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Jimbo 2021: Meemaw's Got a Brand New Bag

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1 minute ago, crash_davis said:

I imagine it is culture shock going from PA to shitty station. Will be interesting to see how many of these NE guys actually go to aggy and stay at aggy for 4 years.

Yeah. I get the idea of recruiting in less competitive regions, but it really puts more pressure on you to keep everyone focused and happy. Hard thing to do these days.

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5 minutes ago, crash_davis said:

I imagine it is culture shock going from PA to shitty station. Will be interesting to see how many of these NE guys actually go to aggy and stay at aggy for 4 years.

Center City and the historic and/or gentrified neighborhoods are great, but the bad Philly neighborhoods/suburbs (especially Camden) are some real post-industrial wasteland shit. A lot of these guys are probably pretty happy to get out one way or the other.

Edited by texifornia

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1 minute ago, texifornia said:

Center City and the gentrified neighborhoods are great, but the bad Philly neighborhoods/suburbs (especially Camden) are some real post-industrial wasteland shit. A lot of these guys are probably pretty happy to get out one way or the other.

Yeah, but moving 1500 miles away from your support system at 18 doesn't always lead to steady growth.

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These East Coast guys need the money and because they aren’t from the Southwest they don’t realize what a backwards school it is. They see Jimbo and Myles Garrett and assume it must be fine. Little did they know...

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5 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

Aggy bought another east coast mercenary. Shocking

It actually is surprising that they bought him away from Georgia. The Georgia boards seem to think that Georgia wanted to keep him. 

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1 minute ago, Fud said:

It actually is surprising that they bought him away from Georgia. The Georgia boards seem to think that Georgia wanted to keep him. 

what do you think was the difference? extra $20k?

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20 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Center City and the historic and/or gentrified neighborhoods are great, but the bad Philly neighborhoods/suburbs (especially Camden) are some real post-industrial wasteland shit. A lot of these guys are probably pretty happy to get out one way or the other.

Yeah, well said. There's no "rust belt" identity to it either. It's just shit.

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13 hours ago, Lhorn said:

Man, I was a bit worried about our WR inexperience after losing Duvernay and Johnson. I’d be very nervous if I were them.

I wasn't worried about our WR inexperience with Sam getting the new guys the ball.  I would be worried about my WR inexperience if I had to rely on Mond getting them the ball.   OLine concerns in giving both QBs time is a bigger concern.  But I don't think Sam needs as much time as Mond does to process the open receivers.

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1 hour ago, Fud said:

It actually is surprising that they bought him away from Georgia. The Georgia boards seem to think that Georgia wanted to keep him. 

Wonder if this was Coley’s doing, since he came from UGA. 

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1 hour ago, Ricky Butler said:

A&M recruiting so many guys from the east coast is so weird. Nothing against the players, but the whole concept just sounds like a joke. Neither party has any understanding of the other.

That's why these players are willing to go there.  All the in state guys are getting a first hand view of the crazy that is College Station.

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1 hour ago, crash_davis said:

For these guys, I imagine the words "what the fuck did I do?" are uttered upon spending a week in shitty station.

Arrested Development Mistake GIF

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1 hour ago, Ricky Butler said:

A&M recruiting so many guys from the east coast is so weird. Nothing against the players, but the whole concept just sounds like a joke. Neither party has any understanding of the other.

What you have identified there is not a bug, but rather the strategy.   If any black kid had an understanding of A&M, do you think they'd choose to go there?  Trust in Jimbah.

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2 hours ago, Fud said:

It actually is surprising that they bought him away from Georgia. The Georgia boards seem to think that Georgia wanted to keep him. 

If Georgia wants to keep him, they will match. Of course, Aggy could be going over the top and Georgia doesn't see the ROI in matching. 

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40 minutes ago, Neonmoon said:

Of course, Aggy could be going over the top and Georgia doesn't see the ROI in matching. 

spacer.png

Edited by Bevo14

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10 minutes ago, Bevo14 said:

spacer.png

If we're going to refer to Jimbo as going over the top, can we at least get a Surly photoshop wizard to put Jimbo on this GIF?

Quote of the Day: Over the Top | Return to the 80s

 

Edited by IDIOTsavant
Typo

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Isn't there some honor among thieves gentleman's agreement in the SEC?  Love to see the nouvea riche ags served up to the NCAA by the SEC blue bloods.

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3 minutes ago, destroya said:

Isn't there some honor among thieves gentleman's agreement in the SEC?  Love to see the nouvea riche ags served up to the NCAA by the SEC blue bloods.

That agreement probably doesn't cover kids from outside of SEC country 

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Spoiler

Liucci

10:41a 

Staff

AG

And without further delay, here is the most comprehensive (and accurate) fall camp update you're going to read this off-season, followed closely by my most recent report. A lot of people love to target us on social media or elsewhere because they're not us. It's that simple and, yes, this is a direct shot at the folks who spend way too much of their time trying to make us look bad, belittle what we're doing and flat out targeting the product thousands and thousands of Aggies have loved and still love and care about deeply. There's still nothing better folks (and that isn't changing)...enjoy!

I love writing these freaking things, by the way.

With the Ags just days away from entering their first 'Game Week' since last December, let's take an in-depth look at what's happening out at the Coolidge Practice Fields and the indoor center. Lots and lots to talk about.

