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Texas A&M Football

Bryce Foster could be an exception in an otherwise veteran A&M lineup

April 19, 2021
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Ever notice how similar the word “freshman” is to the term “fresh meat?”

Maybe that’s not a coincidence. A freshman is often the target of deception, humiliation and ridicule as freshman meat.

That’s especially the case in the treacherous Southeastern Conference where merciless predators are typically eager to devour wide-eyed football neophytes.

Except, the newcomers aren’t always so vulnerable anymore.

There was once a school of thought that a college football team should anticipate one loss for each true freshman starter.

That was pretty accurate from Texas A&M’s perspective in 2019 when the Aggies finished 8-5 with freshmen Ainias Smith, Isaiah Spiller, DeMarvin Leal, Demani Richardson and Kenyon Green in the starting lineup.

But even then Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher never hesitated to put a first-year player in the starting lineup.

“I never saw an age limit in the rule book,” Fisher says almost defiantly. “The best players play.”

Still, in a best case scenario freshman aren’t typically the best players at their positions. Oh sure, there are exceptions. Nobody would have questioned Georgia for starting running back Herschel Walker as a true freshman in 1980. Or Alabama for starting receiver Amari Cooper in 2012. Or LSU for starting Derek Stingley, Jr., in 2019.

TexAgs
Myles Garrett was among the rare true freshmen who show up ready to play big-time college ball.

By the same token, A&M rightfully started defensive end Myles Garrett in 2014 and receiver Christian Kirk in 2015. Last season, Fisher started true freshman cornerback Jaylon Jones.

Fisher might not start a true freshman next season. The 2021 team could be his overall most talented and experienced (save quarterback and offensive line).

His credo is the best player plays, so a true freshman in the starting lineup is certainly a possibility.

But who could that be? Running back LJ Johnson surely has ability and is at a position in which freshmen often get significant playing time. He’s unlikely to force Spiller out of the starting lineup, though.

Defensive ends Tunmise Adeleye and Shemar Turner have incredible talent. But A&M is loaded with productive, experienced ends like Leal, Tyree Johnson and Micheal Clemons.

Adeleye and Turner are big enough to shift inside, except that A&M already has McKinnley Jackson and Jayden Peevy. Like a tree that’s planted by the water, they shall not be moved.

It would seem the most likely candidate to start as an A&M true freshman would be five-star guard prospect Bryce Foster.

He’s certainly physically developed at 6-foot-4, 330 pounds, plays like a bully, has brute strength and exceptional footwork, which he demonstrates as an elite shot putter and discus thrower. He’s put the shot 71-1 and flung the discus more than 210 feet.

Further, guard could be a position of need for the Aggies.

However, Foster is competing in track & field for Katy Taylor High School, so he’s not participating in A&M’s spring football drills. Some might think that absence this spring might prevent Foster from breaking into the starting lineup this fall.

Fisher, though, is not among them.

“When you have two sports and do things like he’s doing right now … He’s got the No. 1 discus and shot in the country. He’s very talented. He should stay there and do that. There’s no doubt.”
- Jimbo Fisher on Bryce Foster’s
senior track & field season

“I don’t think (missing spring drills) hinders you,” Fisher said. “I think guys that do that [enroll early] have a little bit of leg up just because they understand terminology. They understand language.

“You can Zoom with guys and talk to guys and all those things. But hearing it on an everyday basis … a new language … that’s the biggest thing. Then, how things operate and testing yourself for 15 practices not having to wait until fall.

“But listen … when you have two sports and do things like he’s doing right now. Just the other day he threw the shot 71 feet. That’s probably the best in the country by far. He’s got the No. 1 discus and shot in the country. He’s very talented. He should stay there and do that. There’s no doubt.”

Fisher doesn’t mind players participating in other sports. He has a history of recruiting multi-sport athletes. He might even prefer them.

“I think one of the biggest things we’re doing wrong in our society today in athletics is not letting guys play multiple sports and letting them experiment in multiple sports and develop in multiple sports,” he said. “It develops you not only physically, but mentally and competitively.”

Foster just may develop into a first-year starter for the Aggies. He definitely has the physical attributes and competitive spirit to survive against the SEC predators.

Discussion from...

Bryce Foster could be an exception in an otherwise veteran A&M lineup

16,461 Views | 12 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Agsuffering@bulaw
inch05
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AG
he's got a shot (no pun intended). Aki will be tough to beat out, though. Nice probably for Henson to have...he needs to find the best 5 that works as 1.
TxAg76
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AG
I think we have different definitions for "veteran", because aside from Kenyon, i don't think we have any veterans.
NoahAg
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Will he be throwing for Pat Henry next year?
figlet
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Emilio Fantastico
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AG
Yes
fieldtrailer
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AG
The offensive tackle position sounds like a weak spot. The only tackles currently listed (besides true freshman commits) are maybe Bankhead (what's his status) and Reed. Not sure if Reed has recovered. We'll see about the xfr from UT. Lowest graded lineman they had last year. Wish Green could stay at guard. Now a hole there (if Foster not ready or gets injured). What about Jordan Moko? Have not heard much about him.
BradenMeador
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AG
I believe he was referring to the team as a whole, not the OL.
Meanmachine
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Bryce is as ready as a true freshman as you can possibly be. He is already very strong and very explosive. He is smart and was a 4 year varsity starter in 6A football. If you came up with a list of traits you want for a true freshman o-line starter he checks all the boxes.
Stone44
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AG
Jimbo gets it. He really puts the player's best interest first.
Sgt. Hartman
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Bryce smoked the competition in the 2021 state meet shot put at 71-1. Second place was a throw of 63-7.5 so it wasn't even close.
Shoefly!
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AG
fieldtrailer said:

The offensive tackle position sounds like a weak spot. The only tackles currently listed (besides true freshman commits) are maybe Bankhead (what's his status) and Reed. Not sure if Reed has recovered. We'll see about the xfr from UT. Lowest graded lineman they had last year. Wish Green could stay at guard. Now a hole there (if Foster not ready or gets injured). What about Jordan Moko? Have not heard much about him.

I got a feeling we are going to be pleasantly surprised by the end of this next season.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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So long as we stay healthy, we should be good at OT. Staff would not have brought in Jahmir if the others were ready.
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