy.
  • Jonathan Mathis coming back has been a pleasant surprise, as have some of the young d-line guys.
  • met with Hutson Priloeau yesterday, sat down and talked and he’s decided that’s it for him. He will stay in school and graduate.
  • Brandal Jackson is not part of the 105-man roster, but is still on the team and on scholarship.
  • Johnny Manziel situation is being handled internally, same as a few weeks ago. He has some things he’s had to accomplish so far to even get back to practice. He’s taken care of those and has some more things to do to continue to stay in good graces.
  • team will have Sunday off, will meet and give a chance to recover a bit. Upcoming week will be a pretty good grind.
  • a reminder, next Saturday is an open scrimmage for the public. Opens at 11:45 a.m. at Kyle Field immediately followed by Fan Appreciation Day inside the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Opportunity for fans to get autographs from players and coaches. Hoping to have a big crowd, will be the team’s first big scrimmage.

 

Defensive Play of the Day: sophomore Deshazor Everett broke on a sideline route, cut in front of the wideout and made a diving interception in-bounds. The catch elicited a loud roar from his teammates.

Practice Soundtrack (a sample of the music played during Saturday’s workout):

  • Waka Flocka Flame – Candy Paint and Gold Teeth
  • Bon Jovi – Wanted Dead or Alive
  • The Black Keys – Gold on the Ceiling
  • Florida Georgia Line - Cruise
  • Calvin Harris – Feel So Close
  • David Guetta – I Can Only Imagine

Spotted at Practice: former North Texas head coach and University of Pittsburgh assistant Todd Dodge.

Quote of the Day: “They got my music playin!” – a dancing Senior DB Dustin Harris as Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake it for Me)” echoed across the practice field.

Up Next: The team is off on Sunday, with only meetings scheduled. Practice resumes Monday afternoon (closed to the public).

Coming Sunday on 12th Man TV: Get up close with the Aggie running backs, featuring interviews with coach Clarence McKinney, Christine Michael and Ben Malena.

Friday, August 3

The 2012 Texas A&M football training camp got underway Friday afternoon on the Coolidge Practice Fields.

A&M wasted no time working again on its high-tempo offensive attack … the Aggies' final period of the afternoon was an up-tempo, high-energy, and surprisingly physical 11-on-11 drill.

In his post-practice visit with the team, Coach Sumlin's primary message was that he was pleased with the effort, but stressed the need to continually work hard to get better.

Friday Tidbits

Weather: Temperature at the start of practice was 98 degrees with breezy conditions and sunny skies.

First practice song of the 2012 season: French Montana's Pop That

    Practice Soundtrack (a sample of the music played during Friday's practice):
  • Wiz Khalifa – Black and Yellow
  • Lee Brice – Parking Lot Party
  • U2 – Streets Have No Name
  • Jay-Z – On to the Next One
  • Tim McGraw – Truck Yeah

Catch of the Day #1: with his back to the quarterback, sophomore transfer Tra Carson made a one-handed, over-the-shoulder grab on a bubble screen early in drills.

Catch of the Day #2: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Mike Evans used all of his 6-5 frame to leap up and over a defender to snag a fade pass from Jameill Showers.

    Notables:
  • The Aggies were sporting new adidas practice jerseys that they'll wear throughout the season. Check the photo gallery for a closer look.
  • former Green Bay Packer and standout Aggie lineman Mike Montgomery was in attendance at Friday's practice.
  • Coach Kevin Sumlin celebrated his 48th birthday on Friday … longtime Aggie staffer Billy Pickard was in attendance for his 48th Texas A&M football fall camp.

Up Next: 5:30 p.m. Saturday on the Coolidge Practice Fields (closed to public).

Earlier this morning Coach Sumlin and members of the team spoke with the media at the Bright Complex about the beginning of Training Camp. Links to audio and video are posted to the right.

The first practice of Training Camp begins this afternoon at 5:45 p.m.

Each day we will post video highlights & features, photo galleries, and updates from the Coolidge Practice Fields.

Don't miss out on any 2012 Training Camp coverage, sign up for 12thManTV today. A free three day trial is available if you want to get a taste of the kind of unprecented and exclusive coverage.