Aggies create buzz at SEC media days
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07
If there were any questions regarding the increased exposure Texas A&M would receive in the SEC, they were answered promptly at the 2012 SEC media days held Tuesday afternoon in Hoover, Ala. A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin – as well as junior Ryan Swope, junior Sean Porter and sophomore Luke Joeckel – talked Aggie football at the largest media convention in college football, delivering their thoughts on the upcoming season.
“For us it’s a special year. As excited as excited as everybody else is in the country to get football season started, I think I can speak for Texas A&M,” Sumlin said. “We’re as excited as anybody to be a part of the SEC, but also for football season to start.”
Sumlin, his players and Texas A&M were persistently questioned about their ability to compete in the SEC, whether they realize what they’re competing against, and their realistic expectations. The SEC has, after all, produced the previous six BCS national championship winners.
Sumlin stated his expectations were simple.
“What are my realistic expectations of this year? My realistic expectations are to win,” Sumlin said. “I said that from day one…I know having been at Texas A&M 10 years ago, the potential of the University.”
Joeckel, a projected first round NFL draft pick, will man the left tackle spot for what is considered one of the best offensive line units in the SEC. The strength of the team, the line will need to be exceptional if the Aggies expect to make any dents in SEC defenses.
The highly touted lineman noted he understands the jump in competition and he came to A&M to compete with the best.
“I’ve heard a lot [about SEC defenses] and it’s well deserved. It’s a defensive league,” Joeckel said. “It’s the best conference in all of college football. It’s why I came to A&M, I wanted to play the best football. This is definitely the best football.”
To compete in the SEC, the offense will also need some assistance from its wide receivers in its new-look spread scheme. Junior Ryan Swope, who led the Aggies with 1,207 yards receiving, will be a key component for A&M’s success through the air.
The prolific wideout stated his excitement for A&M’s first season in its new conference.
“Getting fired up for the year is not hard at all, we’re playing in the best conference there is,” Swope said. “I came back to A&M for a reason. I wanted to play in this conference for a reason, just to be in the spotlight and play for Coach Sumlin and his staff, and play the best teams in the country.”
And as the A&M players were sharing their thoughts on the status of the football program, they were doing so for over 700 credentialed media. While Sumlin answered questions at his initial presser, Texas A&M rapidly skyrocketed to the number one trending topic on twitter.
Jason Cook, A&M vice president of marketing and communications, noted this was a testament to the power the SEC brand contributes to A&M.
“We talked about the SEC move being an opportunity to increase Texas A&M’s visibility. I think today is a prime example of what this move is going to do for Texas A&M,” Cook said. “You look at the number of the media here, the national media coverage that has taken place…that shows the power of the SEC brand.”