“It certainly has benefits, because we’re in a small, closed environment, it’s really distraction free,” Childs said. “On those Fridays, it’s as good of a study hall as you can have, because they are not going to leave the hotel. They have to be there and it’s all required, so we’re able to get a lot accomplished.”
Those few extra hours have resulted in some of the program’s better academic semesters, Childs said, because they are catching assignments and problems that might typically fall through the cracks while on the road with the players.
A&M defensive tackle Jayden Peevy said Thursday travel gives him a day to recover from the anxieties of flying.
“For me, personally, I don’t like planes, so I feel like leaving a day before was a good thing for me,” Peevy said. “I could get the jet lag out of my system, so that’s one thing that I wish we could do, but COVID makes [the later departure] understandable.”
Thursday departures began when Fisher was coaching at Florida State, initially as a way to combat quick turnarounds of the early kick offs, he said. It continued to include every road trip, no matter the kick off time.
Due to COVID-19 testing protocols, A&M will depart from Aggieland on Friday this season, starting with the trip for Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. bout at Alabama. Players who have early class Friday will catch those lessons, followed by a full-team walkthrough in town and lunch. The team will then board its charter plane and arrive in Alabama Friday afternoon.