1) DeMarvin Leal will have something to say about it, but sophomore tailback Ainias Smith might end being the Aggies' best player this fall. He's been pretty sensational throughout fall camp in the backfield and I think we've reached the point where insiders simply say "Ainias was Ainias" when talking about the versatile back's daily efforts. Football playing dude who possesses the rarely seen 'lunchpail guy' and 'dog' mentalities with supreme athleticism. A special talent who was outstanding in Saturday's scrimmage.

Isaiah Spiller has also had a strong camp to date. The sophomore ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run during last weekend's scrimmage, one in which he raced through a gaping cutback hole and then showed eye-catching speed for a 220-pound back while splitting the safeties en route to the end zone. Fisher told me today that Spiller has gotten in shape as camp has progressed and shown up big in both Aggie scrimmages thus far.

I really do like the Ags' 1-2 punch in the backfield.

As far as the depth goes, true freshmen Deandre Jackson and Darvin Hubbard are both beginning to show what they can do as camp progresses and they've gotten more comfortable. Jackson is a guy who sources say has already proven that he 'loves contact' (I get the vibe the Ags believe they found a hidden gem here because he runs with a great deal of power and toughness) and Hubbard has flashed the skill-set that led to his being an Ohio State Buckeye commit as a sophomore. Earnest Crownover is a very interesting JC addition in that he's a bigger back who can run and catch. I think he could factor into the mix somehow, even it's as a short-yardage option against stout SEC West fronts.

The wildcard here is Devon Achane. There's just so much he can do and, like Demond Demas at receiver, the dude is flat-out electric with the ball in his hands. Achane turned in a couple of stellar plays in the Ags' most recent scrimmage and is going to be an impact freshman for Jimbo Fisher this fall, especially as the season progresses. The thought of Achane and Smith on the field together and the pressure Fisher and Darrell Dickey can put on opposing defenses...

Coach Fisher says...the backs, you get Ainias back there, Spiller back there, you get two backs at one time in what you're doing. I've been very happy with Earnest Crownover, done a great job. Deandre Jackson, heavy and run. Hubbard can catch the ball really nice. Achane was having a tremendous camp, pulled a little hammy, out a couple of days, got back in scrimmage the other day and got six, eight carries in that. Boy, you see it, and a natural catching the ball out of the back for all those guys. AJ Sanders had a nice camp. And of course our fullbacks were Baldree, when you go into heavy situations, he's even caught balls out of backfield, he and all those guys have done a really nice job coming out. So I've been pleased with that group, so we can go two different ways in that group.

2) I've been saying it throughout fall camp and will say it again because nothing has changed: Kellen Mond is practicing better than at any point in his A&M career. We're a full month into camp (and then some) and Kellen is throwing the ball more accurately than he ever has (including pushing it down the field), has been much more of a vocal presence in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and has complete command of Fisher's offense entering Year 3 as the starter. The offense is still going to go as Mond goes, and if he's connecting down the field, making quicker decisions, getting the Ags into the right play (and out of the wrong play) earlier in the play clock and, yes, running the ball more, well, that's the formula for Fisher's offense to thrive. He's done all of those things well and hasn't had a let down from the start of fall camp. In fact, Mond has steadily improved throughout the month of September. Doesn't guarantee anything, but it's a damn good indicator and a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

I interviewed Jimbo this week for the 'TexAgs Kickoff' feature and the head coach raved about how much his QB has improved over the course of the off-season. Thing is, Jimbo isn't the only one saying as much. Ask anyone out there and they'll be quick to tell you that #11 has been at his best since the Aggies took the field to open camp following the longest of off-seasons.

Mond is coming off a very good second scrimmage on Saturday afternoon, where he made plays against the Aggie defense with his arm and, especially, his legs, ripping off a long touchdown run at one point and making things happen on the move.

Oh yeah, about the backup quarterback battle...

It's a very tight one between Calzada and King. Both guys are earning the confidence of the staff as the potential QB2. What I will say is that King has picked up the offense incredibly quickly and his ability to extend the play has certainly helped him move the offense and keep drives alive in live situations. If Calzada is able to hold him off, it will have to be on the strength of his cannon (and very lively) arm.

Coach Fisher says: Just things [Kellen] is doing, the game has really slowed down for him, his work ethic, his leadership, his command of things. And I'm going to tell you, Kellen's always been, more of a quiet leader type guy, but he's become much more vocal, getting on guys. I think he totally feels comfortable in himself and what he's doing, and why he's doing it, who he is, not just as a football player, but as a person. And it's been fun to really coach him this Fall camp, it really has, and where he's going, and effect he's having on the team.

3) Getting Ryan McCollum back out there at center gave the offense a big boost. Luke Matthews has been sidelined and McCollum was out, as well. Smart Chibuzo looks like he could make a nice center for Josh Henson's o-line in the future but he's been playing center for all of a week or so and is still learning the art of the snap.

Luke Matthews is also a player who Jimbo had strong praise for today when we caught up for the 'TexAgs Kickoff' Q&A. He said that the third-year center will soon be back from a minor injury but that Luke was particularly impressive before having to miss some time. Stronger, more confident and just having a complete grasp of the offense. Sounds like the center battle is ongoing between a couple of veterans.

It's always tough to gauge the offensive line during fall camp but there seems to be optimism from the inside that the unit has shown tangible signs of improvement over last season (which we all realize is an absolute must). One of the positive signs is hearing things like Kellen and Ainias performing at a high level during camp and also some nice scoring drives being put together in the scrimmage setting. It's a step in the right direction, which is all you've got to go on between now and when the games are actually played.

