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sports | 5 Cyrus Gray A&M’s do-it-all back plugs into roles wherever needed

Things to look for The offensive line and pressure on defense will determine the game for the Aggies

No. 11 Arkansas game preview

thebattalion ● friday,

october 8, 2010

● Serving

Texas A&M since 1893

● first paper free – additional copies $1 ● © 2010 Student Media

Miss Rev & me

Life of Reveille

Joanna Raines

Michelle Myers — THE BATTALION

Reveilles VII and VIII pose together. The former mascot celebrated her birthday Sunday while the current Reveille accompanied her in welcoming guests.

Special to The Battalion Reveille is a favorite tradition among most Aggies. Seeing her on campus can make even the worst days better. Cadet Cody Guffey is privileged to spend day in and day out with the First Lady of Aggieland. He, along with the rest of Company E-2, cares for and lives with Reveille VIII. At the end of an E-2 cadet’s freshman year, he or she can go through the tryout process to become Reveille’s primary caretaker. The process lasts about two months and the cadet learns the traditions and processes for handling Reveille. The selection process adds to the physical and time management pressures that

already come along with being a freshman in the Corps. “Your normal, daily life is tough,” said assistant mascot corporal Evan Wasser, sophomore general studies major. “When you have a tryout process, pretty much every free second you would have is now taken up.” Guffey, a sophomore political science major, is this year’s mascot corporal. When he is not in class or training, he is at events with Reveille, playing with her or grooming her. “Being mascot corporal, it’s your responsibility to take care of everything Rev needs,” Guffey said. “The hardest part of the job is time management.” Being the mascot corporal

requires Guffey to put her needs first, while maintaining good grades and keeping up with his regular Corps duties. Wasser and the rest of E-2 help Guffey in taking care of her. “It requires a lot of help from them,” Guffey said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without some help.” Usually, two to three members accompany Reveille to her events to ensure her safety. “Even if I have to go to the bathroom, she goes to someone else’s room. Always,” Wasser said. “She is never left alone.” Guffey and Wasser live with Reveille and while they sleep on the average dorm mattress, she enSee E-2 on page 4

Reveille VII turns 10 tomorrow Sarah Smith Special to The Battalion Schools across the nation boast of great triumphs and traditions. Some take pride in cows with large horns or a red man brandishing his hand as a firearm. Texas Aggies possess the symbol of dignity known as Reveille. Retired Reveille VII celebrated her 10th birthday Oct. 3 with a party at the home of her caretakers, Paul and Tina Gardner. The Gardners became Reveille VII’s parents May 8, 2008, and have loved every minute since. “It’s one of the most prestigious things that has ever happened to us,” Tina Gardner said. “Being married for 43 years, having a son and two precious granddaughters and now having Reveille VII. They’re all on the same line.” The Garners have been long time dog enthusiasts, having two other rescue dogs along with Reveille in the house. “They’re our children,” Tina said. “They have four legs instead of two but they’re still our kids.” The Gardners’ son was in Company E-2 from 1990-1994 and since then, they have actively participated in opening their home to the students of Aggieland. “We’re the parents that never graduated,” Paul Gardner said. Over the past two years, the Gardners have had their share of adventures with Reveille as well. Most notably, Reveille’s interesting battle with a skunk. The skunk emerged victorious. “There we were, midnight at HEB. We had the windows open and she’s barking at all students going by,” Tina said. “They’d start to make their way to the car saying, ‘Hey there’s Rev,’ but as soon as they smelled her, they bolted in the opposite direction.” Out of the 200 guests who attended the party, former students Benjamin and Christina Head and their daughter, Addyson, were particularly thrilled by the day’s events. “During our time at A&M, Reveille VII was our mascot,” Benjamin said. “We wanted to bring Addyson out to see Rev.

Texas A&M will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a three-day classical guitar symposium and competition. Performers from around the world will showcase guitar skills in the instrument and celebrate Hispanic culture.

