Gone are Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu, and Kenric McNeal to graduation. One of the most prized recruits from the 2012 class, Thomas Johnson, who contributed significantly as a freshman, has also left the team to sort out his personal life. Returning to the position, you have only four players who saw any significant time last year: freshman sensation Mike Evans, Malcolme Kennedy, Derel Walker and freshman Sabian Holmes. You're starting to see how critical is was for the Aggie staff to not only find talent, but sign numbers at the position, to allow them to continue the eight-man rotation they employ at the position. In response, they went and got verbal commitments from seven highly rated players and have arguably the best wide receiver class in the nation. Including, JaQuay Williams, who signed in December and is already on campus.
Current Verbal Commitments
Derrick Griffin - The 6'6" Rosenberg Terry wideout is also a consensus four-star prospect on the hardwood. His speed and athleticism at that height made him almost unguardable against high school defensive backs. It was the definition of the word mismatch. The bad news on Griffin is that he reportedly has no shot to qualify academically. He is included on this list because the Aggies will almost certainly continue recruiting him if he goes the JUCO route and can get his grades in order.
2012 Honors: U.S. Army All-American, 23-4A 1st Team All-District
247: #7 WR, 4 stars
Rivals: #3 WR, 4 stars
Scout: #7 WR, 4 stars
ESPN: #1 TE-H, 4 stars
Ricky Seals-Jones - The 6'5" Seals-Jones played quarterback and safety at Sealy High School. He is listed as an "athlete" but will definitely play receiver for Kevin Sumlin. The one-time Longhorn pledge is another tall, athletic mismatch for opposing secondaries. He is the consensus #1 player in the state of Texas for 2013 and the only five-star recruit that will sign with Texas A&M.
2012 Honors: U.S. Army All-American, 25-3A 1st Team All-District
247: #2 ATH, 5 stars
Rivals: #2 ATH, 4 stars
Scout: #1 WR, 5 stars
ESPN: #8 WR, 4 stars
Kyrion Parker - Another big outside receiver, Parker goes 6'3" and 185-pounds. The former LSU commit missed the majority of his junior season due to an injury but bounced back big time this year. As a senior at Manvel he caught 46 balls for 951 yards and 13 touchdowns.
2012 Honors: Offense-Defense All-American, 5A All-State Honorable Mention, 22-5A 1st Team All-District
247: #30 WR, 4 stars
Rivals: #32 WR, 4 stars
Scout: #40 WR, 4 stars
ESPN: #96 WR, 3 stars
Laquivionte Gonzalez - A truly explosive player, "Quiv" is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball with his exceptional quickness and agility. He led Cedar Hill to the state title game as a runningback this year. On the season, he 179 carries for 1,421 yards and 20 touchdowns; while hauling in 34 receptions for 441 yards and 4 more scores. In Aggieland, Quiv will play slot receiver and definitely be an asset in the return game.
2012 Honors: Under Armour All-American. 5A All-State Honorable Mention, District 7-5A Offensive MVP
247: #19 WR, 4 stars
Rivals: #13 ATH, 4 stars
Scout: #26 WR, 4 stars
ESPN: #12 ATH, 4 stars
Sebastian Larue - The most recent Aggie commitment, the Santa Monica, CA native and former USC pledge, will also play slot receiver for Texas A&M. Larue brings an attribute that was lacking in the 2013 class at the receiver position, top end speed. He will be the deep threat for this Aggie offense that will stretch defenses vertically and open things up underneath. For his senior season, Larue had 51 catches for 868 yards and 8 scores.
2012 Honors: Under Armour All-American. All-Ocean League First Team, All-Ocean League MVP
247: #14 WR, 4 stars
Rivals: #24 WR, 4 stars
Scout: #44 WR, 4 stars
ESPN: #9 WR, 4 stars
Jeremy Tabuyo - The Aggie staff went off the Mainland to Honolulu, HI for this speedster. Tabuyo also had his junior year cut short by an injury but bounced back with 770 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this season. His route running is very good at this point in his career and like Larue, he has the speed to blow the top off a defense.
2012 Honors: Semper Fidelis All-American, ILH 1st Team All-Conference, Star-Advertiser 1st Team All-State, Polynesian All-American
247: #87 WR, 3 stars
Rivals: #4 Overall Player in Hawaii, 3 stars
Scout: #151 WR, 3 stars
ESPN: #203 WR, 3 stars
What To Expect On Signing Day
Not much with seven already in this class, but Kevin Sumlin does love him some wide receivers so you never know. Derrick Griffin is reportedly not going to receive a Letter of Intent due to grades, but don't be surprised if he is sent one if a spot is open. It will be nothing more than a sign of good faith to a kid who has been a Aggie pledge for over a year and is a truly remarkable talent. It might help you sign him again if he finishes junior college in a couple years.
When They Hit Campus
As noted previously, depth issues will cause all of these guys to come in and compete to contribute immediately. Along with JaQuay Williams, Ricky Seals-Jones and Kyrion Parker will compete for the open "Z" spot, opposite Mike Evans. Gonzalez, Larue, and Tabuyo all have a shot to earn significant playing time in the slot with the loss of Swope, McNeal, and Thomas Johnson. Not to mention, help immediately on special teams. Barring injury, don't expect many redshirts in this group. This group is too talented to keep off the field.