There are a lot of traditions at Texas A&M. One tradition that seems to stick out in everyone's mind is the Yell Leaders.
Alex Villarreal has been brushing up on her A&M history, and, turns out, Bear Bryant, former Texas A&M head football coach, and of course, college football icon, once said, "Ten Aggies can yell louder than a hundred of anybody else."
And you know what, he's still right. She takes a behind-the-scenes look at the proud Aggie men who are most notably known as the "Yell Leaders."
College Football. Fierce competition, devoted fans and cheerleaders. Unless you're at Texas A&M University. No big-time program has more off-the-wall, age-old rituals to support its team, including the Aggie Yell Leaders.
"You're a pretty noticeable character around campus, and that, you know, has it's own personal perks," says Senior Yell Leader David Benac.
The perks are what got the program started in the first place. According to legend, back when A&M was an all-male military campus, the Ags were being out-scored so badly the ladies attending the game were threatening to leave from boredom.
In a last ditch effort, the freshmen were ordered to find a way to entertain them. So they began leading the crowd in yells from the track.
The freshmen got so much attention from the ladies that from then on, only upperclassmen would be allowed to participate in the future. Perks aside, these five men take their roles seriously.
"Our job is definitely just to get the 12th man fired up and to support our Aggie teams," says Junior Yell Leader Nelson Ingram.
Ingram and Benac are two of the five members making up this year's team.
"Compared to other schools, I'm not sure I know any who get 85,000 people yelling in unison...I'm just gonna throw that out there," laughs Ingram.
It takes a certain kind of confidence to lead the 12th man. Benac says he's never been shy. Whatever you do, though, do not call them a spirit squad.
"From the outside looking in, you can't undertstand it. From the inside looking out, you can't explain it," says Benac. It's a phrase that perfectly descirbes Aggieland.
You don't have to be a student or alum to participate in the fun.
"If you're wearing maroon, we expect you to do some yells," says Ingram.