Hopefully she’ll be class of 2028.” Reveille VIII also made an appearance to the party and together the prized pooches made a point of going room to room, greeting all the guests. “They have a play date every Thursday at Wiggles and Wags,” Tina said. “They really do love each other.” Reveille VII enjoyed the attention on her birthday, attempting to snag a piece of cake every so often and performing tricks with Cody Guffey, the mascot corporal. “I love taking her places like this; letting people see her and then seeing the look on their faces,” Guffey said. “Everyone’s excited to see Reveille.” The members of company E-2 stand true to all Reveilles’ needs, from giving up their beds to addressing her as “Miss Rev.” “One of my friends got let out of class early because she barked,” said Kollin O’Jessee, fellow member of E-2. Chris Busch, family friend and father of Reveille VII’s former handler, John Busch, answered questions concerning Aggie traditions and expressed his gratefulness that the Gardner’s took the opportunity to care for Reveille VII. “You can truly tell how much these people care,” Busch said. The first lady of Aggieland enjoyed her birthday surrounded by friends and family there to honor the highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets. “That dog is a hoot,” Paul said. “Life is never dull with Rev.”

The Battalion Displaced by disorder, hiding from authorities, the struggle for freedom and escaping turmoil. This isn’t just a captivating adventure story. It’s real life, and it’s captured on screen in the documentary “Hiding.” Wednesday, the campus group Global Justice presented a screening of “Hiding” in Harrington Education Center. This documentary, created by the nonprofit organization Liberty in North Korea (LiNK), focused on the dire situation of North Korean refugees in China and exposed the human rights violations they face every day in their struggle for survival. LiNK estimates there are nearly 300,000 North Korean refugees in China. However, these people are not recognized by the Chinese government as refugees. Instead they are labeled as illegal economic migrants and therefore receive none of the benefits of asylum

Pg. 1-10.8.10.indd 1

Reveille VII celebrated her 10th birthday Sunday but will turn 10 years old tomorrow. She retired summer 2008 after serving A&M as the mascot and highest-ranking member of the Corps of Cadets for seven years. She lives in College Station with adopted parents Paul and Tina Gardner.

Hispanic guitarists celebrate heritage month Haley Lawson The Battalion There are many ways to celebrate heritage, including potlucks, guest speakers, and dressing up in native attire. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Department of Multicultural Services will celebrate by playing the guitar. Friday through Sunday, the Texas A&M Department of Performance Studies will be presenting a three-day classical guitar symposium and competition in Rudder Theatre. There also will be four international classical guitar virtuosi that will be part of the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, performing music from Cuba,

“Hiding” tells story of Korean refugees Katy Ralston

The First Lady of Aggieland

outlined by international law. More than 70 percent of North Korean women who flee are trafficked and often sold as wives to Chinese men. If the refugees are found in China they are sent back to North Korea where they face sentences of either political concentration camps or execution. “The Chinese government is going against international law and the UN definition of a refugee, they are supposed to grant people asylum,”said Jessica Bradford, senior political science major. “If they could just be recognized and groups like the [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] could have access to them and it didn’t have to be something underground then these people wouldn’t be suffering these fates.” LiNK runs underground shelters, much like a modern-day underground railroad, to provide these refugees with education, food, transportation and protection. They also provide help resettling them in South Korea See Hiding on page 4

Spain, Brazil and Latin America. “The first of the four performers is also the key organizer of this groundbreaking event, Isaac Bustos,” said Chris Harrell, staff assistant for the department of performance studies. “Bustos, who hails from Nicaragua, is an instructional assistant professor at Texas A&M and is the head of its burgeoning guitar studio.” Bustos will perform music from Spain by composers Isaac Albeniz Joaquin Turina and Joaquin Rodrigo. “All of [these people] have been influential musicians in the development of Spanish nationalistic music and style,” Bustos said. “My program will include a Sonata for Guitar by Turina,

Tres Piezas Españolas and two character pieces from Albeniz’s Suite Española Op. 47.” The second international performer will be Grisha Goryachev. “Russian-born Grisha Goryachev will be playing at Texas A&M for a second time after bringing a sold out audience to its feet at Rudder Theatre two years ago,” Harrell said. “Goryachev, a master of both flamenco and classical guitar styles, has charmed crowds the world over after debuting as a child prodigy at the age of nine in St. Petersburg.” Grisha will be playing some flamenco See Performers on page 4

