Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
After a monster haul in 2013, the 2014 class looks to surpass in quality while shrinking in quantity. We preview a positional breakdown of what needs are to be filled.
Using our man SpreadsheetAg's Experience Chart, there will be thirteen (13) seniors on the 85-man roster next year. With the attrition, and without naming names, there are as many as eight (8) additional guys that it wouldn't surprise to see seek opportunities elsewhere after next season. Playing time, NFL draft, degree choices, and injury are a few of the main reasons college athletes leave their current programs every year before their eligibility is up. With that fuzzy math in mind, we're going to operate under the assumption that the Aggies will have around twenty (20) scholarships available for the 2014 class. Where can you expect those scholarships to go?
Before Jameill Showers' release from the program, the Aggies taking a signal caller in this class wasn't a given. Add that to the fact that it is not a certainty Kohl Stewart ever steps on campus, and the suddenly became a necessity. Oklahoma native Justice Hanson is the only current offer at the position. Patrick Mahomes (Whitehouse, TX) visited Aggieland for their first junior day but left without an offer. Expect this position to be heavily evaluated in the next few weeks both regionally and nationally with more names surfacing.
Expected To Take: 1
With transfers Brandon Williams and Tra Carson joining Trey Williams as sophomores, depth at runningback will not be an issue for the foreseeable future. Ben Malena will be gone and recent signee James White will be coming off a redshirt season in 2014. Lake Travis' Varshaun Nixon is already in the bag and unless Clarence Mckinney feels he can land a national player, the Ags are done at the position. They have offered the consensus #1 back in the country, Leonard Fournette out of New Orleans, and Joe Mixon from California.
Expected To Take: 1 (Varshaun Nixon)
With Nate Askew and Derel Walker entering their senior seasons and Mike Evans being draft eligible, outside receivers will be a need in this class. Lufkin's Jamal Jeffery has already verbally committed and should be the only slot taken. The Ags went to Louisiana and offered Speedy Noil and Trey Quinn early, as well as in-state talents KD Cannon and Davion Hall. Hall is a versatile athlete that can play safety or receiver and committed to the Baylor Bears at their junior day last weekend. Receiver will never be a tough position to recruit for this offensive staff and with the Heisman Trophy winner still on campus, expect them to continue their 2013 efforts on the national level.
Expected To Take: 3 (Jamal Jeffery)
Although Cameron Clear will be the a senior and the only TE on campus when the 2014 class arrive in Aggieland, don't expect the staff to take one in this class. It is a situational position in this offense and barring interest from an elite, national prospect; that scholarship could be used elsewhere in this relatively small class.
Expected To Take: None
Mike Matthews and Ben Compton are the only centers on the roster, making it position of need in this class. Jake Matthews and Shep Klinke will have graduated and Cedric Ogbuehi and Jarvis Harrison will both be draft eligible in 2014. After only taking two lineman in 2013, the pipeline is getting thin and in need of restocking. Line coach BJ Anderson technically already has two tackles committed with 2013 greyshirt JJ Gustafson signing in December and Lakeview Centennial's Kealvin Davis. The Aggies have also offered Manvel tackle Koda Martin and two of the top-five guards in the country; Kansas native Braden Smith and Garrett Brumfield from Baton Rouge. Look for the Aggies to take three more OL in this class with at least one being a guard and one a center.
Expected To Take: 5 (JJ Gustafson, Kealvin Davis)
After taking three of the top tackles in the state this year, it isn't a necessity one is signed in this class. In fact, Terry Price has yet to offer one; choosing instead, to focus his efforts on edge rushers. In-state, the Ags have offered Solomon Thomas from Coppell and Myles Garrett from Arlington Martin. Thomas is being recruited as a strong-side end but could eventually grow into a tackle. Speedy Noil's temmate Gerald Willis has also been offered at strong-side end and Aggie legacy Qualen Cunningham from Arizona has received an offer at weak-side end.
Expected To Take: 3
The Ags took a strong LB corp in '13 and are already off to a fast start this year, having already landed two of the top linebackers in the state. La Porte's Hoza Scott is arguably the top overall player in Texas and Gilmer's Josh Walker is not far behind him. Kevin Sumlin likely only has room for one more linebacker and even turned away a consensus four-star player in Cameron Hampton; who then committed to the Texas Longhorns. North Shore's Zach Whitley and Arlington Bowie's Edwin Freemen still have offers on the table. Whitley is the only MLB of the group and is a take all the way. It will be interesting to see if there is room for three OLB in this class.
Expected To Take: 3 (Hoza Scott, Josh Walker)
Talk about an embarrassment of riches, this has to be one of the most talented position groups to ever come out of Texas. Marcel Yates already has two commitments from consensus four-start DBs Nick Harvey and Cedric Collins. Harvey can play both safety and corner and is a top-50 player in the country. Former Clemson safety commit Dylan Sumner-Gardner is good friends with 2013 signee Kameron Miles and rumored to be leaning heavily to the Aggies. From there, the top choices are the top two players in the state; safety Edward Paris from Mansfield Timberview and corner Tony Brown from Beaumont Ozen. Brown is considered a LSU lean and will be a tough pull for the Ags. Also holding Aggie offers are Bishop Dunne corner Nick Watkins and Hebron safety Jamal Adams, both top-10 players in the state. The number is four here with at least two being cornerbacks. Harvey gives the Aggies the opportunity to take two more corners along with a safety.
Expected To Take: 4 (Nick Harvey, Cedric Collins)