The Texas A&M football head coach then opened it up for questions. His first was about the process in getting a guy like DeBerry out of the portal. Jimbo remarked that the difference with portal guys is whether you think they can make an immediate impact. If he doesn’t get a starting job, will he be content with the playing time he does get? He said that their evaluation was that DeBerry was very mature and could play all over the secondary. In camp, DeBerry had separated himself with his consistency.
A follow-up came about linebacker JD Davis and his status. Jimbo mentioned that JD should be okay injury-wise, but was banged up a bit. Asked about the new 12th Man, Jimbo said that Sam Mathews handled the waiver situation well, and that he can’t say enough good things about him as a person and a player. The respect that players on the team have for him is amazing, but that’s just Sam. That’s how he is; he goes full-speed no matter what. He did a great job on special teams, whether making the big play or doing the small things
A question came in about how Miami’s style might shift with a new coordinator on either side. The head man for Texas A&M football said that they may have new coordinators, but Miami might still be very similar because of who Mario Cristobal is and what he wants to do. You may not be doing the exact same thing because of personnel, but you have your philosophy. On the subject of the portal, Jimbo mentioned that in this new world of college football you have to have people who monitor the portal and can keep him informed.
Asked about the linebackers’ performance, Fisher said he thought the LBs graded out well. Cooper in particular did a good job, with only one missed tackle, but overall he read keys and fits well. Freshman starter Taurean York did a good job in his keys, discipline, and calls as well, in Jimbo’s eyes. He then mentioned a name many Texas A&M football fans have been hopeful about, remarking that Martrell Harris flashed at times. Overall, though, it helped that the guys up front on the DL controlled things.
On the topic of the selflessness of his receivers, Jimbo said that being selfless is what you want in a group like that. The scheme is about matchups: who’s one on one? If that guy gets his, then it’ll come back to you. He said he tells the guys to be patient; it’s long season, and everyone will eat. Different defenses will make different choices that will change the way things look game to game. In this game specifically, though, Jimbo said that Ainias was very unselfish: he did a lot of little things, blocking, fitting runs, opening things up, but didn’t have many catches.
One reporter asked whether the Texas A&M football staff can learn anything from last year’s game. Jimbo answered with an emphatic yes; both teams have very similar personnel to last year’s game, so they can take a lot from film study. Both teams have improved. He was then asked about Van Dyke’s down year in 2022, to which he diplomatically said that it’s hard to evaluate a guy on anything other than physical talent unless you know how he’s being coached, but that he knows that Van Dyke is extremely physically gifted.
He closed the press conference by answering a question about Walter Nolen. He remarked that Nolen has been consistent, before praising one play in particular, when Walter made a great tackle when he ran out to the flat. He had gotten cut on a zone play, hit the ground, and bounced right up, which is remarkable for a guy his size to be able to do that. Nolen ended up in on the tackle for a one yard loss. The physical ability and motor to do that is great. He’s playing better and better, has been both disruptive and productive.