Podcast: Former Texas A&M football player and current TexAgs.com analyst Brandon Leone stops by to disuss the A&M program

Kevin_SumlinEntering the 2012 college football season, there might not be a single more fascinating program in the country than Texas A&M. The Aggies are changing conferences, head coaches, and seemingly the attitude around their program, as Kevin Sumlin takes the reigns of the program from previous head coach Mike Sherman.

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Well on Tuesday, a man who knows this program well, Brandon Leone stopped by the show. Brandon is an ex-Aggies running back and current analyst for TexAgs.com, and we broke down all things A&M football, starting with:

– Brandon’s role at TexAgs. How did he get started, why did he get involved and the ironic timing of his hiring, which came just days before Texas A&M officially began their transition to the SEC last summer.

– Why Texas A&M’s decision to leave for the SEC really was a “100 year” decision. And why in a lot of ways, geographically and culturally, the SEC is a better fit for the program than the Big XII was (Aaron’s note: It took some convincing on Brandon’s end, but as time goes on, I really am starting to like the decision more and more for the school).

– How Kevin Sumlin’s arrival on campus has changed the entire culture around the program. And why, from booster club meetings, to recruiting, to the practice field, there is a completely different vibe around A&M now.

– Briefly going back to the 2011 season, what went wrong exactly for the Aggies? Was it talent? Scheme? Coaching? Some combination of all three? Also, why Brandon believes losing all those close games can help Texas A&M in 2012.

– Speaking of 2012, why Brandon believes the real questions come on defense. Even as they transition to Sumlin’s spread offense, Texas A&M will be able to score points. But will they be able to stop the ground and pound offenses of LSU, Alabama and some of the conference’s other elite teams?

– And finally why A&M just might surprise some people in conference. Also, what Brandon believes are realistic expectations for year one in the SEC.

Plus much, much more…

Over the last year there hasn’t been a single team that has faced more turmoil, uncertainty and confusion than Texas A&M… yet somehow, the Aggies appear to have come out smelling like roses. With a move to the SEC and the arrival of Kevin Sumlin, these really are heady times in College Station, and Brandon does an excellent job of fairly and honestly evaluating where this program is, and where it could go.

Speaking of the interview, you can access it in any number of ways. If you can’t listen to the show live here, you can always download it straight from iTunes, just by searching for the “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” You can also subscribe to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by clicking here.

Also for updates on the show, my writing and much more, be sure to follow on Twitter @Aaron_Torres. While you’re there, make sure to give Brandon a follow too @BrandonLeone.

And finally, please remember that Exclusiv Vodka is now an official sponsor of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. And as a thank you for listening, they want to give you a free bottle of their product.

To be entered all you’ve got to do is go to Exclusiv’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ExclusivVodka. From there, be sure to “Like” their product, and then tag yourself with Exclusiv and the phrase “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” Do that, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free bottle.

Regardless, I want to quickly thank Brandon again for joining the show, and thank you for taking the time to listen.

Until next time…

About Aaron Torres

Aaron Torres works for Fox Sports, and was previously a best-selling author of the book 'The Unlikeliest Champion.' He currently uses Aaron Torres Sports to occasionally weigh-in on the biggest stories from around sports. He has previously done work for such outlets as Sports Illustrated, SB Nation and Slam Magazine.