2013 Recruiting Snapshot for Texas A&M

July 17, 2012; Hoover, AL, USA; Texas A&M Aggies coach Kevin Sumlin speaks during the 2012 SEC media days event at the Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Kelly Lambert-US PRESSWIRE


This estimation will reflect the Aggies’ recruiting class and needs as of Monday, September 17, 2012. Recruiting is always a fluid business with changes occurring daily. This will be updated as situations such as position switches, attrition, injuries, de-commitments, etc. occur. Attrition includes early departures for the NFL, failing out of school, transferring for more playing time, career-ending injuries, disciplinary departures, and players giving up football.

With Texas A&M’s already large class of twenty-eight commits, let's take a look at where the remaining recruiting needs stand for the class of 2013. Thanks to former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt signing thirty-seven (37) kids in his 2009 class, the SEC implemented a rule in 2011 that member schools can sign no more than twenty-five recruits between National Signing Day and May 31st each year. With those dates, there is room for a program to sign more than twenty-five if they have December graduates that can sign in January. These early enrollees will be counted towards the previous class as long as it did not exceed twenty-five. In the 2012 class, the Aggies signing class consisted of only nineteen recruits. This will allow them to sign as many as thirty-one players in the 2013 class as long as six are early enrollees.

Quarterback: Texas A&M should return all four current QBs in Manziel, Showers, Joeckel and true freshman, Matt Davis in 2013. Realistically, don't be surprised for attrition to occur with at least one transferring for more playing time elsewhere. The Aggies currently have two signal callers committed in dual-sport standout Kohl Stewart, and 5A state champion Kenny Hill from Southlake Carroll. With most schools preferring to carry three to four QBs, the Aggies are done at this position even with the threat of Stewart skipping school for the MLB draft.

Runningback: In 2013, the Aggies will lose Christine Michael to graduation and probably the NFL draft. With that said they still return the dependable Ben Malena and electrifying Trey Williams. On top of that, they will add former five-star Oklahoma transfer Brandon Williams as well as bruising back Tra Carson from Oregon. With Pearland Dawson’s James White currently committed, the Aggies are also done at this position.

Wide Receiver/Tight End: This should be the position of greatest turnover in 2013. Seniors Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu and Kenric McNeal all graduate but young playmakers Mike Evans, Malcome Kennedy, Thomas Johnson, and Sabian Holmes return. Juniors Nate Askew and JUCO transfer Derel Walker haven’t shown they can be adequate replacements which is why the Ags currently have five WRs committed including their highest rated recruit overall, Derrick Griffin. Griffin could also play tight end and is a standout on the hardwood with his 6'7" frame as well. The bad news is that it seems he has very minimal chance to qualify academically. Possession WRs Quincy Adeboyejo and former LSU commit Kyrion Parker both stand 6’3" and will be welcomed additions on the outside. Adeboyejo’s teammate at Cedar Hill, RB LaQuivionte Gonzales and Hawaiian Jeremy Tabuyo are being brought in to replace Swope and McNeal in the slot. Both are exceptionally quick and will be matchup nightmares for opposing defenses. Auburn High School quarterback Cameron Echols-Luper was the Aggies most recent 2013 commit and although he is listed as an athlete, look for him play WR at the next level with a slight possibility of DB. Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury has said numerous times that he wants an eight man rotation at receiver so even with Griffin’s qualification doubtful, if you slot Echols-Luper’s in at WR, it would seem the Aggies are set for 2013. The only possible exception could be four star USC commit Sabastian LaRue. The Aggies finished second to the Trojans for LaRue, however, if he has a change of heart and wants to wear the maroon and white, I’m not sure the Ags take another pure WR at this point. At tight end, Nehemiah Hicks returns but the unit loses Michael Lamothe to graduation. With the talent pool at this position having a down year in the state, I wouldn’t expect the Aggies to take one unless his name is Ricky Seals-Jones. The Sealy standout can play WR, TE or DE and announced last week that his final two schools are Texas A&M and LSU. Coach Sumlin will hold a spot for him until signing day. He’s too good and too versatile not to take.

Offensive Line: The only known loss at this point is four year starter and current center, Patrick Lewis. Coach BJ Anderson will be in limbo until the end of the season when we learn if we lose either or both tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews early to the NFL draft. Three offensive linemen are currently committed in tackles Ishmael Wilson and JJ Gustafson along with guard Joas Aguilar. Look for the Aggies to take one to two more lineman with the top guy on their board being Katy Seven Lakes guard Caleb Benenoch. The Aggies could go the JUCO route for one or both if Benenoch chooses to go elsewhere.

