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Texas A&M Football

Split Focus: Hurricane Harvey draws Aggies' attention as UCLA looms

August 29, 2017

Josh Rosen may be foremost in the Aggies’ minds, but it’s understandable if their thoughts wander to Harvey.

According to cliche’, success in sports is 90-percent mental. Yet, it may be difficult for the Aggies — especially those from the Houston area — to be 100-percent focused on UCLA.

No doubt, the football season-opener in the Rose Bowl on Sunday is important for the Aggies. Still, it doesn’t compare to what has happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which has taken an enormous toll on the Houston and Gulf Coast areas this week.

The storm has dumped an estimated 11 trillion gallons of water on the Houston area, taken lives, forced evacuations, caused wide-spread damage and left thousands at least temporarily homeless. How does a kid focus on an opponent when his family may be fighting for survival and/or losing their homes?

A&M coach Kevin Sumlin understands that concern and has done all he can to help his players and their families.

“We have things in place, and we've anticipated this situation,” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said on Tuesday. “We told our players we'd keep them safe. We went through the NCAA and student assistance funds to reassure our student athletes that we would do everything we could for their safety and for their parents and guardians.

TexAgs Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin stated that the administration is doing everything it can to aid players and families affected by Hurricane Harvey.
“We wanted to make sure we communicated that. Their families are an extended part of our family, and we will do everything we can through the NCAA to help them out.

"You can get away from the situation, but you can't replace the memories that are destroyed. There's a human element, and on an individual basis, things can look bleak.

"We're doing our best to get parents and guardians out of there. At this point in time, that's really all you can do.”

The A&M roster includes 35 players from the Houston and Gulf Coast areas. Some have family still in their homes. Other have had family that had to be rescued.

A&M sophomore running back Trayveon Williams said his mother, dad and cousins were airlifted by a Coast Guard helicopter from their Northeast Houston home.

“The house isn’t in the best shape right now,” Williams said. “The first floor is water damaged, but as long as they’re safe, that’s all that matters. They had to get rescued by the Coast Guard. They had to have a helicopter come get them. They’re in some shelter. I haven’t talked to them today.”

The news that Williams’ family had been rescued via helicopter caused a look of alarm from defensive tackle Kingsley Keke, whose family lives in the Richmond area near the Brazos River, which has flooded over its banks. Keke said he has friends who have evacuated, but his family has remained at their home.

“My mom and my family are doing pretty good right now,” Keke said. “I FaceTime them every day. I FaceTime my friends’ families to make sure they’re OK.”

Defensive end Jarrett Johnson is also from Richmond. His parents evacuated on Sunday and traveled to San Francisco where his brother and sister reside.

TexAgs Texas A&M defensive end Jarrett Johnson's family evacuated to San Fransisco, California, before Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas coast.
“They’re fine now,” Johnson said. “They’re good. They’re safe. Thats all I can ask for. Last thing I heard, my house was fine. I don’t know up-to-date news about it, but I’m praying for the best.”

All three will play key roles against UCLA. Johnson and Keke will try to provide a pass rush to pressure Rosen. Williams will try to key the running game. He rushed for 94 yards in last season’s 31-24 victory over the Bruins at Kyle Field.

Keke admitted focusing on football has been difficult this week.

“It’s hard to think about football, but in life, hard things come,” he said. “You’ve just got to get up and keep  working.”

Meanwhile, Williams said his family told him to focus on UCLA.

“They’re telling me to worry about UCLA and saying, ‘We’ll be OK,’” he said. “That means a lot that they’re mentally strong. That helps me out. I’m glad that they’re mentally strong. That helps me out doing my job.”

He intends to get the job done, too.

“I’ll go out there and play for those guys, play for Houston and play for the 12th Man.”
Discussion from...

Split Focus: Hurricane Harvey draws Aggies' attention as UCLA looms

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Josh Rosen may be foremost in the Aggies' minds, but it's understandable if their thoughts wander to Floyd.
Maybe I missed something, but WHO?
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Floyd Harveyweather?

Seems "a enormous" mistake to make.
Bobby Petrino`s Neckbrace
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That's some bush league writing, right there.
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