Coach Fisher says: I really like how Luke's developing. Those linemen take a while. He's gotten stronger, bigger, knowledge of what's going on, just calls and playing inside. The offensive line has gotten better, they really have. And those young guys, you're starting to see the talent and ability they have that gets you excited.

4) Interesting battle shaping up at right guard between senior starter Jared Hocker and second-year man Layden Robinson. The Manvel product was running with the 1s in Saturday's scrimmage with Hocker dealing with a minor injury. If he performs well, I don't think it's out of the question that he pushes the incumbent, as I'm hearing that Robinson has really turned the corner. When he figures it out, this dude has the potential to overwhelm defenders with sheer size, power and legitimate athleticism, as well. Keep an eye out here.

Coach Fisher says: Really you didn't see Layden Robinson a year ago. I think Hocker has been playing well, but Layden Robinson is really coming on. I really like him.

5) A lot of you have been asking about the Aggies' likely starting defensive line. Sounds like the primary group has been DeMarvin Leal and Micheal Clemons at end and Bobby Brown and Jayden Peevy on the inside. Of course, Mike Elko can also slide Leal inside and have Tyree Johnson on the edge.

Couple of other d-line developments of note:

I've been saying that true freshman DT McKinnley Jackson would be an impact d-lineman as a true freshman just like Leal last fall and Bobby Brown in 2018. Well, the 320-pounder from Mississippi has already begun logging some first-team reps on the inside and has looked good when given the chance. He's going to be part of Elijah Robinson's regular rotation in there and has a chance to be pretty special. Fisher also spoke pretty highly of newcomers Isaiah Raikes and Dallas Walker (a guy no one is talking about but who looks like a very nice addition to the interior DL stable).

The true freshman defensive ends are coming along at a steady clip. Donell Harris (per Jimbo, he's added 25 pounds since arriving on campus in June and has tremendous ability to bend around the edge) and Fadil Diggs (Fisher mentioned the DE as having "very heavy hands and punch") still need time to adjust to the college game but the improvement from each of the first-year DEs has been very noticeable of late. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see this duo provide pass rush help as the season progresses.

Coach Fisher says: Up front, I think McKinnley Jackson has done an outstanding job. I think he's really developing. Raikes has been outstanding. All three of those guys are big body, athletic guys that can run, that can move around and create pass rush. Fadil Diggs, he got heavy handed, strong, physical. Donell Harris put on 25 pounds, but Donell's going to be a really good one. He can run, he can bend the corner. I've been really pleased with those two guys. Braedon Mowry's done a nice job in that group.

6) Micheal Clemons and Myles Jones are two seniors who are having by far their best camp in Maroon & White. Jones has looked terrific since the start of the January off-season and nothing changed once the pads went on. He's been one of the Ags' best defenders and look ready to play his way into the NFL Draft this fall. The A&M staff is very excited about his three-year progression in Mike Elko's defense, as Fisher told me today that Jones now has a full understanding of how to utilize his exceptional length in coverage.

Clemons has been pretty exceptional thus far and has not only "looked like a different player" through four weeks of fall camp but has also emerged as a vocal leader and a guy setting a real tone for the Aggie defense with his energy and attention-grabbing sense of urgency. Between he, Jayden Peevy, DeMarvin Leal and Buddy Johnson, the Ags have some guys who aren't afraid to lead up and be pretty vocal up front. They've also got competitors and some real tough guys in the trenches. If you're looking for a 'most improved' coming out of fall camp, Clemons' name would be at or near the top of the list.

Coach Fisher says: Peevy and Rogers, those guys have really developed inside...Peevy's leadership and things that go on there. Micheal Clemons has really taken his game to another level, in my opinion, and is playing really hard. Tyree Johnson is good. Of course we know Leal.

7) Not a lot more to report at safety since the previous update. Demani Richardson (he had an interception in Saturday's scrimmage) has looked pretty special. Not a surprise but definitely worth noting that the second-year defensive back has had an outstanding camp and looks poised to make a legitimate run at All-SEC honors. Brian Williams is definitely an improved player entering his second year on campus and junior Leon O'Neal has made tremendous strides throughout an eventful off-season. He's lighter, noticeably faster and is playing with a much greater understanding and feel for Mike Elko's defense. Seeing if the veteran who started 10 games last fall can eventually keep talented (and more impressive by the day) true freshman Antonio Johnson as the season progresses will be a nice battle to watch. Either way, Elko and the Aggies are working with nice depth and some high-end SEC talent for the first time in three tours through the league.

Coach Fisher says: Carper, of course, has done a good job. And Leon's lost some weight, moving better, running better. Demani, Brian Williams...and Erick Young is another guy who played off and on last year, who plays in different spots, is really a good natural football player, and I think will play a lot for us and do a really good job.

😎 The nickel position remains every bit as interesting as we expected it to be. Erick Young making the move from safety has been an exciting addition. He's getting most of the work with the first-team defense and he is by far the most talented defensive back Elko has been able to place in one of the most impactful roles in his scheme in his three years in charge. Young still has competition and Elko has options in Brian George and a pair of known commodities in Devin Morris and Clifford Chattman.

If Young continues to settle in and make plays, it will give Elko the flexibility to keep Morris and George primarily at corner, where the Ags desperately need the depth. This is where losing Elijah Blades to an opt-out hurts. I'm over here watching guys at LSU reconsider their options and asking myself "Why can't the Ags get a little of that action, a well?" right now because adding just one more trusted cover man to the mix would really make a big difference. IMO, Blades sitting out is still the ultimate head-scratcher because he gets the year back anyway. So unless he's planning to enter the NFL Draft with about four or five games of tape (in other words a UFA invite to camp next spring), how does it hurt to play in 2020?