Defensive Line: A very thin unit in 2012, the Aggies will lose DTs Jonathan Mathis and Spencer Nealy to graduation. There is also the possibility that DE Demontre Moore forgoes his senior season for the NFL draft. Four DTs in Isiah Golden, Kerrick Huggins, Hardreck Walker and JUCO Rob Zimmerman are currently pledged to Coach Sumlin. High school teammates Jay Arnold and Jordan Points make up our current DE class. With qualification issues for a few recruits at this position, Coach Terry Price will keep recruiting, namely Justin Manning from Dallas Kimball. Look for the coaching staff to sign up to seven DL in January. After all, defensive lines are what separate the SEC from the rest of college football.

Linebacker: The Aggies will lose two out of their three starters in 2013 in Jonathan Stewart and Sean Porter to graduation but WLB Steven Jenkins returns for his senior season. Four LBs are currently committed including two from Louisiana in Darian Claiborne and Edward Williams. Houston Sharpstown’s Reggie Chevis and Kennedale’s Brett Wade round out the unit. The Aggies continue to recruit arguably the best linebacker in Texas, Mike Mitchell as well as a couple of JUCO kids including Kenny Flowers from Hutchinson Community College. Flowers has narrowed his list to Texas A&M and Arkansas but recently cancelled a scheduled official visit to Fayetteville in favor of College Station.

Defensive Back: Both safeties, Steven Campbell and Steven Terrell, are current seniors and will not return next year along with reserve CB Dustin Harris. With DeVante Harris, Tramain Jacobs, and Floyd Raven returning at cornerback, the Aggies are set for the 2013 class with Noel Ellis and Tavares Garner. As I mention earlier, athlete Cameron Echols Luper could play cornerback as well. Losing both safeties hurts an already thin unit so it wouldn't be surprising to see Deshazor Everett make the move from CB permanent next year. Derrick Griffin’s teammate Victor Davis and Alief Taylor’s Jonathan Wiggins are currently commits at safety. Another commit listed as an athlete, Shaan Washington can play safety or outside linebacker. Another safety is not out of the question at this point either.

Special Teams: P Ryan Epperson appears to have improved this year from 2011. Unfortunately, his eligibility is up next year. A&M has one of the top punters out of high school waiting in the wings in Drew Kaser. Kicker Taylor Bertolet is only a redshirt freshman so he’ll be around for three more years. The Aggies will not take either specialist in this class. Early enrollee athlete Alex Sezer out of Little Cypress-Mauriceville is very versatile and can play defensive back or runningback, but expect him to be a return specialist in this class.

If every recruit currently committed to the Aggies, signs with the Ags in February (hint: they won’t), the class is currently full for May graduates. The Ags could take up to three more signees but they would have to be early enrollees. Expect some movement in this class because Coach Sumlin is going to take a Ricky Seals-Jones, Justin Manning, Caleb Benenoch, or Mike Mitchell no matter what if they decide to wear the maroon and white. Not only are they elite talents, they are elite at positions of need and the Aggies are currently listed in their top schools. If Coach Sumlin misses out on some of these guys, expect him to still recruit OL, DL, LB, and maybe S from the JUCO levels.

Recap of Commits/Needs:

QB – Kohl Stewart

QB – Kenny Hill

RB – James White

WR – Derrick Griffin

WR – LaQuivionte Gonzales

WR – Kyrion Parker

WR – Quincy Adeboyejo

WR – Jeremy Tabuyo

WR/TE – (Optional)

OL – Ishmael Wilson

OL – JJ Gustafson

OL – Joas Aguilar

OL – (Optional)

OL – (Optional)

DL – Isiah Golden

DL – Kerrick Huggins

DL – Hardreck Walker

DL – Rob Zimmerman

DL – Jay Arnold

DL – Jordan Points (EARLY ENROLLEE)

DL – (Optional)

DL – (Optional)

LB – Darion Claiborne

LB – Brett Wade (EARLY ENROLLEE)

LB – Reggie Chevis

LB – Edward Williams

LB – (Optional)

LB – (Optional)

DB – Noel Ellis

DB – Tavares Garner

DB – Victor Davis

DB – Jonathon Wiggins

DB – (Optional)

ATH – Shaan Washington (S/OLB)

ATH – Cameron Echols Luper (WR/CB)

ATH – Alex Sezar (DB/RB/PR/KR) (EARLY ENROLLEE)

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