September 10, 2009

Michael debuts in big way for Aggies

Rivals.com five-star running backs rarely sit their first season in college, and Texas A&M had no thoughts of sitting former Beaumont West Brook back Christine Michael when he got to College Station despite having former four-star prospects Cyrus Gray and Bradley Stephens already in the Aggies backfield. Saturday in the season opening win over New Mexico, Michael showed just why he had that five-star status.

In just 11 carries, Michael narrowly missed the 100-yard milestone in his debut gaining 93 yards with a touchdown. He averaged 8.5 yards per carry and also caught one pass for nine yards.

"I walked out there and did the best I could. We all walked off healthy with no injuries," Michael said. "I'd say it was fun for my first college game going out there behind Cyrus and the guys blocking for us up front, so I'd have to say we did well. We've been working hard all summer so it ended the way it did so it was fun."

As most true freshmen, however, A&M head coach Mike Sherman has a number of things he saw in Michael's game where he needs to improve. Blocking and missed assignments are certainly on that list, but for Sherman it may be the spin moves that Michael reeled off during his runs that make him squirm the most.

Loud gasps of air exhaled from the 73,887 fans populating Kyle Field when Michael spun on a run to get away from a defender, but slipped and fell to not get any extra gain. On the very next run, however, Michael did it once again. That time, it turned into an extra six yards.

"I thought he did well. I'm not quite as big on the spinning of the backs as I am getting downfield right away, but he showed explosiveness," Sherman said. "We probably had more runs over 12 yards in this game than any since I've been here. All of the three backs - Bradley Stephens, Cyrus Gray and Christine - contributed to that. I thought it was a good start for him, but he still has a lot of things to work on."

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