Meal plan opposition bill passes Delegates representing residence halls met at the Mandatory Meal Plan Open Forum Wednesday night to evaluate student feedback about the meal plan proposal which A&M President R. Bowen Loftin signed in September and to review the Mandatory Meal Plan Opposition Bill. The Texas A&M Student Senate and the Residence Hall Association voted on the bill, which passed by a 48-4-7 vote. More than 550 students responded to a poll about how the meal plan affects residence plans. Forty-eight percent of students would not live on campus if it were in effect and 49 percent would still live on campus if they had to buy a meal plan. Seventy-one percent of respondents have a meal plan currently. Jonathan Spencer, senior industrial engineering major and fifth-year resident of Aston Hall, introduced the legislation to the forum via video. The video is viewable on YouTube under the name “Introduction to the Mandatory Meal Plan Opposition Bill.” In the video, Spencer highlights questionable aspects of the bill. These included the insubstantial amount of student involvement and inconsistencies regarding minimums for junior and senior meal plans in the proposal, the bill’s initial introduction to RHA and its failure to take into account the loss of 600 beds, which may affect the meal plan minimums. Emily Villani, staff writer

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The Association of Former Students and the 12th Man Foundation are presenting All Aggie Hullabaloo and Yell Practice from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. today at the Cowboys Stadium.

2

Graduate school day

Graduate and professional school day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today on the first floor of Rudder Tower. For more information, e-mail Judy Bruce at judyb@ careercenter.tamu.edu

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pagetwo

For daily updates go to thebatt.com ● Facebook ● Twitter@thebattonline thebattalion 10.08.2010

Pregnant? Need answers? There is Hope.

GLBT lecture

Dr. Anne Fausto-Sterling spoke on Gender, Sexuality and the Problem of Money Thursday. For coverage of the lecture visit www.thebatt.com.

Brazos Valley Buddy Walk to raise funds for Down syndrome Joanna Raines

979-695-9193

www.hopepregnancy.org

Special to The Battalion Wolf Pen Creek Amphitheatre will be putting on the seventh annual buddy walk to raise funds for the Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley on Oct. 10. It will be a day full of fun and games; including a performance by Texas A&M’s own Katie Marino and Ben Erdman. Marino and Erdman have Down syndrome. Junction Five-O-Five works with A&M in placing those with special needs with jobs they will excel at. Five-O-Five provides both job training and ongoing support for those with special needs, a winning combination that gives both the employer and employee a high rate of satisfaction. Susan South is the Junction Five-O-Five representative that works with Katie and the other special needs employees. Her job is to help those who need it, keeping everyone happy and on task. “Those who want to work should work,” South said. “A&M affords that opportunity for those who might not be able to work independently in the community. I think it’s a really good thing.” Marino has been working at Texas A&M for nine years. She is currently working in Dun-

can Dining Center, and will be performing, said her favorite part is along with counbeing able to see Revtry singer Granger eille and the rest of the Smith. There also Corps everyday. will be a raffle for Erdman has been a a Carnival Cruise member of Aggie facfor two and a silent Ben Erdman ulty for 19 years, and is auction. The Budnow working in the Dean dy Walk event is deof Faculties office. signed to be a way the “It’s a friendly university,” Bryan-College Station comErdman said. “I like everything munity can connect with the about it.” special needs community, and Erdman and Marino will have fun while doing it. both be dancing in numBuddy Walk is open to the bers from the popular musi- Bryan-College Station commucal Grease on Sunday. Marino nity and will be a day students has been dancing for 25 years, and families can give back, while and is excited to show off enjoying the festivities. her skills at the Buddy Walk “It’s important for everyone talent show. to give back if they can,” South “My favorite part [about said. The funds raised through buddy walk] is getting to see Buddy Walk contribute to many friends I haven’t seen in a long programs including Camp LIFE time,” Erdman said. and sending families to the NaThe main event is the actual tional Down Syndrome Awarewalk. Participants walk for one ness Convention. “Getting to mile to promote the acceptance raise funds is one my favorite and inclusion of people with parts,” Marino said. Down syndrome. There are Those interested in particiexpected to be 300 walks tak- pating in Buddy Walk are ening place around the country. couraged to come to the Wolf Bob French will emcee the Pen Creek Amphitheatre at event. Grey Smoke Cookers noon on Sunday and sign up. and Bryan Coca-Cola Com- The cost is $15 for an individual pany provide lunch for all the or $35 for a family of four. Beparticipants. There will be ing a part of Buddy Walk means face painting, a cakewalk, joy taking a stand for those with jumps, a train, among other Down syndrome and helping activities. Texas A&M’s own those who might not be able to CHARA and Fade to Black help themselves.

