Though the Texas A&M secondary has some talent, there isn’t much experience in the group. That’s why new defensive backs coach Marcel Yates says he’s looked to Steven Terrell this spring as a leader in that unit this spring. Terrell talked after practice on Monday about trying to step up this year as a leader.
“Yes I have, especially with (Steven) Campbell out this spring. I’m trying to be a leader by example and do everything right and help the younger guys come along while getting to know the defense myself,” he said.
Like every other player on the A&M roster, Terrell is adjusting to the style of a new position coach and a new coordinator. He talked about the transition so far this year.
“I like the change, it’s been a good change for us. I like Coach Yates, he’s really laid back. You can tell he really knows what he’s talking about coming from Boise and seeing the success he’s had there with the DB’s, it’s a good transition for all of us,” he said.
He added, “(Tim DeRuyter and Mark Snyder) are both pretty fiery and they both have good schemes. I’m starting to get to know Snyder a little more. They’re both great coaches. I feel like you’ll be able to see the change in our defense. It’s 4-3 but we do a lot of different things. It’s a great defense to play in too, and he’s a genius too when it comes to defensive schemes. I’m excited for everybody to get to see what we’ve been working on.”
Terrell also noted that he’s been working with the special teams units and new special teams coordinator Brian Polian.
“Coach Polian is a cool guy,” he said. “I really like Coach Polian. He has a lot of energy and he’s bringing a different side to special teams that we haven’t seen. He’s changed up some of our schemes punt wise. It’s been great.”
All spring we’ve heard about the tempo of the offense, but Terrell gave some perspective on what it looks like from the secondary to be going against the A&M offense every day in practice.
“It’s fast. That’s the biggest thing,” he said. “They have a great tempo and that’s only going to make us better. I look forward to going against our offense every day because we know they go so fast and they have so many schemes. They’re so good at passing, for the DBs it really helps us out a lot. It gets us in shape for the most part, if a team doesn’t do no huddle we’re going to be sitting there waiting on them like ‘come on, let’s go’ so it really helps us out a lot it’s a good benefit.”
He added, “(Uzoma Nwachukwu) is having a really good spring, but that’s expected, he’s having a really good spring. Mike Evans has stepped up. (LeKendrick Williams) has had a pretty good spring. This offense, you get to see all of the talent we have at wide receiver, you get to see it spread around. Kenric McNeal, I’m just excited to see them on the field running that fast pace. I’m excited for them and it helps us out also.”
Like many others this spring, Terrell said that sophomore corner DeShazor Everett has been impressive this spring. However, he said he feels the whole group has stepped up their effort.
“Deshazor (Everett) really stood out to me, he’s coming along really well. Floyd (Raven) is coming along really well. They’re all doing good. Howard (Matthews) has stepped up and started playing hard. As a secondary I just feel like we’ve stepped it up so far. We need to keep getting better, we have a long way to go but everybody is doing their part and stepping up.”
Last season, the Aggies were one of the worst teams in the nation against the pass. Terrell said that this season their effort on fundamentals has been a big change, one that he hopes will improve the pass defense.
“Just getting back to fundamentals,” he said. “We do a lot more fundamental work this year than we’ve ever done. Backpeddling drills and things like that. In the secondary, every mistake is a touchdown so you have to be perfect in every aspect of the game, you have to pay attention to details, so we’ve been focusing more on technique than we’ve ever focused on before. I think it’s going to come out in a positive way for us.”
He added, “Last year we worked with teams more, we did more team work. This year we have more time set aside for individual. Before practice and after practice and during practice, I think its like 30 minutes for individual. That’s key. That individual time is going to help a lot and I think it’s going to show up on the field for us.”
With so much youth around him on the field, Terrell said he’s looking forward to having another veteran back in the mix. Steven Campbell has been sidelined this spring, but Terrell said he’ll be a leader when he returns to action.
“Steven Campbell is a great player,” he said. “He helps me out a lot. I always go to him and talk to him, ask him what I should do better or what we all need to do as a secondary. When he comes back he’s going to be a leader in the secondary. He’s battled injuries, but he’s never put his head down. He’s always come through and he’s going to be a great player, can’t wait to get him back.”
The Aggies take to Kyle Field on Saturday for their first open scrimmage of the year. For fans, it will be the first chance to get a glimpse of the new look Texas Aggies. Terrell said the team is really looking forward to getting back out in front of the fans.
“We’re very excited. It’s always good to play in front of the Aggie faithful. I feel like we have some good things to show them. We’re just excited. We’ve been going up against each other, and we’ve been kind of our own crowd. It’s always good to show off in front of some other people and just let the fans see for themselves.”