- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
In the coming months, GigEmNation will be taking a closer look at each of the commitments in Texas A&M's 2013 class by visiting with someone who coached the player or coached against him in an effort to give readers an educated analysis. Today, we take a look at ESPN 150 athlete and Under Armour All-American LaQuvionte Gonzalez of Cedar Hill (Texas) High School by visiting with his head coach, Joey McGuire.
Gonzalez is 5-foot-10, 160 pounds and helped guide the Longhorns to an appearance in the Texas Class 5A Division II state championship game, where they ultimately fell to Katy (Texas) High School 35-24. Primarily a running back for Cedar Hill, Gonzalez had 117 receiving yards in the championship game and finished his season as the team's leading rusher (179 carries, 1,421 yards, 20 touchdowns). He also caught 34 passes for 441 yards and four touchdowns. He also was a return specialist and had two touchdown returns in that phase of the game, finishing the year with 26 total scores.
Here's McGuire on Gonzalez:
GigEmNation: What was your first impression of Gonzalez when he entered your program?
Joey McGuire: Well, I've known him since he was in seventh grade. He played in [our feeder] middle school. My first impression and what I've always said is that he's one of the most explosive kids I've ever been around in the open field. That's why I think he's so excited and why I'm so excited to see him in that A&M offense, because he's just going to flourish in the open field.
GEN: What are his biggest strengths?
JM: He's got great vision in the open field. He's a high jumper [in track]. He's 5-10 and he high jumps 6-9, so he's incredibly explosive. He's got football speed. I imagine there are going to be people that come in that are faster than him in the 40 [yard dash], but he carried his pads extremely well and runs well in the open field.
GEN: What are some areas he needs improvement in?
JM: The biggest thing -- and I thought in the Under Armour [All-America] game it was good for him -- is that he has been a running back/wide receiver and he's fixing to go into an offense where he's going to be a wide receiver. He's going to have to learn route-running and stuff like that and get that down. That's going to be a process whenever he gets on campus.
GEN: I know he's light in weight, is that a concern?
JM: He's really not as thin as everybody says he is because [his listed weight on recruiting profiles] was from his sophomore year. The 148 is from whenever he was a sophomore. He's probably about 160 pounds right now. I would bet that he would be 170-180 pounds when he takes the field next year as a freshman.
GEN: What's your lasting memory of him as a player?
JM: I'm going to miss him. He and I are extremely close. Honestly, he's like a son to me. I'm going to miss his energy. He was one of those guys who always brought great energy to the game. He's truly one of those guys that believes there isn't anything he can't do on the football field. I think he could probably do it all if he wanted to. So I'm really going to miss his energy and he's one of those kids you love to be around. He loves to play the game.
GEN: What's he like off the field?
JM: He's a joker. He's goofy. A lot of people don't know that. He's a real funny kid and it was cool to see that at the Under Armour game, how many people took to him. He's got a great personality and he talks about as fast as he runs. When he gets excited, he talks really fast and he's just a fun guy to be around.
GEN: How do you see him fitting into the offense at Texas A&M?
JM: If there was anything that ever built or made to match, it's A&M's offense and LaQuvionte Gonzalez. It's a space offense and they want to get their athletes in space and finding the green grass. That's the best thing he does; that's his biggest strength. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch.
19hSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf
3dSam Khan Jr.
4dDavid M. Hale