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thebattalion THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE OF TEXAS A&M SINCE 1893

Matt Woolbright, Editor in Chief THE BATTALION (ISSN #1055-4726) is published daily, Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters and Monday through Thursday during the summer session (except University holidays and exam periods) at Texas A&M University. Periodicals Postage Paid at College Station, TX 77840. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Battalion, Texas A&M University, 1111 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-1111. News: The Battalion news department is managed by students at Texas A&M University in Student Media, a unit of the Division of Student Affairs. News offices are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901. Newsroom phone: 979-845-3313; Fax: 979-845-2647; E-mail: metro@thebatt.com; website: http://www.thebatt.com. Advertising: Publication of advertising does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by The Battalion. For campus, local, and national display advertising, call 979-845-2696. For classified advertising, call 979-845-0569. Advertising offices are in The Grove, Bldg. 8901, and office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fax: 979-845-2678. Subscriptions: A part of the Student Services Fee entitles each Texas A&M student to pick up a single copy of The Battalion. First copy free, additional copies $1. Mail subscriptions are $125 per school year. To charge by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, call 979-845-2613.

Pg. 2-10.8.10.indd 1

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10/7/10 5:48 PM


things you should know

5 before you go 1

Guitar concert

Guitarists Grisha Goryachev and Matt Palmer will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday in Rudder Theatre. Student tickets are available at the MSC Box Office for $5.

2

Wizard of Oz

The Theatre Company in Bryan will perform the classic musical The Wizard of Oz at 7 p.m. today and tomorrow, as well as at 2 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday.

3

No Pants Week

No Pants Week, a semiannual celebration of wearing clothing other than pants, begins Sunday and ends Oct. 16.

4

Hispanic heritage

A panel of student experts will discuss the immigration debate today at 11:30 a.m. in Rudder Tower,, focusing on the “Dream Act.”

Mixed martial arts to come to Harry’s Matt Bizzell Special to The Battalion The world of mixed martial arts crashes into Hurricane Harry’s as fighters from local fight gym Brazos Valley Mixed Martial Arts show up looking for another win in Aggieland. The Lonestar Beatdown legacy fights will start at 6 p.m. tonight and showcase not one, but two Aggie competitors. Brazos Valley Mixed Martial Arts, BVMMA, is located in the Southwest Parkway Kroger Shopping Center and is headed by coaches Bubba Bush, class of 2007, and David McClung. The school is home to a multitude of fighters who all share a common goal of competition, McClung said. “Here at BVMMA we pride ourselves in the familial nature of our team and how The Lonestar we can keep an intense Beatdown atmosphere while still fights will being friends at the begin at end of the day,” Mc6 tonight at Clung said. You have Hurricane to suffer to be a fighter, Harry’s. and that’s why brotherhood is so important; to be there for each other no matter the outcome. Our goal as coaches is to develop unique fight plans and prepare our fighters for the cage. The sport is cerebral in nature and requires the fighter to be smart and play the intellectual game as well as the physical one.” The fighters must undergo intense training of both the mind and body before every fight, Bush said. “Skills development and conditioning are two individual areas we train before any fight, hoping to marry them as the match draws near,” Bush said. “Fighters need to develop new skills in a vacuum, before applying them in realistic fight conditions, and eventually the cage or ring.

