clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Texas A&M Football’s 2020 class looks to hit the ground running

Nearly half of the #5 class in the country will be heading to Aggieland a little early.

NCAA Football: TaxSlayer Gator Bowl-Texas A&M vs North Carolina State Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

With Early Signing Day just a few days out, Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies are gearing up for another stellar close to their latest recruiting cycle. As it currently stands, the Maroon and White have the #5 rated class in the nation with 20 verbal commitments from some of the most distinguished prospects in the country.

To sweeten the pot further, over half of the Ag’s future signees will be moving to Brazos Valley shortly after the end of the calendar year. With 13 December graduates in the fold, the coaching staff will have an entire off-season at their disposal to help mold some of these prospects into day one contributors.

Here’s a quick rundown of who will be joining the program this Spring.

Haynes King

A four-star quarterback out of East Texas, King emerged as the Aggie’s primary target at the position late last Spring. A dual threat play maker, King has amassed over 5800 yards in the air and 1100 on the ground the last two seasons for Longview high school.

Despite his stock taking a little bit of a hit in the eyes of fellow internet nobodies after a 3-interception performance in front of a nationally televised audience in early September, King has strung together a stellar senior season for the Lobos. Standing at 6’4, 195 lbs, the #2 ranked passer in the state thrives throwing the deep ball and puts tremendous touch on his throws.

Although there are some things that could be fixed in his game from a fundamental standpoint (a slow, awkward release along with occasionally throwing across his body being the most glaring), King possesses a rare versatility as a passer and as an athlete that the Aggies have not seen in some time. Considering Fisher’s track record with quarterbacks who’ve had similar skill sets (Christian Ponder, Ej Manuel, Deondre Francois, etc.), there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about him signing the dotted line.

With Kellen Mond expected to play out his eligibility next season, King will enter the Spring of 2021 with two full off seasons under his belt and a punchers chance at snagging away the starting job under center from fellow passer Zach Calzada.

Chris Morris

A four-star offensive lineman out of Tennessee, Morris brings a physicality up front that the Aggies severely lacked this season. Nationally rated as the #8 guard in the country, the Memphis native is also regarded as one of the top prospects in the Volunteer state.

At 6’3, 290 lbs, Morris’ upper body strength and quick burst out of his stance should help him thrive in Fisher’s offense. Though he probably lacks the height to man a spot at one of the tackle positions, I see the out of state blocker sliding in at guard as a potential instant impact player next Fall.

Fadil Diggs

A four-star pass rusher out of New Jersey, Diggs signing will be a reunion of sorts as future position coach Elijah Robinson not only grew up a few blocks from the talented defensive end, but also attended the same high school.

Committing to the Aggies last May, Diggs will bring a burst of speed off the edge that the Wrecking Crew sorely lacked this past season. Also working in the 6’4, 240 pound defender’s favor is defensive coordinator Mike Elko’s willingness to throw underclassmen (DeMarvin Leal and Demani Richardson for example) into the fire early in their career.

Muhsin Muhammad

A four-star wideout out of North Carolina, Muhammad’s tape is fascinating to watch. One handed snags, out jumping DBs, and explosive touchdowns have become the norm for the son of a former Pro Bowler.

With game breaking speed, crisp route running, and a knack for high pointing the ball, it’s not out of the realm of possibility to think the out of state play maker could carve out a small role in the offense next season much like Ainias Smith did in 2019.

Jaylon Jones

A fringe five-star prospect, Jones is arguably the best defensive back in not only the Lone Star State, but the entire country. Listed at 6’2, 190 lbs, it’s not out of the question to suggest Mike Elko and secondary coach Maurice Linguist made this dude in a lab somewhere down in the Bright Complex.

With the ability to play corner and both safety positions, Jones is a future NFL prospect with booming potential. His long arms, instinctive playing style, and 4.4 speed allow him to make plays all over the field.

The Steele high school standout is also a proven open field tackler and fundamentally sound in zone coverage. Though he’ll likely need to tack on about 10 pounds and adjust to a complex scheme, Jones will come to campus in a position of need and is a real threat to crack the starting lineup as early as next season.

Akinola Ogunbiyi

Known as “Aki” by his friends and family, Ogunbiyi is a 4-star offensive lineman out of Kempner high school. After committing to the Maroon and White as a sophomore, the 6’4, 350 pounder re opened his commitment last Spring before giving a verbal to Kirby Smart and the Georgia Bulldogs. Fortunately, his bond with assistant offensive line coach Lee Grimes helped sway his decision and the instate blocker rejoined the good guys prior to shutting down his recruitment for good.

