Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
A look at what to expect on National Signing Day from the big uglies up front.
With Luke Joeckel declaring for the NFL draft and the graduation on four-year starter Patrick Lewis, the Aggie offensive line will have a new look in 2013. Senior and four-year starter Jake Matthews slides over to protect Johnny Manziel's blindside at left tackle; while his younger brother, sophomore Mike Matthews takes over at center. From there, the speculation starts. Will Cedric Ogbuehi remain at guard or move out to right tackle? Regardless, there is going to be a spot open for the taking. Thankfully for Kevin Sumlin, his predecessor Mike Sherman could recruit an offensive lineman, and left him with some good, young talent on the roster. Coach Sumlin looks to continue that trend and keep the pipeline full. After all, the key to winning football games is up front.
Current Verbal Commitments
Ishmael Wilson - "Ish" was one of the first members of the 2013 class after a surprise commitment following a junior day last February. His early commitment kept a couple big regional schools from offering but the 6'5" 280-pounder chose the Aggies over the likes of LSU, Michigan, Nebraska and others. He is a versatile player who can either play tackle or guard. On film he shows good feet and plays with quite the mean streak and has a high motor.
2012 Honors: Offense-Defense All-American, TAPPS 1-5A First Team All-District
247: #15 OT, 4 stars
Rivals: #17 OT, 4 stars
Scout: #13 OT, 4 stars
ESPN: #39 OT, 3 stars
Joas Aguilar - The 6'5" 290-pound Aguilar was another commitment following Kevin Sumlin's first junior day in February 2012. Joas played tackle for Birdville High School as a senior but was recruited to play guard at Texas A&M. He is athletic and shows good feet in his pass protection but what really stands out is his power in run blocking. He is a physical blocker who drives his man off the ball.
2012 Honors: Under Armour All-American, 6-4A First Team All-District
247: #32 OG, 3 stars
Rivals: #36 OT, 3 stars
Scout: #46 OT, 3 stars
ESPN: #11 OG, 4 stars
J.J. Gustafson - The Dallas Jesuit tackle has also been committed to Kevin Sumlin for almost a year. At 6'5" 270-pounds, Gustafson is another athletic lineman with good feet and long arms, which helps him with speed rushers off the edge. He has good quickness off he ball and can get upfield and block well in space.
2012 Honors: 5A All-State Honorable Mention, 9-5A First Team All-District
247: #36 OG, 3 stars
Rivals: #32 OT, 3 stars
Scout: #22 OT, 4 stars
ESPN: #23 OT, 4 stars
What To Expect On Signing Day
Joas Aguilar has been feeling the pressure from TCU recently with their pitch of early playing time and playing closer to home. However, a couple of in-home visits from Aggie coaches have reportedly erased all doubts about wearing the maroon and white. If there is any drama on Wednesday from this position, it'll come from Aguilar making a signing day surprise and flipping to the Frogs. But don't count on it. The Aggies are confident they'll sign all of their lineman.
When They Hit Campus
Redshirt. Redshirt. Redshirt. The transition from high school to college is more difficult on offensive lineman than any other position in football. Their bodies just aren't where they need to be physically. Now, there are obviously exceptions but a Luke Joeckel type player comes along once a generation. Wilson, Aguilar, and Gustafson should redshirt and then most likely provide quality depth after a year of being in a college program. Then they will be expected to compete for starting roles as redshirt sophomores.