Pg. 3-10.8.10.indd 1

This involves methodical teaching and drill as a pre-requisite to intensive sparring sessions and grueling circuit training.” As the fights draw closer, the fighters shift focus from sharpening the mind to developing the body. “A fighter may not be able to take a skill that was introduced to them three weeks ago and apply it effectively in the cage, but they can definitely think back to that gut-check workout they finished and push through a round because they’ve had worse before,” Bush said. Tonight’s fighters, senior electrical engineering major John Clough and senior accounting major David Hansen shared some of their thoughts on the upcoming fight. “Being a fighter means you’re never 100 percent, and the training is never something you look forward to, but you just suck it up and show up every day for the grind because deep inside yourself you know it’s worth every second of pain,” Hansen said. As for finding motivation for enduring such a physical challenge, Clough said it all comes down to a matter of love of the sport. “To be able to focus and hone your body to react to intricate commands is one heck of an adrenaline rush. The support of the team and family help you achieve things most people have never thought of,” he said. Peers from the University are welcome to come out to the fights to support the fighters. “It’s great being able to fight here where you know you have the support of an entire university with you, a fight here is far more special,” Hansen said. As for the fight, the Aggies said they hope to bring honor to the University and to the city of College Station. “We’re going into the cage to implement our strategy and fight an honorable fight,” McClung said.

5

Livestock artistry

b!

On Tuesday, the Benz Gallery will open “ReFraming the Farm: Student Interpretations of Classic Livestock Art.” The exhibition is presented by the University Art Galleries Department and Jodi Sterle.

thebattalion 10.08.2010 page3

scene

Fightin’

Texas Aggies

Courtesy photo

David Hansen, senior accounting major, works with his mixed martial arts coach David McClung to prepare for fights through methodical teaching, drills, sparring sessions and circuit training.

10/7/10 6:30 PM


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news

page 4 friday 10.8.2010

Hiding Continued from page 1

or the U.S. where they can seek asylum and begin again. Filmed this summer, the documentary followed the specific stories of the lives of a few refugees in underground shelters waiting to be rescued in order to seek freedom in the U.S. or South Korea. “What you are seeing is illegal,� Bradford said. “We have to blur people’s faces and we can’t say location because this is scandalous, this is underground and you are getting to see that.� Bradford, a member of Global Justice, spent a semester in South Korea and also worked as a summer intern for LiNK. She said the documentary is important because the more people are informed and the more people speak up, something might change. “As a global citizen we should know about issues that are happening in the world and we should be aware of human rights abuses that are taking place because if we don’t step in then these things will just perpetuate the cycle of human rights violation,� she said. By exposing that we are weakening the regime and helping to bring light to the situation.� LiNK representative Rene Jomatheu was present at the event and said she was impressed by the students who came.

thebattalion “A&M is so solid,� Jomatheu said. “I’ve met a lot of bright, passionate individuals who care about global issues.� Global Justice member Naila Dhanani, sophomore biomedical science major, said although North Korea is a part of the world that we don’t know much about, this documentary will help lessen the gap. “I had no idea about all of this. The film was really eyeopening,� said Melissa Tupper, sophomore international studies major. Global Justice puts on a number of screenings throughout the year and presents expert speakers at their meetings about a wide variety of topics related to global justice. “Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’ and that is exactly the way that Global Justice sees the world,� Global Justice vice president Kayla Salazar said. Salazar said the group’s main focus is education to expand people’s views of the world. “It’s so easy to overlook the world’s problems because we don’t see them as our problem,� Salazar said. “We want to make our campus a place that is globally conscious because we know that if these situations are going to change it is going to be our generation that will change them.�

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Performers Continued from page 1

compositions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Grisha will be [play] compositions by modern and traditional maestros, each with different colors of beauty, intensity, stretching the guitar to express all of its capable emotions,â&#x20AC;? said Daniela, Goryachevâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s booking manager. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From delicate harmonics that wittingly ends a playful Garrotin, to fast and fiery rasguedos to accompany the fastest of Bulerias, to sweet and seemingly unending tremolos that make your heart cry silently as you watch Grishaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blazing fingers at work, the audience can expect an unbelievable display of musicality, artistry, and technical virtuosity. Grisha will present the music of Vicente Amigo, Ernesto Lecuona, Mario Escudero, Manolo SanlĂşcar, Rafael Riqueni, and Paco de LucĂ­a.â&#x20AC;? The third international performer will be Rene Izquierdo, currently an associate professor of classical guitar at WisconsinMilwaukee,. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cuban Rene Izquierdo has shared the stage with many of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top classical guitarists,â&#x20AC;? Harrell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Izquierdo, who earned his masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s degree in music from Yale, has performed throughout North America and Europe as a solo recitalist, chamber musician and soloist with orchestra.â&#x20AC;? The fourth international performer will be Tennessee native Matt Palmer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Palmer] rounds out the list of concert performers scheduled to perform and participate in A&Mâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inaugural classical guitar celebration,â&#x20AC;? Harrell said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Palmer began his career by mastering the electrical guitar and has studied at three different universities across the U.S. He is known for tackling rarely played virtuosic works with his highly developed technique and superb sense of musicality.â&#x20AC;? The performers will lecture on music as well and will be judges for the competition.

