Texas A&M Aggies: Auburn Tigers

The fall was quite busy for 2014 safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar), who was part of a long, prosperous playoff run with his Redskins teammates all the way to the Texas Class 5A Division I state championship game.


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Ja'Quay Williams is ready for the next step in his football career.

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Jamie NewbergJaquay Williams originally signed with Auburn and spent last season at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia.
The four-star receiver from Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, who committed to Texas A&M on Dec. 2, says he has fulfilled the academic requirements needed and is ready to enroll at Texas A&M in time for the spring semester.

It doesn't come as a surprise, as Williams was projected to be a mid-year enrollee at the time of his commitment, but he told RecruitingNation in a text message on Monday that he's all set.

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Film review: Texas A&M 63, Auburn 21 

October, 29, 2012
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Texas A&M cruised by Auburn 63-21 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium and it was a night of offensive dominance for the Aggies. There were many big plays, but we chose three that illustrated why the Aggies were so successful offensively against the Tigers on Saturday.

Situation: Texas A&M ball, fourth-and-1 at the Auburn 6 (5:45 left in first quarter)
Score: Texas A&M 7, Auburn 0
Result: 6-yard touchdown run by Johnny Manziel.

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Texas A&M was dominant from start to finish, rolling to a 63-21 road win at Auburn. Let's look at the good and the bad of the win:

THREE UP

1. The running game: Saturday was the Aggies' best single-game rushing performance of the season. They established the run early and chewed up 352 rushing yards on the ground and all three running backs got in the mix with Trey Williams leading the way with 109 yards.

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Texas A&M started fast and never looked back, leaving the result of the game in virtually no doubt from start to finish, dominating Auburn 63-21 on Saturday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Let's take a look at how the Aggies got it done:

It was over when: Johnny Manziel strolled into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown run with 12:03 remaining in the third quarter to give the Aggies a 49-7 lead. It was the last drive of the night for Manziel and the first-team offense and capped what was a near-perfect night for that group.

Game ball goes to: Manziel. You could give it to a lot of folks, but once again, Manziel was a big-time playmaker, going 16-of-26 passing for 260 yards and two touchdowns while running for 90 yards and another three touchdowns on nine carries. That's 350 total offensive yards and five touchdowns in little more than a half of work. If the game wasn't out of reach, Manziel might have flirted with the SEC single-game total offense record, which he has already set twice this season.

Game ball, Part 2: The Texas A&M defense. It shut down the Tigers in the first quarter, making Auburn go three-and-out on its first three drives and forcing five three-and-outs for the night. The unit didn't get a turnover, but that's nitpicking in a win like this. They tackled well, kept the running game in check and pressured the Auburn quarterbacks.

Rising star: Trey Williams. The true freshman running back, who handles kick return duty, got some touches in the first half then got plenty in the second half once the game got out of hand. He finished with a team-high 109 yards, a career high, on 19 carries plus a 1-yard touchdown. He also caught three passes for 24 yards and added 45 kick return yards for 178 all-purpose yards.

What it means: Winning in this fashion was really good for the Aggies, as they have two tough SEC road games ahead against Mississippi State and Alabama in the next two weeks. They were able to rest several starters and key players for much of the second half. The Aggies are now over .500 in SEC play (3-2), and at 6-2 overall, the Aggies are now bowl-eligible. And while the Tigers are down and looked very much out, it's still worthwhile for the Aggies to win an SEC road game in this fashion. They continue to show that the indeed belong in the conference.
Texas A&M 41, Auburn 17

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John Reed/US PresswireTexas A&M will have to keep a close eye on Auburn wide receiver Emory Blake.
Auburn has been poor offensively this season. The Tigers rank 119th nationally in total offense and 118th in scoring offense, averaging a meager 15.7 points per game this season. That's not going to get it done against the high-powered Aggies offense, one that even had LSU on its heels at times a week ago. Plus, Texas A&M's defense has been better than expected this year with the exception of the Louisiana Tech game. Look for the Aggies to take control early and not let go of this one.

Player to watch: Ben Malena, Texas A&M

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Auburn (Ala.) High School athlete Cameron Echols-Luper already had his chance to travel to College Station, Texas, to see his future team, Texas A&M play. Echols-Luper made his official visit the weekend of Sept. 8 when the Aggies hosted Florida.