On the field, Aki has shown the ability to play all across the line, but most analysts believe he’ll find himself on the inside at guard once he reaches the next level. His massive build, long arms, and supreme upper body strength make him an important addition to the class as the Aggies look to revamp an offensive line that was one of the worst in the conference this past season.

Antonio Johnson

A four-star talent with a relentless motor, Johnson looks the part of a future Donovan Wilson on film. His instinctive play and versatility to line up at multiple positions in the secondary - though I believe he’ll eventually thrive as a nickel - could help set him apart when the team puts the pads back on this coming April.

Josh Bankhead

A three-star lineman out of the greater Houston area, Bankhead has embraced a role as one of the leaders in the class. Praised by teammates, coaches, and media members alike for his character, it appears to have been a seamless transition for the burly blocker.

On the field Bankhead has been on the war path. After shattering school records last Spring as a power-lifter, the College Park standout put together another strong season to end his career in 2019. His dominating run at the high school level turned heads across the state and led to some strong praise from former Aggie great Jason Glenn.

“My fellow Aggies, this young man is the real deal!” Glenn said in a Twitter post last October, along with plenty of other positive notes.

Blake Smith

The lone tight end signee of the class, Smith will join a loaded group of play makers when he gets to campus with All-Conference pick Jalen Wydermeyer and former five-star prospect Baylor Cupp already in the fold. Hailing from perennial powerhouse South Lake Carroll, the 6’4, 250 pound pass catcher caught the eye of position coach Joe John Finley for his set of reliable hands along with his tenacity in the trenches while blocking in the run game.

Jordan Jefferson

Growing up less than 20 miles from College Station, Jefferson was the Aggie’s first commit of the 2020 class after giving his verbal to Kevin Sumlin and Jim Turner in the summer of 2017. Since that time the three-star prospect has stuck with the Maroon and White despite multiple coaching changes while even a position switch prior to the start of this season.

A one time five star prospect, Jefferson’s height - 6’1 - has not done him many favors in the eyes of recruiting analysts. Despite seeing his stock drop, the local lineman worked through a vigorous off season program and dropped nearly 40 pounds prior to his senior season.

After making the switch over to defensive tackle, Jefferson finished the year with 6.5 sacks and 4 tackles for loss. With an undeniable work ethic and a first class strength and conditioning program in his sights, his tenure in a maroon and white jersey could end up surprising a lot of people when it’s all said and done.

Devin Price

With his dad being not only an alumni, but one of the most distinguished recruiters on staff, Price joining the Maroon and White was destined to be. It also didn’t hurt that the 6’3, 200 lbs receiver exploded onto the scene his senior season.

Price’s size, crisp route running, and elite hands immediately jump out at you on film. With an innate ability to beat press coverage and high point the ball, it’s easy to draw comparisons to former Aggie great Josh Reynolds. Though it’ll likely take a few semesters to climb his way up the depth chart, the Aggie legacy as all of the intangibles needed to be a difference maker in the passing game.

Josh Moten

A four-star corner out of Ft Washington, Maryland, Moten will come to campus after a monster senior season that saw him steadily rise in the composite rankings. Equipped with incredible straight line speed, the 5’11, 165 pound defensive back makes plays all over the field and is a ball hawk in every sense of the phrase.

His superior closing speed makes him a threat in zone or man coverage and allows him ample to turn around and find the ball down field. Though he’ll need to befriend the weight room and tack on some pounds to what is currently a frail frame, Moten possesses certain intangibles in his game that can’t be coached.

Isaiah Raikes

Raikes will be one of three December graduates in the Ag’s incoming front seven. A three-star prospect out of New Jersey, his power and relentless motor immediately jump out at you on film. Though not the same caliber of athlete as former Aggie great Daylon Mack, their games are very similar.

Listed at 6’1, 325 lbs, Raikes does a tremendous job getting his pad level low and using his hands to shed blocks at the point of contact. Though it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to carve out a spot in next year’s rotation, it would not surprise me if the northern nose guard can eventually emulate the progression of Jayden Peevy and become a reliable run stopper in the trenches.

The early signing period begins this Wednesday and ends Friday.