Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update to Early Off-Season Update

I forgot to mention one thing the other day and then we had a little more suprise news come out on Tuesday.

Just after signing day Coach Sherman accepted a walk-on freshman kicker from Kentucky. Ross Gilliam is a 6'7" former soccer player who first started his football career his senior year of high school - thus his limited exposure during the recruiting process. He was incredibly impressive and he's coming to Aggieland - so that is great.

I'm always a bit leery of freshman kickers, as we haven't seemed to have much luck with them.....but adding a leg scholarship free can't hurt anything. If nothing else maybe we can get some more touchbacks and save ourselves from game losing TD KORs.

The more recent news is that we added one more name to the 2010 signing class as monster OLman, Jarvis Harrison (6'4" 323 lbs) of Navasota got his SAT results back and found out that he was going to qualify so he put his name out for interested schools. He, like Gilliam, started football late in life (for Harrison it was his junior year of HS) so it will be interesting to watch him go from raw to refined under Coach Sherman and Coach Turner.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Early Off-Season Updates

A couple of notes that need to be chronicled.....

Coach Sherman Finishes Off Coaching Staff
Before I shut down my old site we already knew that Coach Kines retired and that we brought in Tim DeRuyter to replace him. Since then we discovered the Nolan Cromwell (OC) has decided to go back to his former NFL team, the StL Rams, to be an assistant coach there.

Sherman has decided to keep the title of OC for himself and will bring in a familiar face to manage the WRs - Steve Kragthorpe. Krag was the WR coach at A&M from '97-'98, while serving double-duty in '99-'00 as the QB coach and OC. More recently he was the head coach at Tulsa and then at Louisville.

On the defensive side of the ball we have the most changes. Only DB coach Charles McMillian remains. Terrell Williams (formerly of Purdue) was brought in to be the DL coach while we have brought in two LBer coaches.....OLB coach Nick Toth and ILB coach DAT NGUYEN.

Toth (TOE-TH) comes to us from The Citadel and played DB for DeRuyter at Ohio.

I'm excited about Dat because he is an Aggie legend - but before everyone goes on to declare him as our next defensive coordinator or "Head Coach in Waiting" we have no idea how well he can recruit or coach, although he did leave an assistant coaching job with the Cowboys to come here. He was a great, well loved player but that doesn't guarantee he is the second coming of Lombardi - although I think we'd all take that.

Since we will have four offensive and five defensive coaches (giving us our 9), I have to assume that Kirk Doll is out but I don't know who will coach the special teams.

My biggest hope is that we got some recruiters....we'll find out next February.

Of our former coaches Van Malone has taken a job with Tulsa and Buddy Wyatt took a job at Kansas.

HC/OC: Mike Sherman
WR: Steve Kragthorpe
OL: Jim Turner
RB: Randy Jordan
DC: Tim DeRuyter
DL: Terrell Williams
ILB: Dat Nguyen
OLB: Nick Toth
DB: Charles McMillian

Schedule Change
Bill Byrne announced a change to the upcoming season schedule as we will move our game against Oklahoma State from Saturday October 2nd to Thursday September 30th. Kickoff is set for 6:30pm and it will be an ESPN nationally televised game.

Thankfully, this game is up in Stillwater. I would hate to give up my treasured Saturday gameday and have to leave work early to make it up there in time for kickoff, get back home, and then go to work the next morning. Instead, I'll be sitting on my couch watching this one with the family.

From a program's perspective - this is great because we will have the entire college football world watching us on a Thursday night. Let's hope that this Thursday night game goes better than '01 Wyoming (won a squeaker against a vastly inferior team), '03 V-Tech (lost), '04 Utah (shocked and slaughtered), and '05 Texas State (slid past a DI-AA school).

Signing Day
I'm not going to really get into this too deeply but we had a heckuva signing class, particularly on the offensive line, which I believe is one of the lynch-pins of a team. Take a look at the 2004 freshmen and redshirt freshmen and you can see that as those guys came into their own we ascended to our better seasons this decade.

We did lose two players, one was not a big shock (Shreveport WR Jarrett Fobbs to LSU) but one blew our doors off - LBer Corey Nelson to OU. Nelson played us, led us on, and flat out lied to us and then turned around and signed with the Sooners. I hope he gets lost on their depth chart.

You can read about all the great guys we landed from the A&M press release.

Four players are already on campus as early enrollees and will benefit from getting to go through spring practices with the rest of the team: Clay Honeycutt (QB), Jameill Showers (QB), Matt Joekell (QB) & Luke Joekell.