Published April 16, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Running back Christine Michael rushed for 52 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries in Texas A&M's spring game Saturday.
Michael broke his right tibia Oct. 30 against Texas Tech.
Ryan Tannehill finished 9 of 14 for 162 yards and a touchdown, while current second stringer Jameill Showers finished 8 of 14 for 68 yards.
"I just wanted to come away healthy because we accomplished in the spring what we wanted to accomplish," A&M coach Mike Sherman said. "We were very vanilla on both sides of the ball, as you could tell."
Sherman doesn't keep a traditional score during the team's annual spring scrimmage, instead he adds and deducts points offensively and defensively throughout the contest. For the record, Maroon beat White 133-119.
Freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel, who graduated early from Kerrville Tivy High, opened the eyes of the estimated 16,500 fans in attendance by completing 8 of 9 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns.
Tannehill's job is secure, however. For the first time in three years.
"Everything is a little more relaxed," Tannehill said. "It's your job to just take the reins and handle it. We're excited about what we can do, but at the same time we have a lot of work to do. We have a long summer to clean up things."
On his first series early in the scrimmage, Michael burst past defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. for a 15-yard gain. He then capped off an extended drive with an 8-yard touchdown run that included a juke of defensive back Dustin Harris, who was left pounding the grass in frustration.
"I don't have any more of a limp or any more pain," Michael said. "The only thing I need to do is work on getting it stronger in the offseason. At the beginning of spring practices I kept thinking about the injury and I kept not wanting to get hit on it. (During) that first series I just said, 'What the heck, just go out there and go for it and don't hold anything back.'
"On that series I didn't think about it at all."
Michael, the team's leading rusher in 2009 with 844 yards, will team with senior Cyrus Gray (1,133 yards last season) to form one of the nation's most formidable one-two punches at running back. The Aggies finished 9-4 last season and earned a share of the Big 12 South title. A&M returns 10 starters on offense and eight on defense.
"Guys are stepping up and buying in," senior safety Trent Hunter said. "We're going to be really good this year."
Cornerbacks Coryell Judie and Terrence Frederick both sat out Saturday's scrimmage with shoulder injuries, safety Steven Campbell missed the game with a foot injury and linebacker Garrick Williams sat out with a sports hernia.
All should be ready to go when A&M reports for camp in August.