With Texas A&M graduating four offensive linemen after the 2007 season, the Aggie coaching staff is looking for a few good men in the trenches for the Class of 2008. The Aggies got their man Monday evening when Cy-Fair lineman Chris Lathrop quickly accepted Jim Bob Helduser's scholarship offer and committed to Texas A&M.
"I've been an A&M fan since I was little. My father took me to A&M games when I was little and I've been going to their camps since the third grade," Lathrop said. "It's a dream come true to play for the Aggies."
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound linemen had been hearing from Nebraska, Duke, and the service academies when Cy-Fair head coach Ed Pustejovsky informed him that he may be getting a call from Texas A&M line coach Jim Bob Helduser.
"Coach Pustejovsky told me Coach Helduser would be calling me Monday, and hinted that he might offer," Lathrop said. "So I was sitting by the phone waiting for him to call. When he called and offered, I committed on the spot. This was my dream."
The Houston area native wasn't sure the offer would come after the A&M coaches visited Cy-Fair's spring practice.
"Coach Franchione and Coach Helduser came out to practice and I didn't think they were looking at me very hard. I thought they were there for Sam (McGuffie)," Lathrop said. "I figured I blew my chance with them, but luckily the offer came and I'm an Aggie."
Helduser and Lathrop spoke at length after his commitment about loyalty and what it means to commit in the recruiting process.
"We talked a lot about loyalty and what my commitment means," Lathrop said. "It's disgusting seeing players decommit and go back on their word. When I got off the phone, I erased all the other coaches' numbers from my address book. That's it for me."
Lathrop's stock started to rise after his junior year. With four third year starters on the Cy-Fair offensive line two years ago, Lathrop didn't see much action as a sophomore and he fell behind in his development. However, he's making up for lost time now.
"I'm pretty quick and agile. I can pull with speed and power," Lathrop said. "I'm good at the mental aspects of the game. It comes easier for me than others, and I help the other guys out. When I'm told to do something, you don't have to tell me again."
Lathrop hopes to have his teammate and good friend Sam McGuffie running behind him at Texas A&M, but realizes McGuffie has his own decision to make.
"I called him to give him the news right after I committed. I told him he needed to join me in College Station," Lathrop joked. "He told me it could happen that A&M is up there, but he isn't ready to make a decision yet."
Lathrop plans to attend Texas A&M's day camp on May 31, but has no other plans to attend additional combines or camps.
Lathrop: 'It's a dream come true'
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