August 10, 2009

First day for Aggie freshmen in the books

Every August you get the smell of freshly cut grass and sweaty pads in the air as college football teams across the nation gear up for football season with training camp. Texas A&M began its quest to improve on a dismal 4-8 2008 season Monday evening with a two-and-a-half hour practice that moved well past the sun setting on the horizon.

The theme of the day had to be freshmen, in which head coach Mike Sherman has repeatedly said leading up to fall camp will have to make an immediate impact on his team. But in their first day of practice, the freshmen did what was expected - make mistakes.

"It looked like opening day. It looked like the first day of practice and we still have a lot of work to do," Sherman said. "I think the effort was there and the desire was there. Our execution needs to be a lot better which is what I expected. A third of the kids on the team are new and just trying to get them up to speed was a challenge at different times, but I thought we made some progress at times and tomorrow will be better. It was a typical first day."

Getting the newcomers up to speed is a top priority for the Aggie coaching staff, but Sherman also said he felt the veterans have advanced from where they left off in the spring.

"I think we're further advanced with the older guys, but obviously we hadn't done anything with the younger guys," Sherman said. "They participated in our summer program which is weightlifting and running and they went out with our players and did some 7-on-7, but that's the extent of it. When you think about that a third of the team is new and a third of the team went out there for the first time today, and with that in mind I thought they did okay. They still have a lot of work to do obviously."

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