Hoover, Ala.—Life in the SEC hit home on Tuesday for Texas A&M as coach Kevin Sumlin and players Luke Joeckel, Ryan Swope and Sean Porter got their first taste of SEC Media Days. With over 1,000 credentials granted for the event and people swarming everywhere, all said it was an eye-opening experience to say the least.
“It’s definitely a new experience for sure,” Joeckel said. “I had no idea it was going to be this big. I have never been to the Big 12 Media Day, but this is crazier than what I expected. It’s a lot of fun. I don’t even know how many interviews I’ve done yet, but this is a lot of fun.”
A senior wide receiver that should be one of the most productive players in the league this season, Swope said the experience will give him plenty to tell his teammates when he gets back to school, the first being that this league takes things very seriously.
“It’s very different,” Swope said. “To come up to SEC Media Days and see thousands of guys is very interesting. It tells you how big of a deal the SEC really is. It’s very awesome to see it. They already know how big this season is. As a senior I want to go out in a good way at Texas A&M. I’ll go back and tell the guys how big of a deal it is, and make it an even bigger deal because I’m hungry to win football games.”
Growing up in Texas, Joeckel said that he has always been proud of the level of football played in the state and that doesn’t change by moving to the Southeastern Conference. While he said they can compete with anybody, he acknowledges the bar has been raised heading into 2012.
“It’s the best conference in all of college football,” Joeckel said. “It’s the best competition. That’s what I came to a school like A&M for. I wanted to play the best football and this is definitely the best football.
“We’re really excited about it,” he added. “We’re ready to compete. We’ve got some confidence on the team and a lot of talent. We’re excited to see what we can do. We’re kind of sick of all the working out. We’re just ready to hit people.”
Now the biggest question that remains for the Aggies is who will take over at quarterback for the departed Ryan Taneyhill. Jameill Showers is the favorite to win the job after getting some playing time last season and Swope said so far he’s shown everything they want from him heading into the season.
“We lost Taneyhill last year, but Jameill Showers was his backup and he’s got great technique,” Swope said. “He can really throw the ball. He feels very comfortable. He’s a great quarterback that has so many skill sets. I’m really excited for him. He’s been working hard and waiting for this opportunity. I think he’s going to cherish it and do well. I can’t wait to see what he does.”
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