With that said, the Aggies do have a chance to look very strong at the top of the depth chart on the island. I called the Joneses manning the starting spots prior to camp and still think that's what we'll see for Vandy. Myles is playing the best ball of his career and Jaylon is probably as talented as any corner Elko and TJ Rushing have coached. But Jaylon is still a true freshman who hasn't played a college game, much less lined up against the best in the SEC and Brian George is in the same boat though a little more physically mature and tested after his stint in the JC ranks. Speaking of George, the South Florida product drew praise from Fisher during our sit-down and continues to look like a very nice addition to the secondary for the Wrecking Crew. He's a very good cover man and very fast, agile and athletic DB with the type of mentality you want to see in an SEC West cornerback. The only thing currently lacking is experience in the system. He's getting better every day.

Coach Fisher says: Brian George, been very happy with his progress. Even though he's a JUCO, playing really good at calming the athleticism, you're starting to see that. Jaylon Jones has been outstanding. I mean, whatever he does, whatever he touches has been just first rate. I mean, it really has. That guy will be a very, very significant player for us very quickly.

9) Elko and the Aggies have a nice situation at linebacker with a pair of veteran starters back, and Buddy Johnson and Anthony Hines have looked good entering Year Two on the first-team. However, what I think I'm even more fired up about is the depth the Ags have been able to stockpile at the position. There is a LOT of young talent pushing for meaningful fall reps. As all of you know, it's been a while since we could say that about an A&M linebacking corps.

Andre White and Chris Russell are a couple of second-year men whose names have come up more than once, with White being one of the guys who seems to be getting very close to making a noteworthy impact at the position. In the true freshman ranks, insiders believe Edgerrin Cooper has 'future star' written all over him and Antonio Doyle is big, instinctive (Jimbo mentioned this specifically to me today during our interview) and can move. He's one of the guys whose name came up as having a nice scrimmage on Saturday at Kyle Field, maybe his best practice to date.

Coach Fisher says: At linebacker, Edgerrin Cooper gained weight, but it meant he can run. He's long, natural. You'll see him on special teams. Antonio Doyle came in, and he had never eaten that good, so he gained some weight. Now, he's lost it back, and he's moving, but he's a very instinctive, natural football player, takes command very well, very good leader in that regard. Chris Russell, White, and Lee, those young guys are coming.

10) Australian Nik Constantinou has had a good camp as he prepares to replace Ray Guy Award winner Braden Mann. He has folks feeling optimistic about where things stand at punter. Caden Davis is likely to handle kickoff duties and he and junior incumbent Seth Small give Fisher and the Ags two able legs for field goals.

Coach Fisher says: And then I think our punter, Nik Constantinou's done a really good job. He only went one time last year. I consider him in that group [young guys developing well], and he's done a great job of course.

11) Okay, so everyone is asking about wide receiver and, unfortunately for those of you wanting some sort of depth chart or pecking order, all I can say is "Pick a day." Jhamon Ausbon announced his opt-out on Sunday, but he hadn't practiced for the previous 2.5 weeks prior to giving up his senior season in Aggieland. Between Ausbon's opt-out decision and Cam Buckley's injury, the Ags now have essentially zero experience at the position. What Dameyune Craig does have is a lot of talented young pass-catchers to put on the field. A series of minor injuries (nothing serious, as guys have been in and out at various times) has led to pretty much everyone in the group seeing legitimate time with the 1st and/or 2nd team. Hez Jones and Chase Lane stood out at the start (Lane missed some time with a hamstring but may have been the most impressive of camp), Caleb Chapman had a nice scrimmage on Saturday and consistently turns in plays, Kam Brown has taken advantage of the opportunity and is absolutely in the conversation when it comes to the Game 1 starting lineup and the light seems to have come on for Jalen Preston, who produced a couple of touchdowns in Saturday afternoon's scrimmage at Kyle Field. True freshman Demond Demas is as physically gifted as anyone in Maroon & White and is being brought along as quickly as possible. He made some nice snags in Saturday's scrimmage and is coming on.

Not only did I just list a lot of names, I even left a couple of guys off who are in very much in the PT mix. The next week or so of work is going to carry a heck of a lot of weight with Fisher, Craig and the offensive staff but I believe we'll see a much deeper WR rotation against Vandy than we've grown used to seeing the Ags roll with during the past two seasons. I also expect the Ags to play more than four receivers throughout the season, as you'll see more widespread contribution from a pretty exciting mix of talent.

Coach Fisher says: And you got enough wideouts now, that you go into the full-wide game with what you're doing with Kam, and Caleb Chapman, and you still got Hez doing a great job, Chase Lane, Preston. You got a group that we can go in some different personnel groups, and still do a lot of things, and create some things. Very pleased with the way the guys are developing.

Devin's been banged up a little bit, but when he's played he's been really good. And you see him, he's long and athletic, and got really good hands. I love him. Moose and Demond have done a really nice job and been called upon, receivers occasionally out for the pool or something light for a day or two, those guys have gotten time, just because I wanted to see how they reacted, and just how they'd done it. And they've had some tough moments, but have had some really good moments. I mean, made plays, caught balls, make big plays, can run with the ball. They're both going to be really good players.

