Recruiting has been an up and down experience this year, which is to be expected given the coaching change. The intent of this article is to provide a quick overview of where we are, how we got here, and what players are being targeted.
Inevitably these kinds of articles always result in folks commenting “oh man I gave up recruiting and my life is better for it” or “lmao so lame that you follow the industry I’d never let 17 year olds mess with my head”. Hey good for you. I’m glad you’ve found meaning in your life. Keep it moving and let the rest of us talk about something we’re interested in.
WHERE WE’RE AT
A&Ms class currently sits at 14 commitments/signees Quick breakdown:
|Tyree Wilson||DE||New London||***||wavering|
|Mohammad Dialo||DT||Yuma, AZ (Juco)||****||signed|
|Barton Clement||OL||Missouri City||****||Signed|
|Luke Matthews||OL||Missouri City||****||Signed|
|Jace Sternberger||TE||Kingfisher, OK (Juco)||***||Signed|
HOW WE GOT HERE
It’s not a bad class right now. It’s not where we need to be but it’s not bad. A majority of this class committed to a different coaching regime, and then reaffirmed their pledge to Jimbo Fisher. Fisher was also able to add key targets like JUCO DT Mohammed Diallo, and JUCO TE Jace Sternberger.
Transition classes are always rough. Last year Tom Herman’s class finished 25th in the country...and they currently sit at #3. Additionally the early signing period was a rough obstacle to overcome, given that many players were already locked in to their school of choice when Jimbo was hired.
We’ve also had some pretty notable decommitments as well...namely S Leon O’Neal (more on him in a bit), LB Deshaun White, DTs Bobby Brown and Dominic Livingston, and QB Cade Fortin. Most of those happened after the coaching change...and some turnover is to be expected, but they left pretty significant gaps in this class.
Below are my quick thoughts on every position. This is off the top of my head, so if I’m missing anything, let me know in the comments.
Vernon Jackson is currently committed to Alabama but seems receptive to hearing A&M’s pitch. I’m not sure if he ends up playing DE, LB, or RB but I know he’s talented enough to get to campus and have the coaches fight over where to put him.
Tyree Wilson committed to John Chavis and Chavis is doing everything in his power to get him to head up to Fayetteville. Given that he’s been committed to A&M for a while, I think the Razorbacks are facing an uphill battle
Joseph Ossai was a a heavy heavy A&M lean at one point in time, but Tom Herman and crew have taken advantage of the change in regime and have all but locked him in to their class.
Jeremiah Martin is a 4* DE from California who seems to be favoring the Aggies over the Oklahoma Sooners.
Dorian Gerald-JUCO DE who would fill a huge gap for us by being day 1 ready.
Keondre Coburn is a current longhorn commit who the Aggies are still trying to get on campus. Doubt this happens.
Moro Ojomo...kid who came on the scene a bit late, and at one point had interest in the Aggies but now seems locked into either OU or Texas.
Bobby Brown, a one time A&M commit who flipped to Alabama, seems at least receptive to hearing from the Aggies.
Otito Ogbonnia is a 3* DT from Taylor who’s likely next on the list to get an offer from A&M.
Deshaun White decommited from A&M after months of being on the fence and committed to OU. The A&M coaches have been in house to visit him recently, but I doubt they can pull him back in to the fold
Beyond white there’s a whole bunch of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Coaches are currently evaluating players to see who might be out there.
Name to know is Isaac Taylor-Stuart. He’s a 4* from San Diego and would step in and start right away. But we’re battling both Alabama (who also have the added benefit of having hired our best coach from last year in Jeff Banks) and USC for him. We’re still in the mix for ITS, which is about as good as you can hope for right about now.
Leon O’Neal is key here. The one time A&M commitment has been flirting with both OU and Clemson as of late, but I thiiiiiink in the end he ends up reaffirming with A&M due to his connections to the coaching staff and current commitments. Keep your fingers crossed.
We’re done here. Turner got 3 4* OLs including the last of the Matthews clan. Pretty solid haul.
We have one committed, and one recently transferred in (Cordarrian Richardson from national champions UCF), and it looks like the main target is 3* RB Charles Strong from Florida. The irony is not lost on me that we’re in good position to ink a 3* named Charlie Strong.
Jimbo uses TEs. We havent used TEs in the past. Therefore we need TEs. Hahaha what’s a TE you ask. Great joke. We have one TE committed, but are looking at a few more. Names to know are Glenn Beal and Matt Alaimo.
We’re at a pretty solid place here with three quality WRs committed. It seems like the staff is interested in taking 1-2 more. Jacob Copeland visited A&M this past weekend. The main target here is Jaylen Waddle. Waddle is a dynamic slot WR who would take over for Christian Kirk immediately. A&M is currently battling Alabama for his signature.
The only one we seem to be looking at right now is James Foster, a DT QB out of Montgomery, AL. We’re battling Florida State and LSU for his signature...and all reports seem to have him favoring Florida State here. We’re ok with not taking a QB this year, but with 2019 QB commitment Grant Gunnell looking around at different schools I’d imagine that the coaching staff would love the peace of mind of having one more on campus.
The last few weeks are going to be tight. The good news here is that this coaching staff is full of really really good recruiters who are going to do everything in their power to put together as solid of a class as possible. In my many (sad) years of following recruiting, this is by far the best staff we’ve ever had. 2019 should be pretty fun.
2018 should end up better what what we all expect, but it’s going to be a close finish.
Thanks for reading. Let me know in the comments if I missed anything.