Texas A&M ready for the challenge, excited to join the SEC
The first day of SEC Football Media Days is in the books and the overwhelming theme has to do with new beginnings. One of the conference’s newest members ,Texas A&M, presented its school’s representatives to the media on Tuesday.
“We (also) at Texas A&M are excited for a lot of reasons,” Sumlin said. “Obviously, our inaugural season in the SEC, our fans, our former students, current students — everybody around the program is excited to get this thing going.”
Sumlin’s Texas A&M team enters the SEC with a bit of a challenge as the Aggies will be looking to replace Ryan Tannehill as the team’s quarterback. Tannehill, who was taken in this year’s NFL draft by the Miami Dolphins, was the team’s starting quarterback during the past few years for A&M. Now, the Aggies have the challenge of opening play in a defensive-minded conference while breaking in a new quarterback.
“I feel real good about our talent level at quarterback,” Sumlin stated. “Those guys will compete in two-a-days and we’ll figure out who that is and name a starter a couple weeks (at the latest) before the Louisiana Tech game.”
The confidence of Sumlin was not lost on his team’s player representatives at SEC Media Days.
“It’s a privilege to join this great conference. It’s the best in the country and to be a part of it is really great,” said Aggie wide receiver Ryan Swope. “We’re very anxious to get this thing started and we just can’t wait for kickoff.”
Arguably the biggest adjustment the Aggies will face when toe meets leather in just about a month is the differences in the style of play that SEC teams are based upon. The SEC has long been lauded as the most talented conference in the nation because of its defensive prowess. Compared to the Big XII, SEC defenses utilize many different skills that other conferences don’t match-up well against. One of those skills, speed, has been noticed by Aggie players and they are preparing themselves as best as they can for it.
“The biggest adjustment is, I think, the speed of the game. The defenses are very fast,” Swope said. “The front four are very big and they’ve got speed. We’ve just really got to take a look at all of their defenses.”
“We’ll see speed every single week. In the Big XII, we saw speed, but the SEC has great defenses every single week,” offensive tackle Luke Joeckel said. “I think we’re definitely ready for the competition.”
If first impressions mean anything, the Aggies seem motivated and ready to perform well in the SEC. Only time will tell, but based on the mentality that A&M representatives brought to Hoover, Ala., on Tuesday, they’ll fit in quite nicely in the SEC.
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