COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M football team continued preparations for the 2007 season with a two-hour morning workout at the McFerrin Athletic Center and the grass practice fields on Friday.
“It was a good practice,” Aggie head coach Dennis Franchione said. “I would like to see us take a few more steps just as far as cleaning up little things – persist a little more when you go through these days. We didn’t really have a lot of installation today. The first day of pads is an absorption day and get used to the pads day. We had good work all the way around and good physical play. We had some nice plays but still have lots of things to clean up.”
Franchione announced that two members of the 2007 signing class are missing action due to injuries.
“Brandon Joiner (Killeen Shoemaker HS) had hernia surgery this morning and he’ll be out a while with that,” Franchione said. “Charles Young (Mamou (La.) HS) has a foot sprain.”
Franchione was asked about the importance of developing Stephen McGee’s backups at quarterback.
“That’s one of our big issues here in August – getting Jerrod (Johnson) and Ryan Tanneyhill as far along as we can,” Franchione said. “Right now we’re pretty much splitting the reps between those two. There may be a point when we may have to start getting more reps to one than the other to get that one farther along. It’s important to get those guys as ready as we can, and hopefully get them into a game to get them some experience.”
Franchione praised the efforts of 14 Aggie football players, including current players Stephen McGee and Joey Thomas, who are scheduled to receive their diplomas in this weekend’s Texas A&M commencement ceremonies. Other notables include former all-conference punter Cody Scates, former starters Marcus Jasmin, Alex Kotzur and Brandon Leone and last season’s placekicker Layne Neumann.
“A large part of our mission is to graduate our players,” Franchione said. “It’s always exciting to see that day finally get here for these guys. On the list to graduate are some guys who have been out a little bit and have come back to finish. I admire those guys for coming back and doing that because that’s not an easy thing to do. It’s great to see.”
McGee, who has two years of eligibity remaining, is graduating with a degree in marketing after three-and-a-half years on campus.
“There are not enough accolades to describe what kind of person, student, leader the young man is,” Franchione said. “He’s a very driven person, very goal-oriented and an achiever to the highest level. You love coaching guys like this and you love having guys like him on your team because he makes your team better. It’s one of the special things about being a coach.”
2007 Texas A&M Summer Graduates (Football only)
Adams, Daniel, Jr.
Greever, Andrew Lee
After five days of single practices, the Aggies will start “two-a-day” practices on Saturday. All practices are closed to the general public.