Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said defensive end Myles Garrett, an incoming freshman from Arlington Martin, has “really, really impressed” older teammates since taking part in the Aggies’ voluntary workouts this summer in College Station.
Offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi said Garrett, the nation’s top-ranked defensive end prospect by Rivals, should be an immediate contributor “for sure” when the Aggies open the season Aug. 28 at South Carolina.
“When they rank guys No. 1, they usually don’t screw that up. I don’t think they screwed this one up this year,” Sumlin said, reflecting on Garrett’s lofty credentials during Tuesday’s session of the SEC media days. “All signs point to him being as advertised. He’s explosive. I know he’s impressed (observers) in the weight room. Walking in the door, he’s one of the strongest guys on the football team.”
Garrett is expected to improve an A&M pass rush that generated only 21 sacks last season, 10th among SEC schools.
“He’s a good negotiator. We know that,” Spurrier said. “He’s got a good deal.”
Asked for a response, a smiling Sumlin said: “You guys are stirring the pot. You’re not going to get me on that.”
Spurrier also discussed the Bonham Trophy that reportedly will be awarded to the winner of the game in tribute to James Butler Bonham, who was educated at South Carolina and fought at the Alamo. Spurrier said: “If they want to do a trophy for it, that’s fine. I don’t know that you can have a trophy for every game … I’m sure this guy Bonham did a lot of good things. But I always thought Davy Crockett was the hero of the Alamo. So the trophy was a little surprising to me.”
In regard to the dormant A&M-Texas rivalry, Spurrier said: “I think it’s a shame that Texas and Texas A&M don’t play each other. I think it is sad.”
“The big donors in college are like an owner in the NFL because they put the money up,” Spurrier said. “The best part of it, they don’t tell us what to do, though. They’re sort of the owners from a distance. They don’t tell you who to play, what plays to call and so forth. But they’re very important. You’ve got to have the facilities to keep up. That’s been a big reason for our success.”
“We learned how to finish these games,” safety Jay Hughes said. “Once you learn how to play all four quarters, the road is yours to take. We are excited.”