12) Fisher has mentioned several times that he's proud of where his team is at and how they've handled things during what at times had to seem like the neverending off-season. As was the case around the country a few weeks ago, the road got bumpy as uncertainty and social unrest seemed to impact locker rooms and campuses everywhere. The Ags look and sound like a group that not only weathered the storm but may have even drawn closer together after a couple of departures and some honest conversations. Over the past three-plus weeks, practices have been spirited and the Aggies look like a team with a common goal in mind and one that's focused and fired up about finally playing some damn football.

Coach Fisher says: And I think [recent challenges] really made us grow and understand each other, and the kids have done a great job in it. Hopefully, I think we are tighter. I think it shows in our practices and our efforts. And for the most part, I've liked how we've practiced. I mean, I really have. Not everything's perfect, but at least enthusiasm, the energy, and the willingness for those guys to go out and learn, and be coached has been really good.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Lobwedgephil said:
  Hide contents

Liucci

10:41a 

Staff

AG

And without further delay, here is the most comprehensive (and accurate) fall camp update you're going to read this off-season, followed closely by my most recent report. A lot of people love to target us on social media or elsewhere because they're not us. It's that simple and, yes, this is a direct shot at the folks who spend way too much of their time trying to make us look bad, belittle what we're doing and flat out targeting the product thousands and thousands of Aggies have loved and still love and care about deeply. There's still nothing better folks (and that isn't changing)...enjoy!

I love writing these freaking things, by the way.

With the Ags just days away from entering their first 'Game Week' since last December, let's take an in-depth look at what's happening out at the Coolidge Practice Fields and the indoor center. Lots and lots to talk about.

1) DeMarvin Leal will have something to say about it, but sophomore tailback Ainias Smith might end being the Aggies' best player this fall. He's been pretty sensational throughout fall camp in the backfield and I think we've reached the point where insiders simply say "Ainias was Ainias" when talking about the versatile back's daily efforts. Football playing dude who possesses the rarely seen 'lunchpail guy' and 'dog' mentalities with supreme athleticism. A special talent who was outstanding in Saturday's scrimmage.

Isaiah Spiller has also had a strong camp to date. The sophomore ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run during last weekend's scrimmage, one in which he raced through a gaping cutback hole and then showed eye-catching speed for a 220-pound back while splitting the safeties en route to the end zone. Fisher told me today that Spiller has gotten in shape as camp has progressed and shown up big in both Aggie scrimmages thus far.

I really do like the Ags' 1-2 punch in the backfield.

As far as the depth goes, true freshmen Deandre Jackson and Darvin Hubbard are both beginning to show what they can do as camp progresses and they've gotten more comfortable. Jackson is a guy who sources say has already proven that he 'loves contact' (I get the vibe the Ags believe they found a hidden gem here because he runs with a great deal of power and toughness) and Hubbard has flashed the skill-set that led to his being an Ohio State Buckeye commit as a sophomore. Earnest Crownover is a very interesting JC addition in that he's a bigger back who can run and catch. I think he could factor into the mix somehow, even it's as a short-yardage option against stout SEC West fronts.

The wildcard here is Devon Achane. There's just so much he can do and, like Demond Demas at receiver, the dude is flat-out electric with the ball in his hands. Achane turned in a couple of stellar plays in the Ags' most recent scrimmage and is going to be an impact freshman for Jimbo Fisher this fall, especially as the season progresses. The thought of Achane and Smith on the field together and the pressure Fisher and Darrell Dickey can put on opposing defenses...

Coach Fisher says...the backs, you get Ainias back there, Spiller back there, you get two backs at one time in what you're doing. I've been very happy with Earnest Crownover, done a great job. Deandre Jackson, heavy and run. Hubbard can catch the ball really nice. Achane was having a tremendous camp, pulled a little hammy, out a couple of days, got back in scrimmage the other day and got six, eight carries in that. Boy, you see it, and a natural catching the ball out of the back for all those guys. AJ Sanders had a nice camp. And of course our fullbacks were Baldree, when you go into heavy situations, he's even caught balls out of backfield, he and all those guys have done a really nice job coming out. So I've been pleased with that group, so we can go two different ways in that group.

2) I've been saying it throughout fall camp and will say it again because nothing has changed: Kellen Mond is practicing better than at any point in his A&M career. We're a full month into camp (and then some) and Kellen is throwing the ball more accurately than he ever has (including pushing it down the field), has been much more of a vocal presence in the huddle and at the line of scrimmage and has complete command of Fisher's offense entering Year 3 as the starter. The offense is still going to go as Mond goes, and if he's connecting down the field, making quicker decisions, getting the Ags into the right play (and out of the wrong play) earlier in the play clock and, yes, running the ball more, well, that's the formula for Fisher's offense to thrive. He's done all of those things well and hasn't had a let down from the start of fall camp. In fact, Mond has steadily improved throughout the month of September. Doesn't guarantee anything, but it's a damn good indicator and a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

I interviewed Jimbo this week for the 'TexAgs Kickoff' feature and the head coach raved about how much his QB has improved over the course of the off-season. Thing is, Jimbo isn't the only one saying as much. Ask anyone out there and they'll be quick to tell you that #11 has been at his best since the Aggies took the field to open camp following the longest of off-seasons.

Mond is coming off a very good second scrimmage on Saturday afternoon, where he made plays against the Aggie defense with his arm and, especially, his legs, ripping off a long touchdown run at one point and making things happen on the move.

Oh yeah, about the backup quarterback battle...