E-2 Continued from page 1

joys a memory foam throne. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Reveilleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s room, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not Cody and Evanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s,â&#x20AC;? said Taylor Tyree, sophomore general studies major and E-2 cadet. In addition to getting priority in the dorm, Reveille also gets taken to a full day of pampering with Reveille VII. Every other day of the week Guffey grooms Reveille. Taking care of Reveille is a 24-hour responsibility. While taking care of Reveille does come with added tasks and obligations, the cadets who take care of her find the benefits to outweigh any inconvenience. Guffey describes Reveille as one of his best friends. On top of intimate companionship, Reveille offers the cadets a chance to spread tradition throughout campus. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You bring her into a room and the eyes go straight to her. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really fun to deliver that part of the day,â&#x20AC;? Tyree said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a fun A&M tradition you get to bring around.â&#x20AC;? Mascot Corporal Cody Guffey will accompany Reveille VIII in Aggie history. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s weird because if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re with her all the time, it can escape you how awesome it is.â&#x20AC;? Wasser said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really cool to have such an important part of A&M at our hands.â&#x20AC;?

  

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sports

page 5

thebattalion

thursday, 10.8.2010

Aggie gameday texas a&m vs. no. 11 arkansas 2:30 p.m. saturday cowboys stadium

cyrus the great

5 things to look for leash: 1 The Is there one on senior leader and signal caller Jerrod Johnson? After accounting for 10 turnovers in two games, Head Coach Mike Sherman still seems set on the preseason conference player of the year as his quarterback. But at what point will Sherman hold Johnson accountable for these crippling mistakes? And when will capable junior backup Ryan Tannehill get his shot to lead this otherwise potent offense? front five: 2 the Damario Ambrose, DeQuinta

Courtesy photos

Junior running back Cyrus Gray and the Aggies take on Arkansas at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

gray’s versatility makes him unique and irreplaceable to team By Kyle Cunningham | The Battalion

i

n the recessional times we find ourselves in, versatility carries more weight than it did before. Doing one job well is still valued, but the ability to perform multiple jobs capably makes one a hotter commodity than the one-dimensional rival.

In sports, versatility is almost a necessity. Specialist positions like kickers remain (and even kickers can double as punters these days), but with limited scholarships, teams want players who can provide the most bang for their buck. Nowhere is this truer than “running back” Cyrus Gray, who also blocks, catches passes and returns kicks. The 5 foot 10 inch, 198-pound junior was born Nov. 18, 1989 in Dallas, Texas to Charles and Sharonia Gray. Gray began to realize his football potential at DeSoto High School under Head Coach Dave Meadows, who also produced current Aggie lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie and linebackers Von Miller and Garrick Williams. After high school, Gray was faced with a tough choice — he could either go to the University of Florida (a team which won a national championship in what could have been his freshman year), Notre Dame or stay home at Texas A&M. In the end, local ties won out, and Gray signed his name to be a member of Head Coach Mike Sherman’s first recruiting class. “What made me choose [A&M], mostly, is the family environment,” Gray said. “It’s a family school and the tradition here is so strong. I got a chance to play in front of my family; if I went to Florida or Notre Dame my parents wouldn’t be able to see me. And so far, the experience here has been great.” His freshman year was filled with moments that showed him how tough the level up in competition would be, including one moment in practice where it all crashed into him — literally. “[Then-senior safety] Alton Dixon was coming in on a blitz, and I saw him at the last minute and I had to pick him up,” Gray said. “And he knocked me up pretty good. You know, he rung my bell, which I then realized ... ‘Welcome to college.’” There were other rough moments as the 2008 season progressed; the 4-8 record was a hard year to handle, but Gray found solace in his big moments, including a 98-yard kickoff return against eventual Big 12 Champion Oklahoma. “I had a lot of opportunities to return kicks that game and I had a lot of success,” Gray said. “And [running back coach Randy] Jordan told me ‘We’re

