COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M football team opened its 2007 spring drills with a two-and-a-half hour workout in shorts and helmets on Tuesday at the grass practice fields.
The Aggies are coming off a 9-4 season in 2006 that included a trip to the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl. Highlights for the 2006 Aggies were an undefeated regular season road record and a victory over archrival Texas in Austin.
“It was a good day,” Aggie head coach Dennis Franchione said. “We got a lot of teaching and installation done on both sides of the ball. Of course, we have some older guys so there’s a lot of carryover. There’s not a lot of change on offense; on defense a little bit, but not dramatic. When you have a good number of players returning with experience it makes the first day smoother.”
Tuesday’s workout marked the debut of a pair of freshman – quarterback Ryan Tanneyhill and defensive back Lionel Smith -- who enrolled at A&M in January.
“They looked like guys that were in their first practice,” Franchione said. “Ryan did some good things and he did some things that you don’t want him to do. That’s to be expected. I told him after practice, ‘Ryan, you had a good day – not a great day and you’ve got a lot of work to do – but a good first day.' And I think it would be the same thing for Lionel Smith. It’s the first time they’ve been through a practice like this. It was encouraging but there’s still a long way to go.”
At Monday’s pre-spring press conference, Franchione announced several position changes including: Lucas Patterson from offensive line to defensive line; Vince Williams from defensive line to offensive line; Jordan Pugh from cornerback to safety; and Johnathan Batson from safety to cornerback. Previous position changes include Jamie McCoy from quarterback to wide receiver and Kenny Brown from wide receiver to safety.
The Aggies return to practice on Wednesday. All spring practices are open to the public.