It's a very tight one between Calzada and King. Both guys are earning the confidence of the staff as the potential QB2. What I will say is that King has picked up the offense incredibly quickly and his ability to extend the play has certainly helped him move the offense and keep drives alive in live situations. If Calzada is able to hold him off, it will have to be on the strength of his cannon (and very lively) arm.

Coach Fisher says: Just things [Kellen] is doing, the game has really slowed down for him, his work ethic, his leadership, his command of things. And I'm going to tell you, Kellen's always been, more of a quiet leader type guy, but he's become much more vocal, getting on guys. I think he totally feels comfortable in himself and what he's doing, and why he's doing it, who he is, not just as a football player, but as a person. And it's been fun to really coach him this Fall camp, it really has, and where he's going, and effect he's having on the team.

3) Getting Ryan McCollum back out there at center gave the offense a big boost. Luke Matthews has been sidelined and McCollum was out, as well. Smart Chibuzo looks like he could make a nice center for Josh Henson's o-line in the future but he's been playing center for all of a week or so and is still learning the art of the snap.

Luke Matthews is also a player who Jimbo had strong praise for today when we caught up for the 'TexAgs Kickoff' Q&A. He said that the third-year center will soon be back from a minor injury but that Luke was particularly impressive before having to miss some time. Stronger, more confident and just having a complete grasp of the offense. Sounds like the center battle is ongoing between a couple of veterans.

It's always tough to gauge the offensive line during fall camp but there seems to be optimism from the inside that the unit has shown tangible signs of improvement over last season (which we all realize is an absolute must). One of the positive signs is hearing things like Kellen and Ainias performing at a high level during camp and also some nice scoring drives being put together in the scrimmage setting. It's a step in the right direction, which is all you've got to go on between now and when the games are actually played.

Coach Fisher says: I really like how Luke's developing. Those linemen take a while. He's gotten stronger, bigger, knowledge of what's going on, just calls and playing inside. The offensive line has gotten better, they really have. And those young guys, you're starting to see the talent and ability they have that gets you excited.

4) Interesting battle shaping up at right guard between senior starter Jared Hocker and second-year man Layden Robinson. The Manvel product was running with the 1s in Saturday's scrimmage with Hocker dealing with a minor injury. If he performs well, I don't think it's out of the question that he pushes the incumbent, as I'm hearing that Robinson has really turned the corner. When he figures it out, this dude has the potential to overwhelm defenders with sheer size, power and legitimate athleticism, as well. Keep an eye out here.

Coach Fisher says: Really you didn't see Layden Robinson a year ago. I think Hocker has been playing well, but Layden Robinson is really coming on. I really like him.

5) A lot of you have been asking about the Aggies' likely starting defensive line. Sounds like the primary group has been DeMarvin Leal and Micheal Clemons at end and Bobby Brown and Jayden Peevy on the inside. Of course, Mike Elko can also slide Leal inside and have Tyree Johnson on the edge.

Couple of other d-line developments of note:

I've been saying that true freshman DT McKinnley Jackson would be an impact d-lineman as a true freshman just like Leal last fall and Bobby Brown in 2018. Well, the 320-pounder from Mississippi has already begun logging some first-team reps on the inside and has looked good when given the chance. He's going to be part of Elijah Robinson's regular rotation in there and has a chance to be pretty special. Fisher also spoke pretty highly of newcomers Isaiah Raikes and Dallas Walker (a guy no one is talking about but who looks like a very nice addition to the interior DL stable).

The true freshman defensive ends are coming along at a steady clip. Donell Harris (per Jimbo, he's added 25 pounds since arriving on campus in June and has tremendous ability to bend around the edge) and Fadil Diggs (Fisher mentioned the DE as having "very heavy hands and punch") still need time to adjust to the college game but the improvement from each of the first-year DEs has been very noticeable of late. Wouldn't surprise me at all to see this duo provide pass rush help as the season progresses.

Coach Fisher says: Up front, I think McKinnley Jackson has done an outstanding job. I think he's really developing. Raikes has been outstanding. All three of those guys are big body, athletic guys that can run, that can move around and create pass rush. Fadil Diggs, he got heavy handed, strong, physical. Donell Harris put on 25 pounds, but Donell's going to be a really good one. He can run, he can bend the corner. I've been really pleased with those two guys. Braedon Mowry's done a nice job in that group.

6) Micheal Clemons and Myles Jones are two seniors who are having by far their best camp in Maroon & White. Jones has looked terrific since the start of the January off-season and nothing changed once the pads went on. He's been one of the Ags' best defenders and look ready to play his way into the NFL Draft this fall. The A&M staff is very excited about his three-year progression in Mike Elko's defense, as Fisher told me today that Jones now has a full understanding of how to utilize his exceptional length in coverage.

Clemons has been pretty exceptional thus far and has not only "looked like a different player" through four weeks of fall camp but has also emerged as a vocal leader and a guy setting a real tone for the Aggie defense with his energy and attention-grabbing sense of urgency. Between he, Jayden Peevy, DeMarvin Leal and Buddy Johnson, the Ags have some guys who aren't afraid to lead up and be pretty vocal up front. They've also got competitors and some real tough guys in the trenches. If you're looking for a 'most improved' coming out of fall camp, Clemons' name would be at or near the top of the list.

Coach Fisher says: Peevy and Rogers, those guys have really developed inside...Peevy's leadership and things that go on there. Micheal Clemons has really taken his game to another level, in my opinion, and is playing really hard. Tyree Johnson is good. Of course we know Leal.

