Story Poster
Jimbo Fisher
Kellen Mond
Buddy Johnson
Ainias Smith
Texas A&M Football

Press Conference: Aggies ready for 2020 season opener against Vanderbilt

September 21, 2020

Game week is finally here as Texas A&M will begin their 2020 season with the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday night at Kyle Field. Ahead of the Aggies' first game of the year, Jimbo Fisher, Kellen Mond, Buddy Johnson and Ainias Smith spoke to the media.

Video courtesy of Texas A&M Athletics.

The following are live, paraphrased notes from head coach Jimbo Fisher's press conference on Monday.

  • The opt-outs always catch you off guard because you hate to lose them, but all of the things going on right now affect the young men and their families differently. There are a lot of things happening. We wish those guys the best and wish we’d have them. We wish both Jhamon Aubson and Anthony Hines the best. They’re great young men. Things are unprecedented right now. We’ll have to have many guys step up, and we’re seeing that at wide receiver right now. All of those guys have played and done well. In addition, we have our tight end packages to help us on offense as well. We’ve practiced without Jhamon for a long time. At linebacker, we’re okay as well. All of those guys have all done an excellent job. We have enough. We had to lose anybody, but at the same time, everyone is having a good camp and making plays.
  • The way we practice in camp, everyone is getting the same amount of reps. They all get the same amount regardless if you’re a 1 or a 4. Hines didn’t eat up any reps from that standpoint. I don’t think that hurt us at all from a rep standpoint.
  • Derek Mason teams are well-versed, technical, and they play hard and physical. They know how to leverage you and play hard. Everything is a fight. He makes you earn every yard. You don’t find easy ways against him. Combined with Ted Roof, it’s a very difficult scheme to prepare for. They play hard and very physical.
  • You always try to find mismatches. You try and have receivers play multiple positions. Ainias Smith is a very versatile player that allows you to create mismatches. He is very tuned into that. He has great physical and mental skills. His ability to learn and retain is impressive.
  • We feel good COVID-wise. We’re healthy and good with where we’re going.
  • Aaron Hansford had a great camp, and we’ve kept a great rotation. We’ve rotated them all well and interacted guys as much as we humanly can do with guys moving around and playing with different units. We’ve been able to enhance guys’ abilities. Hansford has blossomed into that. Anthony Hines was doing good, but Hansford is as well.
  • There was a time I wondered if we would play. Slight time, but I was always pretty optimistic about it. Different things happened over the offseason that made you wonder. I got to planning all of it and have been very optimistic about all of it. It’s exhilarating and gets the juices flowing to be preparing for a game. It gets me going as a coach.
  • DeMarvin Leal is playing as well as anybody we have. He’s playing great and will be playing tons. With the depth chart, it’s going to change every day. Don’t put a lot of stock into what you see. Depth charts aren’t huge to me. There will be multiple guys who play multiple ways, depending on how it goes. Leal will play inside and outside. He’s very versatile and helps us put different packages together.
  • You’re going to see different coverages, blitzes, jams and everything. They’re going to use three, three bonus, traps. There’s so much Vanderbilt will do. The good thing about our defenses is we do a lot of that too, so we should be prepared for it. They will challenge us mentally and physically.
  • I think we built depth by recruiting well for two or three years. We have developed our players well. What if they opt out, and what if they got injured? What’s the difference? That’s what you have to plan for as a coach. I’m happy about how these guys are stepping into these roles and challenges. They’re all learning to play at a very high level.
  • Guys have been in the system for a few years. They’re all very talented. Look at Hansford. He’s done an excellent job. Chris Russell and Andre White have as well. Buddy Johnson is great. We’ve signed good players in Edgerrin Cooper and Antonio Doyle. We’re never perfect, but we’re playing better and getting better. They’ve had a good camp. We’ve got more bodies at linebacker, that’s for sure.
  • I hope we’re very crisp. If I could answer that, I’d sleep better. You always worry about that before the first game and any game. We can go off how we practice and scrimmage, and we’ve done a nice job. We are improving every single day. Our guys have continued, and I think we’re hitting our stride at the right time.
  • The atmosphere will be whatever we make it. Our job as coaches and players is to make it. You should never depend on the crowd, anyways. It’s just a bonus. You can’t rely on them to get you there. As an athlete, you have to bring your abilities to focus and play at a high level.
  • Our backs have hit a good stride. Connor Blumrick is 6-5, but he’s tough. As a former quarterback, he knows all of the assignments. That has helped him a lot. He has learned how to block. When he was playing running back, he has learned how to block. He’s played well. I’ve been very impressed with the way he has played.
  • Kellen Mond, from the day he got here for this camp, hasn’t changed a lick from a leadership standpoint. His demeanor and influence have been exactly the same, even after Jhamon opted out. It hasn’t hurt him, at least not on the outside. I’m sure it did hurt him inside, but it has been the same Kellen the entire time.
  • I haven’t watched a bunch of these early college football games because we’ve been practicing. We always worry about special teams early in the season. Offensively, some of the teams that have struggled have turned it over and had pre-snap penalties. There have been some issues in communication too. Some of these teams have had great performances too. I hope that’s us this week.
  • Earnest Crownover has had an excellent camp. Running, blocking, all of it. He’s been big and physical. Devon Achane has great hands and runs great. Deondre Jackson and Darvon Hubbard have been fantastic as well. I’ve been very pleased with our backs. I’m very comfortable, even with our freshmen. I’ve never had a group come in and have this much of a grasp on it. They’re learning and getting better each day.
  • Buddy Johnson is expecting to have a great season. He expects a lot of himself. Going from outside to an inside guy is a significant change. He has done a great job. He has had a great offseason and a great impact on the other guys. He has a great presence. We need him to play well.
  • You can’t sit and worry about guys opting out. You have to get a good feel for your team and the guys. If you worry about that, you’ll worry yourself to death. We have a good feel, and we don’t expect more of that.
  • I won’t pull a scholarship from a player who has opted out and shop the transfer portal. I won’t do that. That’s their right, and I respect that. I won’t pull a scholarship.
  • You’re always establishing trust with players. It’s passed down from class to class. You can see it in our locker room and out at practices. I like this team and how they communicate. They’re very fun to coach.
  • I felt comfortable last year, but you’re always wondering how it’s going to go from year to year. Now we have more guys in our program. That always makes a difference.
Discussion from...

Press Conference: Aggies ready for 2020 season opener against Vanderbilt

6,904 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by fav13andac1)c
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Is Demond Demas practicing ? Jimbo mentioned him one time weeks ago I think and haven't seen any pics from Texags? Kinda joking but for a dude with all that hype it's been crickets. Want to hear about Demond instead of Connor Blumrick or Chris Russell.
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10:27 laugh/cry
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