Hurd Takes On New Challenges In Off-Season

Toney Hurd Jr. is taking on some new challenges this spring that he hopes will pay dividends come fall camp. Hurd, like many elite athletes, often play multiple sports to help stay in shape in the off-season and to hone in on other skills. The Under Armour All-American is doing everything he can to ensure his body is in impeccable shape before arriving to Aggieland for good.

What do Tony Romo and Toney Hurd have in common? I mean, both are football players at completely different levels--one plays quarterback for the Cowboys, and the other is an incoming freshman defensive back at Texas A&M. What could they possibly have in common besides fútbol? Diving in deeper, what enduring qualities do elite quarterbacks and corners share? Good footwork, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, and endurance just to name a few. If anyone caught the Freudian slip then the answer starts to become clear. Hurd is expanding his horizons and taking on a new sport this spring that he feels will help him focus on the minute characteristics that are important for all cornerbacks to possess.

"Actually, this off-season I've taken on a couple of new challenges that are new to me. I played soccer this off-season," the Under Armour All-American proclaimed. Like Romo, Hurd is using soccer as an off-season device to improve his overall skill set on the grid iron. "It's helping me with my hip flexibility and endurance," said Hurd.

Enough with the vague comparisons, the 5-foot-9, 185 pounder is doing everything he can to ensure his body stays in impeccable shape. The additional challenge Hurd alluded to will hopefully assist him in the 4th quarter during the most crucial time of the game, when stamina is essential.

"I'm also running track. It's going to help me a lot with my endurance. Track is basically helping me with my speed and preparing me for the next level. As for preparing for college football, I've been pretty busy running and staying in shape. As far as the weights go, I have been lifting real light weights. I haven't done anything big."

Without sounding redundant, it's every freshman's goal to start when they arrive to camp in the fall. The attributes Hurd intends to bring with him when he arrives to Aggieland will go a long way whether he starts or not.

"My expectations are to come in and show everybody that I am a hard worker. I'm going to come in hungry with my expectations high. If I'm blessed enough to start then, thank the Lord. But if not, then I'll be willing start in some nickel and dime packages and work my way up. One thing I know for sure is that I'll show them that I am hungry and I'll stay humble throughout the entire process."

The term "red-shirt" can be a touchy subject for some freshmen and others don't tend to mind. Toney represents the first of the two. His voice took on a determined tone that almost seemed insulted by the question.

"At this point, I know that I will not be red-shirting," said Hurd. "I've talked to all of the coaches and the strength and conditioning coach and right now my body is in good enough position to come in and make an impact early. So, I am not looking to red-shirt at all."

"From talking to Coach Mac and Coach DeRuyter I feel I am fit for any scheme they throw my way. I'm not looking to sit on the bench. When I was being recruited that was a big thing for me--Like I said, I'm not looking to sit on the bench. I want to come in and make an immediate impact. I'm not boasting, I'm not bragging or anything but I felt like I've put the work in the last couple of years to ensure I play this incoming season as a true freshman."

Passion is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Toney Hurd. His love for the game exceeds the amount most athletes comprise at his age. Although Hurd won't admit it, he will face many of his toughest challenges his first season, but that passion he holds so dearly eliminates a lot of the fears he might have.

"Honestly, it's football. It's not something I'm forced to do; it's something I love to do. I feel it's going to be a pretty smooth transition from high school to college. The main thing is to stay focused and balance your books and your athletics. I feel like it's not going to be difficult at all. Just stay humble, work hard, and keep God first."

Hurd will room with Mister Jones in the fall and his tentative arrival date to Aggieland is May 28th.

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