7) Not a lot more to report at safety since the previous update. Demani Richardson (he had an interception in Saturday's scrimmage) has looked pretty special. Not a surprise but definitely worth noting that the second-year defensive back has had an outstanding camp and looks poised to make a legitimate run at All-SEC honors. Brian Williams is definitely an improved player entering his second year on campus and junior Leon O'Neal has made tremendous strides throughout an eventful off-season. He's lighter, noticeably faster and is playing with a much greater understanding and feel for Mike Elko's defense. Seeing if the veteran who started 10 games last fall can eventually keep talented (and more impressive by the day) true freshman Antonio Johnson as the season progresses will be a nice battle to watch. Either way, Elko and the Aggies are working with nice depth and some high-end SEC talent for the first time in three tours through the league.

Coach Fisher says: Carper, of course, has done a good job. And Leon's lost some weight, moving better, running better. Demani, Brian Williams...and Erick Young is another guy who played off and on last year, who plays in different spots, is really a good natural football player, and I think will play a lot for us and do a really good job.

😎 The nickel position remains every bit as interesting as we expected it to be. Erick Young making the move from safety has been an exciting addition. He's getting most of the work with the first-team defense and he is by far the most talented defensive back Elko has been able to place in one of the most impactful roles in his scheme in his three years in charge. Young still has competition and Elko has options in Brian George and a pair of known commodities in Devin Morris and Clifford Chattman.

If Young continues to settle in and make plays, it will give Elko the flexibility to keep Morris and George primarily at corner, where the Ags desperately need the depth. This is where losing Elijah Blades to an opt-out hurts. I'm over here watching guys at LSU reconsider their options and asking myself "Why can't the Ags get a little of that action, a well?" right now because adding just one more trusted cover man to the mix would really make a big difference. IMO, Blades sitting out is still the ultimate head-scratcher because he gets the year back anyway. So unless he's planning to enter the NFL Draft with about four or five games of tape (in other words a UFA invite to camp next spring), how does it hurt to play in 2020?

With that said, the Aggies do have a chance to look very strong at the top of the depth chart on the island. I called the Joneses manning the starting spots prior to camp and still think that's what we'll see for Vandy. Myles is playing the best ball of his career and Jaylon is probably as talented as any corner Elko and TJ Rushing have coached. But Jaylon is still a true freshman who hasn't played a college game, much less lined up against the best in the SEC and Brian George is in the same boat though a little more physically mature and tested after his stint in the JC ranks. Speaking of George, the South Florida product drew praise from Fisher during our sit-down and continues to look like a very nice addition to the secondary for the Wrecking Crew. He's a very good cover man and very fast, agile and athletic DB with the type of mentality you want to see in an SEC West cornerback. The only thing currently lacking is experience in the system. He's getting better every day.

Coach Fisher says: Brian George, been very happy with his progress. Even though he's a JUCO, playing really good at calming the athleticism, you're starting to see that. Jaylon Jones has been outstanding. I mean, whatever he does, whatever he touches has been just first rate. I mean, it really has. That guy will be a very, very significant player for us very quickly.

9) Elko and the Aggies have a nice situation at linebacker with a pair of veteran starters back, and Buddy Johnson and Anthony Hines have looked good entering Year Two on the first-team. However, what I think I'm even more fired up about is the depth the Ags have been able to stockpile at the position. There is a LOT of young talent pushing for meaningful fall reps. As all of you know, it's been a while since we could say that about an A&M linebacking corps.

Andre White and Chris Russell are a couple of second-year men whose names have come up more than once, with White being one of the guys who seems to be getting very close to making a noteworthy impact at the position. In the true freshman ranks, insiders believe Edgerrin Cooper has 'future star' written all over him and Antonio Doyle is big, instinctive (Jimbo mentioned this specifically to me today during our interview) and can move. He's one of the guys whose name came up as having a nice scrimmage on Saturday at Kyle Field, maybe his best practice to date.

Coach Fisher says: At linebacker, Edgerrin Cooper gained weight, but it meant he can run. He's long, natural. You'll see him on special teams. Antonio Doyle came in, and he had never eaten that good, so he gained some weight. Now, he's lost it back, and he's moving, but he's a very instinctive, natural football player, takes command very well, very good leader in that regard. Chris Russell, White, and Lee, those young guys are coming.

10) Australian Nik Constantinou has had a good camp as he prepares to replace Ray Guy Award winner Braden Mann. He has folks feeling optimistic about where things stand at punter. Caden Davis is likely to handle kickoff duties and he and junior incumbent Seth Small give Fisher and the Ags two able legs for field goals.

Coach Fisher says: And then I think our punter, Nik Constantinou's done a really good job. He only went one time last year. I consider him in that group [young guys developing well], and he's done a great job of course.

11) Okay, so everyone is asking about wide receiver and, unfortunately for those of you wanting some sort of depth chart or pecking order, all I can say is "Pick a day." Jhamon Ausbon announced his opt-out on Sunday, but he hadn't practiced for the previous 2.5 weeks prior to giving up his senior season in Aggieland. Between Ausbon's opt-out decision and Cam Buckley's injury, the Ags now have essentially zero experience at the position. What Dameyune Craig does have is a lot of talented young pass-catchers to put on the field. A series of minor injuries (nothing serious, as guys have been in and out at various times) has led to pretty much everyone in the group seeing legitimate time with the 1st and/or 2nd team. Hez Jones and Chase Lane stood out at the start (Lane missed some time with a hamstring but may have been the most impressive of camp), Caleb Chapman had a nice scrimmage on Saturday and consistently turns in plays, Kam Brown has taken advantage of the opportunity and is absolutely in the conversation when it comes to the Game 1 starting lineup and the light seems to have come on for Jalen Preston, who produced a couple of touchdowns in Saturday afternoon's scrimmage at Kyle Field. True freshman Demond Demas is as physically gifted as anyone in Maroon & White and is being brought along as quickly as possible. He made some nice snags in Saturday's scrimmage and is coming on.

