The Maroon-White game (2 p.m., Kyle Field) will be aired nationally, with 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and the rest of the returnees from last year’s 11-2 team that defeated Oklahoma 41-13 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic expected to participate. The spring game will last two hours and will be followed by a live telecast of the A&M-LSU women’s softball game in College Station (4 p.m.-6 p.m.).
Admission to the A&M spring game is $5 for general admission tickets and free for students college age and under.
The Aggies, who finished No. 5 in the postseason polls after the 2012 season, return a strong nucleus of key contributors on both sides of the ball and are considered a contender for the 2013 national championship. In addition to Manziel at quarterback and All-America offensive tackle Jake Matthews, who will move from right to left tackle next season, the Aggies return five defensive starters. Included are linebacker Steven Jenkins (78 tackles last season) and defensive back Toney Hurd, Jr. (67 tackles).
Manziel, the first freshman Heisman winner in the award’s history, acknowledged that the Aggies are embracing loftier expectations as they heading into a 2013 season marked by eight home games, including a Sept. 14 showdown in College Station against Alabama, the defending national champion.
“I don’t think you avoid it. Those are your goals and what you want to do,” Manziel said when asked about national title hopes for the 2013 Aggies. “The guys in the locker room all want to win a national championship … Our goal is not to lose a game and to win every time we’re on the field.”
_ Jimmy Burch