Cameron Echols-Luper
Greg Ostendorf/ESPN.comCameron Echols-Luper will get a chance to see the Aggies again Saturday when they play at Auburn.
Now, the Aggies are coming to Echols-Luper's neck of the woods to play Auburn University, and he couldn't be more excited to see them in person again.

"I'm extremely excited," Echols-Luper said. "Of course I'll be there. That's not even a question. I'll be there cheering my guys on."

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Five storylines: Texas A&M at Auburn 

October, 25, 2012
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- After a tough, close loss to perennial SEC power LSU, Texas A&M (5-2) hits the road this week to take on Auburn (1-6). The Aggies (2-2) are right in the middle of the SEC West and looking to move up, while Auburn is trying to stay afloat in what has turned into a nightmarish year.

Here are some storylines to keep an eye on as the Aggies continue their first SEC season:

1. On the road again

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Cameron Echols-Luper commits to A&M

August, 21, 2012
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Cameron Echols-Luper is heading back to his home state to play college football.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pound athlete from Auburn (Ala.) Auburn High will head to the Lone Star State next year after announcing on Tuesday that he has committed to Texas A&M.

Echols-Luper, who is ranked as the 27th-best prospect in Alabama and 108th among athletes nationally, chose the Aggies over his other finalists, TCU and Auburn, where his stepfather Curtis Luper is an assistant coach.

In July, Echols-Luper took an unofficial visit to Texas A&M and came away impressed.

"The campus -- it’s absolutely beautiful," Echols-Luper said. "The stadium was amazing. I also want to run track and college so I toured the indoor facility, which was absolutely phenomenal."

In addition to Texas A&M and TCU, Echols-Luper had offers from Arkansas State, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Memphis, Mississippi, North Carolina, Southern Mississippi, Toledo, UTEP and Vanderbilt.

Recruited by receivers coach David Beaty, Echols-Luper likely fits into the A&M offense as a receiver. Having studied what the Air Raid-style offense achieved in Houston under new Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Echols-Luper finds the prospect of playing in it as appealing.

"The coaches there, they're great," Echols-Luper said. "I've dealt with coach Beaty and coach Kingsbury. Their offense and how they ran at Houston will also fit me as well. The talk I had coach Sumlin was him basically just telling me his point of view of how he's going to run his program and how he's going to get it done. And also his point of view of how I can help the program."

And since Echols-Luper wants to run track, the fact that Texas A&M is a national power in the sport under coach Pat Henry certainly helped the appeal of the school to him.

"Having national championships and having an indoor facility right there, it basically tells you that they're going to get it done," Echols-Luper said. "They're going to have people that can run, people that can jump, people that can run fast, they're going to have people that can do it no matter what."

Formerly of Ennis, Texas, Echols-Luper still has family in both Ennis and Dallas. Going back to his home state to play college football is something he'll take pride in.

"I'm Texas made," he said.
No matter where he goes, Auburn (Ala.) High School athlete Cameron Echols-Luper will feel pretty comfortable.

Of his three finalists, one is in his backyard (Auburn) while the other two (TCU and Texas A&M) are from the state he once called home and still loves. Either way, it's a win-win for the 5-foot-10, 180-pound three-star recruit, who will announce his commitment to one of those three schools Tuesday morning at Auburn High School.

He has managed the recruiting process well but it also pleased to see it wind down.

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ROSENBERG, Texas -- It was a busy, eventful summer for Derrick Griffin.

Traveling with the Houston Defenders, the AAU team that he has long played for -- a squad that also features highly-touted twins Aaron and Andrew Harrison -- Griffin got a chance to get some national television exposure and shined when the cameras were on him at the AAU Super Showcase.
[+] EnlargeDerrick Griffin
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comDerrick Griffin, the top 2013 TE prospect, remains committed to A&M but is trying to learn more about his other suitors.

Griffin, a 6-foot-6, now 228-pound dual-sport star who is ranked as the nation's no. 1 tight end and the 15th-best small forward in the country, enjoyed his summer time on the hardwood.

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