Big 12 Media Days: Aggies Seem Confident

I spoke with Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman, quarterback Ryan Tannehill, safety Trent Hunter, and wide receiver Jeff Fuller. That group seemed very confident. A&M is down the road from that game in Stillwater last season and the Aggies act like a team that can win it all. They are complimentary of the other teams in the hunt, but you can tell there is no awe in their voice.

"The expectations I think have always been there," said Sherman of the A&M attitude. "I think we're a little more realistic now than maybe they were a couple years ago. A year ago we would come off a season, a 6-and-6 regular season. We played 18 freshmen. We cut that down by two-thirds last year. And this year it will be even a little bit tougher to break the line up."

With all the skill guys returning in Tannehill, Fuller and an excellent compliment of receivers, and Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael at running back, Sherman has to feel even better that he has an offensive line that is experienced. Last year there were two freshman starters in the line.

The holes for the Aggies are more on the defensive side.

"Certainly winning last year in the second half of the season really helped precipitate that and allow us an opportunity to say, 'okay, I guess we do know what we're doing,'" Sherman added.

"I think we're going to be a better team on defense, even though we lose some significant players in Von Miller and Mike Hodges and Lucas Patterson. (They were) tremendously significant players in our defense, but I do believe that the second year in this defense will make the biggest jump.

"Our guys will have a lot more familiarity and knowledge of the defense and be able to fit in a little bit better," continued Sherman. "I don't think you replace a Von Miller, No. 2 pick, very easily with one player. I think we have to do it collectively with a group of guys, and I think we'll be able to do that. So looking forward to the season, I think."

All three of the Aggies I spoke to were more than willing to talk about the game with Oklahoma State to open Big 12 play, and all agreed that it is a huge game and that Texas A&M is eager to beat Oklahoma State after losing to the Cowboy three years in a row.

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