going to break one sooner or later.’ It was a middle return; I returned it to the middle then bounced it out to the sideline and … [what I thought about] was Coach Jordan telling me not to get caught. So as I was running down the sideline, I’m looking at the scoreboard making sure no one was behind me.” The biggest difference other than the speed of the game for Cyrus was the size of the crowds — Gray went from high school games with, at most, 40,000 people to Kyle Field, which seats 82,600 and routinely fills to at least 75,000. “It was a totally different environment,” Gray said. “You know we have pretty good fans at DeSoto and they sell the stadium out pretty well. But it’s three or four times as much people here and you have TV, cameras and everybody’s counting on you ... it was a total shock.” In 2009, Gray found himself in the middle of another running back tandem despite the departure of tailback Mike Goodson. His competition for that season? Five-star prospect Christine Michael from Beaumont. With the two running backs splitting carries, Texas A&M took a step forward, going 6-7 and making their first bowl under Sherman. Gray was second in rushing with 757 yards and 4.8 yards per carry, sixth in receptions (28), and led the team in kick-returning yardage with 642. By season’s close, Gray had accumulated 1,625 all-purpose yards, outperforming the next person on the list by more than 500 yards. “He’s got speed, he’s got tremendous feet,” said running backs coach Randy Jordan. “And he’s got a ‘want-to’ that can’t be measured. But all the intangible things, physically he has. But what separates him is that he sees the whole picture. Mentally, he knows who to block, he knows defenses – he’s progressed to that next level.” The biggest win from that season, it could be argued, was the 52-30 victory over Texas Tech, the Aggies’ first win in Lubbock since 1993. Gray totaled 172 yards on the night, including 131 on the ground with four total touchdowns. “I was so used to hearing that Tech fans were going to boo us and throw batteries and things like that,” Gray said. “But towards halftime, I didn’t hear the fans once. They were actually turning

i

Senior Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year Jerrod Johnson’s turnover statistics his last two games, one of which the Aggies should have lost and the other which they did, are abysmal. Junior backup Ryan Tannehill is waiting in the wings, but forget that for now. Those things are for the coaches to consider. With that bit of knowledge in hand, we bear down on Arlington for the second annual Southwest Classic. Those with knowledge of Aggie luck will roll their eyes and nod sadly when it’s mentioned that the reinstatement of the series with the Razorbacks came right at a time when the No. 11 Hogs’ program was ascending to nationally prominent levels. Arkansas’ scoring differential in

Pg. 5-10.8.10.indd 1

2010 is plus-68 despite losing to No. 1 Alabama in a game the Razorbacks led going into the fourth quarter. While Head Coach Bobby Petrino is still trying to figure out his running game, the 6 foot 7 inch monolith he sends into the pocket on every play is Ryan Mallet and his 1,438 passing yards. The offense he leads averages 468 yards per game and runs through the only wide receiver corps in America that can hold a candle to A&M’s. The defense has improved to the point that it held opponents to less than 300 yards on average and recorded 15 sacks, third nationally, in four games. After a big letdown and an 0-1 start in the Big 12, the Aggies are in an awkward limbo. Fans: watch and wait. Johnson will

running game: 3 The For all the hoopla surrounding the Razorback pass rush, the Hogs’ are susceptible to the running game. They’ve given up nearly 700 yards rushing in just four games. Their linebackers are athletic but Christine are not very Michael, running physical at the back point of attack. And because of this, Christine Michael will have opportunities a plenty to gash this defense. That is, of course, as long as Sherman commits to the run.

