Aggies pick up another commit

Aggies pick up another commit

With several upper classmen leaving after this year, the Aggies have been looking for solid offensive linemen. Texas A&M offensive line coach Jim Bob Helduser reeled in a big one on Monday night.

Texas A&M hauled in a big catch last night—literally. Chris Lathrop, a 6-foot-4, 280 pound offensive linemen from Cy-Fair received an offer from Texas A&M on Monday night and he jumped at the opportunity.

His quick decision didn't surprise Ed Pustejovsky, Cy-Fair's head football coach.

"I knew that he'd been down to a couple of ball games in the fall and I think he went to the spring game, and junior day," Pustejovsky said. "I know he was definitely interested in A&M. When I talked to him, he was excited about the thought of a chance to play at TAMU. So when the (A&M) coaches told me they were going to offer him, I knew he was going to be excited. I told him that if they offer him, he's probably going to tell you he's coming. That's how much he liked A&M."

Lathrop, who started 14 games for Cy Fair last season, is an athletic big man who has a combination of strength and athleticism that the Aggies will desperately need on the offensive line in coming years.

He bench pressed 355 pounds and fell just short of the career record for power clean at Cy Fair with an attempt of 315 pounds. He ended up recording a lift of 289 pounds, but Pustejovsky believes he can lift more than that. With his work ethic, he may be able to hit the 315 mark or more by the end of summer.

"He's a hard working kid," Pustejovsky said. "He's done a good job for us and he's had a good off-season as far as gaining strength. His potential has always been there because of his frame. He's worked hard this year and put on another 10 or 12 pounds."

In addition to being extremely strong, the big man can also move.

"Last time we clocked 40s he was at five flat, maybe even a little bit under," Pustejovsky said. "That athleticism is what makes him stand out for such a big kid. His ability to run is what separates him from other big kids and he can do a lot of things. He plays left guard for us and we put him out there on counters and stuff because he can run."

Like so many of the recent A&M commits, Lathrop also seems to bring intangible leadership qualities to the Aggies off the field.

"Our team just elected him one of our captains and I think that says a lot," Pustejovsky said. "Him and Sam (McGuffie) are the only offensive starters coming back and on the offensive side of the ball and Sam was running track this spring. Chris provided a lot of leadership for us and that was good to see. He's a solid kid."

Last year was the first year that Lathrop played at the varsity level. But his solid performance in spring practice this year is what had many colleges picking up the phone. But Pustejovsky thinks that with a year under his belt, the sky is the limit for Lathrop.

"Through his junior year he's up there with the best that we've had come through here and I'm sure he'll have a good senior year. With 14 (varsity) games behind him and a good understanding of what he's got to do and get it done, he'll only continue to improve."

Lathrop is also a teammate of running back Sam McGuffie, who is also on the Aggies' wish list, but Pustejovsky didn't know how much of an influence Lathrop's commitment would have on McGuffie's decision.

On a personal level, the Cy Fair coach was excited to learn of Lathrop's commitment to the Aggies.

"I think he'll be an asset to Texas A&M and me being an Aggie myself, I'm excited about it," Pustejovsky said. "I know what (A&M) is about and it's fun to see some of my athletes go to Texas A&M. Hopefully he'll be a productive player for them."

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