It’s been a while since we’ve joined you, so let’s catch up on the happenings in the world of Texas A&M recruiting over the past few weeks.
NCAA points at Texas A&M’s wrist, threatens to slap it
On July 2, news broke of sanctions the NCAA was imposing on the Texas A&M football program as a result of two separate rules violations. They are outlined below.
The university, head coach and NCAA enforcement staff agreed that the head coach and an assistant coach had impermissible recruiting contact with a prospect at his high school. The conversation was impermissible because it occurred before the completion of the prospect’s junior year in high school.
Regarding the countable athletically related activity violations, during permissible weeks of spring and summer activity, the football program unintentionally caused student-athletes to exceed activity time limits by approximately seven hours.
These two exceptionally minor violations resulted in equally minor sanctions, which include the following:
- One year of probation
- A $5,000 fine
- A 17-day reduction in football official visits during the 2019-20 academic year.
- An off-campus recruiting ban for the entire football coaching staff for November 2019, which reduced the permissible evaluation days for the 2019-20 academic year by 19
- A seven-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 spring off-campus recruiting period and a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban for the football coaching staff for the 2020 fall off-campus recruiting period
- The university ended its recruitment of the prospect involved in the violation
- A ban on recruiting any prospects from the prospect’s high school for the 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years
- A six-month show-cause order for the head coach. The terms of the show-cause order include a previously served nine-day ban on phone calls, emails or texts with prospects in January 2020; a reduction in off-campus recruiting contact days by three for the December 2019 through January 2020 contact period; a ban on all off-campus recruiting activities for the fall 2020 contact period; additional one-on-one rules education; and a public statement from the head coach addressing the violations.
As you can see, the majority of these sanctions have already been completed. So going forward, the only tangible effects will be the $5,000 fine (Jimbo probably had that in his wallet), a 10-day off-campus recruiting ban this fall, a ban on recruiting from the high school for the next two years, and a ban on Jimbo’s off-campus recruiting activities this fall. No scholarship reductions, no bowl ban. This is about as light as it gets.
And from a broader perspective, you have to think that for the NCAA to find these seemingly minor infractions, they had to delve into A&M with a pretty fine-toothed comb. And to delve into the Texas A&M program and come up with only these two teeny tiny infractions, Jimbo is seemingly running a pretty clean program. Honestly cleaner than I would have assumed.
So while NCAA sanctions are never good news (and it also means you’ll be on their radar for the foreseeable future), their findings seem to be immaterial with regard to any long-term damage to the football program.
Aggies add pair of 2021 cornerbacks
If you wondered whether the news of those NCAA sanctions was going to scare recruits away, that question was seemingly answered quickly, as the Aggies secured commitments from three-star CB Tyreek Chappell on July 4, and four-star CB Dreyden Norwood on July 10.
- Tyreek Chappell is 5’11”, 177, and comes from Northeast High School in Philadephia, PA. He is currently ranked as the #54 corner in the country, the #15 player in Pennsylvania and the #683 player nationally. However his offer list defies his ranking, which scholarships on the table from Arizona State, Baylor, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Penn State, Tennessee and West Virginia, among others.
- Dreyden Norwood is 6’0”, 175, and comes from Northside High School in Fort Smith, AR. He is ranked as the #19 cornerback in the country, the #1 player in Arkansas and the #276 player nationally. He holds scholarship offers from Arkanasas, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Michigan State, Mizzou, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, TCU and Tennessee, among others.
A&M now has 12 players committed in the 2021 recruiting class, six of which are from outside the state of Texas. The class is currently ranked 20th nationally, primarily due to the relatively low number of commits. Expect that ranking to rise as recruiting classes fill up between now and signing day.
Victory Vaka to enroll early
COVID-19 may yet cause us to lose the college football season, but most high school seasons have already been postponed or canceled completey. As a result, A&M defensive line commit Victory Vaka announced his intention to skip his senior season and enroll at Texas A&M in January.
Vaka likely won’t be the last player to skip his senior season and start his college career immediately due to the pandemic.
Tank Jenkins enters the transfer portal
Tank Jenkins, a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman for the Aggies, has reportedly entered the transfer portal. After a redshirt season in 2018, Jenkins did not crack the two-deep at his position in 2019, and was not anticipated to do so in 2020. He was a four-star recruit out of Alabama in the 2018 class, and is the cousin of Texas A&M sophomore QB James Foster.
While you always hate to see talent walk out the door, this, like many transfers, will likely turn out to be a win-win situation. Jenkins will transfer to a team in need of his services and gain the chance to earn playing time, while A&M frees up a scholarship it can apply to a younger player or a position of need.