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July 18, 2012HOOVER, ALA. -- Texas A&M senior outside linebacker Sean Porter is used to hearing tens of thousands of people yelling at a football stadium. But having dozens of people with recorders yelling at him at close range in a converted ballroom? That's something else.
Welcome to SEC Media Days, Mr. Porter.
"It's intense. There's a lot of people out there and you are all asking a lot of different questions. It's different; I've never done anything like this before," he said of the event, which drew more than 1,100 credentialed media. "There's been a lot of weird questions asked of me. I'm just trying to get used to all of the excitement."
Porter said the hospitality of other SEC schools' fans, coaches and media had been impressive.
"It's nice. We feel welcome," he said. "Even though we get a lot of the 'you're from the Big 12; you've never played football like this before,' we feel like people are excited to have us in the SEC, just like we're excited to be in it. We can't wait to play."
When it comes to greetings, Porter said A&M has one of their own waiting the form of the 12th Man and Kyle Field.
"I'm glad that they get to come and see the Twelfth Man and see the tradition," he said. "We're really excited about our tradition at A&M and we're excited about the way Kyle Field is, how loud it gets and how good our student section is. I think it's a good thing that other teams in the SEC get to come and experience it in year one."
Porter said the new coaching staff led by Kevin Sumlin has wasted no time in getting the team ready for SEC play.
"Our strength coach, Larry Jackson, is really good. It's a bit more intense than it was the last couple of years," he said. "You go so fast, and there are very short periods of time between reps. Coach Sumlin's practices were very intense; they felt like a game, and the workouts are a lot like that. They're very fast, very high paced."
One area where Porter believes the Aggies are SEC-ready is at linebacker, where he'll start with Jonathan Stewart and Steven Jenkins.
"We've got guys who can play. Steven Jenkins is undersized, but he'll come up and hit you. Jonathan Stewart is our mainstay at middle linebacker and he's one of our leaders. I think we're going to be good at linebacker this year," he said.
Even though he spent his first three years playing against Big 12 competition, Porter said he's looking forward to the chance to play in the SEC.
"The Big 12 is a good conference; the SEC is the best conference. And you always want to play against the best," he said.
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