The last few years have seen a tremendous uptick in the number of early entrants to college programs. This benefits the players in that they have an entire spring semester to acclimate to college, begin their strength and conditioning program,
start partying with college girls, and most importantly learn the playbook and go through a spring practice.
The universities have embraced the early entrants as a means to get guys in school earlier, avoid a late signing day defection, and in some conferences - including the SEC - count scholarship numbers towards the previous year total.
With A&M beginning classes on January 20th, let's take a look at the new faces joining the team for spring practice.
Jordan Davis - TE | Houston Clear Lake
Davis, a 6'4", 255 pound monster - who chose the Aggies over offers from Auburn, Florida State, and Texas, among others -will attempt to be the game-changer at tight end A&M fans have been looking for ever since Martellus Bennett departed for the NFL. Davis was used primarily as a wide receiving mismatch at the high school level, but will quickly need to prove himself as a blocker if he wants to see the field this fall.
As time gets closer to me leaving everything really starts to set in! It's surreal! I'm truly blessed!— Jordan Davis (@UKnowJD) January 11, 2015
Sometimes, it's easy to forget these are just 17 and 18 year old guys leaving home for the first time.
Its a dream come true! Just a young broth from the ity tryna get that money!!— Jordan Davis (@UKnowJD) January 11, 2015
And, well, yes - that too.
Justin Evans - S | Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C.
The #1 Junior College safety in the country, A&M held off Georgia, Auburn, and a late push by Alabama to gain Evans' signature. A strong safety at Mississippi Gulf Coast, Evans could be pencilled in for a starting spot at either safety position in John Chavis' 4-3, as the 6', 200 pounder represents a significant leap in athleticism over what the Aggies have been trotting out at the back end the past few years.
Claude George - LB | Hutchinson C.C.
A thumper at linebacker with three years to play two, George could play any of the three linebacker positions upon arriving in College Station, although he may be needed most at MIKE. The Aggies JUCO linebackers have been decidedly hit and miss lately, and while George is listed at 6'2", 230, you never really know how big a kid is until he shows up on campus and oh -
Looks like he'll be just fine.
Christian Kirk - WR | Scottsdale Saguaro
Hailing from the same Scottsdale area as a certain Kyle Allen, Kirk spurned USC, Arizona St., and just about everybody else in choosing A&M. The 5'11", 200 pounder is probably one overdrive gear short of a Speedy Noil, but brings every bit the quickness with a wealth of experience at the receiver position.
Great experience this week. Thank you UA All America game for everything. Next stop.. Aggieland #GigEm— Christian Kirk (@ChristianDavon2) January 3, 2015
Richard Moore - LB | Cedar Hill
The on, then off, then back on-again A&M commit is an undersized, highly productive linebacker that could push for playing time after a spring semester to add weight. There has been some back and forth rumblings as to if Moore will actually be enrolling early, but either way, he helps solidify numbers at the position and may encourage high school teammate and former A&M commit Damarkus Lodge to recommit to the Aggies.
Damion Ratley - WR | Blinn College
Following in the footsteps of former Buccaneer Josh Reynolds, Ratley has three years of eligibility remaining when he arrives on campus. A 6'1", 180 pound receiver, he will immediately provide depth at both outside receiver positions, as well as giving commentary on what is the greater purpose of art in society, and are some forms of entertainment truly relevant in this post-enlightenment age we find ourselves hurtling through space in.
Law & Order at 3 in the AM— Damion Ratley (@DamionRatley) January 1, 2015
Keaton Sutherland - OL | Flower Mound Marcus
Committed to A&M since June, Sutherland has flown a bit under the radar, but the Army All American chose the Aggies over offers from Arkansas, Clemson, Ole Miss, and - like most of the A&M class - Texas. Most likely a redshirt candidate, it never hurts for an offensive lineman to have an additional 6 months of eating, working out, and eating before stepping on the field.
God Bless and Gig Em.— TweetinKeaton (@keatonsuds) January 9, 2015
Amen Keaton. Amen.