While the early signing period has taken some of the air out of the traditional national signing day, the Texas A&M Aggies fans still got some wind in their sails on Wednesday as the program added two more players to the already impressive 2019 class. Three-star athlete Ainias Smith (Sugar Land, TX) and three-star linebacker Chris Russell (Dyersburg, TN) each signed their letter of intent to play their college ball in College Station beginning this fall.
Smith was long rumored to be an A&M lean, and it seems like a case where the Aggie coaching staff was waiting to make sure they had room for him in this class. He also held scholarship offers from Georgia, Syracuse, Texas Tech, Utah, Vanderbilt and Washington, among others. Russell, meanwhile, was a player that Jimbo and company made a late charge for, holding off Tennessee and Arkansas to secure is commitment. Especially with the early departure of junior Tyrel Dodson to the NFL Draft, adding another LB to provide depth was an essential late addition to this class.
Astute observers may have noticed that two four-star Texas A&M defensive commits, defensive end Braedon Mowry and defensive tackle Josh Ellison, have not yet signed their letters of intent. Word on the street is that both players are still working on improving their grades in order to meet admission standards. While I have no inside information on this one, the consensus seems to be that Mowry will likely make it into this year’s class (and the Aggies seem to have one spot left waiting for him), while Ellison is a likely candidate for grayshirt status (meaning he would delay enrollment until the spring and begin his college football career in 2020).
Overall, this was a great finish to an impressive recruiting class. The class wraps up signing day ranked fourth in the country, this highest finish in A&M history. Here’s hoping higher on-field finishes follow suit.