Not only did I just list a lot of names, I even left a couple of guys off who are in very much in the PT mix. The next week or so of work is going to carry a heck of a lot of weight with Fisher, Craig and the offensive staff but I believe we'll see a much deeper WR rotation against Vandy than we've grown used to seeing the Ags roll with during the past two seasons. I also expect the Ags to play more than four receivers throughout the season, as you'll see more widespread contribution from a pretty exciting mix of talent.

Coach Fisher says: And you got enough wideouts now, that you go into the full-wide game with what you're doing with Kam, and Caleb Chapman, and you still got Hez doing a great job, Chase Lane, Preston. You got a group that we can go in some different personnel groups, and still do a lot of things, and create some things. Very pleased with the way the guys are developing.

Devin's been banged up a little bit, but when he's played he's been really good. And you see him, he's long and athletic, and got really good hands. I love him. Moose and Demond have done a really nice job and been called upon, receivers occasionally out for the pool or something light for a day or two, those guys have gotten time, just because I wanted to see how they reacted, and just how they'd done it. And they've had some tough moments, but have had some really good moments. I mean, made plays, caught balls, make big plays, can run with the ball. They're both going to be really good players.

12) Fisher has mentioned several times that he's proud of where his team is at and how they've handled things during what at times had to seem like the neverending off-season. As was the case around the country a few weeks ago, the road got bumpy as uncertainty and social unrest seemed to impact locker rooms and campuses everywhere. The Ags look and sound like a group that not only weathered the storm but may have even drawn closer together after a couple of departures and some honest conversations. Over the past three-plus weeks, practices have been spirited and the Aggies look like a team with a common goal in mind and one that's focused and fired up about finally playing some damn football.

Coach Fisher says: And I think [recent challenges] really made us grow and understand each other, and the kids have done a great job in it. Hopefully, I think we are tighter. I think it shows in our practices and our efforts. And for the most part, I've liked how we've practiced. I mean, I really have. Not everything's perfect, but at least enthusiasm, the energy, and the willingness for those guys to go out and learn, and be coached has been really good.

 

 

Holy fucking shit that's so damn much maroon koolaid. The rollercoaster is perched and ready to go.

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13 minutes ago, Lobwedgephil said:

A lot of people love to target us on social media or elsewhere because they're not us. It's that simple and, yes, this is a direct shot at the folks who spend way too much of their time trying to make us look bad, belittle what we're doing and flat out targeting the product thousands and thousands of Aggies have loved and still love and care about deeply.

giphy.gif?cid=4d1e4f29d4m3dssb9fo8k3mcqs

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3 minutes ago, texifornia said:

Holy fucking shit that's so damn much maroon koolaid. The rollercoaster is perched and ready to go.

Indeed it was kool aid deluge but the thing that stood out to me, other than the expected over-the-top Loochness, was the number of injured guys. LOTS of guys that “missed some time”. Especially funny when at the same time they “clearly improved over last season” (as well stronger/faster) but also missed several days or more to injury. 

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11 minutes ago, Doc Reeves said:


 

4E8195CF-2EE3-479E-90AB-ADCD10E829F5.jpeg

Unfortunately, the aggy roller coaster doesn't kill nearly enough aggy. 

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2 minutes ago, Elmer_Fudd said:

If the aggy offense is scoring at will against the defense then what is Bama', Florida, Auburn, Leech, ect. going to do?

Anything they damn well please.  

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15 minutes ago, Elmer_Fudd said:

If the aggy offense is scoring at will against the defense then what is Bama', Florida, Auburn, Leech, ect. going to do?

Go in dry?

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Gotta love the Loochi “player x is playing better as a junior than he ever did as a freshman or sophomore!”

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5 hours ago, Lobwedgephil said:

A lot of people love to target us on social media or elsewhere because they're not us. It's that simple and, yes, this is a direct shot at the folks who spend way too much of their time trying to make us look bad, belittle what we're doing and flat out targeting the product thousands and thousands of Aggies have loved and still love and care about deeply.

Happy Antonio Banderas GIF

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4 hours ago, Elmer_Fudd said:

If the aggy offense is scoring at will against the defense then what is Bama', Florida, Auburn, Leech, ect. going to do?

Do you have a reading comprehension problem?  The aggy defense is looking incredible!  The aggy offense is looking incredible!  They're both looking incredible, even though they're playing against each other!

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Do you have a reading comprehension problem?  The aggy defense is looking incredible!  The aggy offense is looking incredible!  They're both looking incredible, even though they're playing against each other!

Show me a loss!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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1 hour ago, Beau Vine said:

Do you have a reading comprehension problem?  The aggy defense is looking incredible!  The aggy offense is looking incredible!  They're both looking incredible, even though they're playing against each other!

After their inter squad scrimmage, they were 2-0!

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6 hours ago, texifornia said:

Holy fucking shit that's so damn much maroon koolaid. The rollercoaster is perched and ready to go.

Why in the world would any aggy pay for this shit? 

You can't even figure out what the depth chart is going to look like because Liucci thinks 3rd stringers are All-Americans. 

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