4 Tempo: FIU increased the tempo on their against Tech, so that was great.” At the end of the year, the 6-5 Aggies took on the Longhorns, who were on track to win the Big 12 South. The game, which was the 10th Lone Star Showdown since Bonfire collapsed, was the most emotional game Gray said he’d played in. “It was probably the most emotional locker room I’ve ever been in,” Gray said. “So emotional. Our guys wanted to win to do it for us and do it for the Twelfth Man. And you know, we didn’t wind up winning that game but we played our hearts out and we showed Texas that in the years to come, we’re going to be able to compete with them.” In 2010, Gray has been used more as a changeof-pace back, carrying the ball 43 times for 185 yards and two touchdowns. His biggest contribution yardage-wise has come from returning kicks, with his eight returns on the year going for 218 cumulative yards. Gray’s upside isn’t just limited to kick returner. Jordan, in his third year as running back coach at Texas A&M, said Gray can make an impact on the NFL. “He’s got a bright future not only here at Texas A&M, but hopefully in the NFL down the road,” Jordan said. “He’s a great kid. It doesn’t get any better than Cyrus Gray.”

aggies must play perfect to beat hogs t’s been the question on every Aggie’s mind for the last week and a half. What in the world does A&M do with their quarterback?

Jones, Alfred Davis and Jake Bequette. Remember those names. The Razorback defensive line can ratchet up the pressure with the best in the country. Averaging 3.75 sacks per game, they lead the SEC. It’s the one matchup problem for the Aggies offensively. If they can somehow corral the Razorback rush ends, then this unit will do a lot of damage down the field on a mediocre secondary.

start despite the wails, and that Cowboys. If this group can fact should be accepted that find a way to stop turning the if or until a change is forced. ball over, it will be seriously Few, if any, were immune scary, offensive line probto the dread, frustration and lems or not. disappointment last ThursThe good news is that day’s result brought. the Razorbacks aren’t much That said, it’s clear now Beau Holder better about first-quarter A&M needs to, can and sophomore scoring than A&M. Only probably will enter the sociology major 24 of their 126 points have Arkansas game with a clear come in the first. Howhead and begin the season ever, 78 have come in the anew. The Aggies have another litmus second and third. It’s imperative that test against a top-quality opponent and the Aggies get an early lead and learn the Big 12 is wide open. to hold it. This is a significantly improved Arkansas is the better team, clearly, team from 2009 by mountainous leaps and A&M will have to play a someand bounds. Tim DeRuyter’s defense what perfect game — which it hasn’t is for real. Through four games and come close to doing in 2010 — to after facing Kendall Hunter, the Agwin. The Razorbacks should take it. gies’ rush defense still ranks third in But if the Aggies score early, hit Mallet the nation. Its scoring numbers would relentlessly and find some way to give be spectacular without the burden Johnson a little bit of time, there might of carrying the offense. For three just be a chance. quarters, DeRuyter outcoached Dana Holgorsen and his unit outplayed the

final possession and nearly drove the ball 80 yards to tie a game. OSU increased the tempo in the third quarter and ran off three straight touchdowns. For whatever reason — coaching, miscommunication, busts, endurance — the Aggie defense struggles mightily when the opposing offense ratchets up the tempo. And you can bet Head Coach Bobby Petrino has made note of it. mallett: 5 pressure Though the sack totals might not indicate it, the Aggie pass rush has been supplying a fair amount of pressure thus far in 2010. Now, with Ryan Ryan Mallett, Mallett standing Arkansas quarterback in the pocket, it is essential that A&M gets in his face. The simple fact is this: Arkansas is a throwing team. They like to gash you down the field. And they’ll do it if you aren’t up in the grill of Mallett every time he drops back to pass. David Harris, sports editor

Staff predictions david harris, sports editor

31-28 A&M beau holder, sports assistant

27-23 ARK kyle cunningham, staff writer

34-24 ARK megan ryan, managing editor

31-28 A&M matt woolbright, eic

35-30 A&M mike teague, staff writer

35-27 A&M jill beathard, enterprise

35-32 A&M zachary papas, staff writer

38-28 ARK

10/7/10 6:02 PM


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the

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A Texas A&M tradition since 1895

Word Square Remove a letter from each of these five-letter words. Then rearrange the letters to get a four-letter word which fits the category mentioned in brackets. HAUTE [U.S. state] SUNNY [church] MEANT [proper noun] HEADS [shelter]

Thursday’s solution:

B E S T

E M M A

S M O G

T A G S

Siddharth Kumar — THE BATTALION

Pg. 6-10-8-10.indd 1

10/7/10 1:40:35 PM

The Battalion: October 8, 2010  
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