Signing Day has come and gone, and like a kid who has ravenously torn open his presents on Christmas morning, we find ourselves wondering what exactly we've received, and dammit where did dad leave the open bottle of bourbon. Thankfully, the recruiting gods appear to have left us something more interesting than a crappy sweater, and apparently Grandad has started buying Pappy's.
The NFL Draft likes to talk about ‘upside’, but seems to be scared of the other part of that equation. What fans really want to know is this: what is the very best, and the very worst that could possibly happen with each player that my respective team just signed? Well, I’m glad you asked.
We here at Good Bull Hunting have watched
thousands of hours at least 3 minutes of every play of their senior year a highlight video set to Imagine Dragons, and feel pretty darn confident in evaluating the entire kaleidoscope of possibilities that lay in front of each new signee.
Kyler Murray – Merely the Gatorade National Player of the Year, and in the conversation for best high school quarterback in the history of Texas. You've probably heard of him.
BEST CASE SCENARIO: Continues his 43-0 march unabated, teams with Kyle Allen to form this generation’s ‘Super Friends’, becomes Johnny Manziel 2.0 with a better arm and slightly wiser off-the-field decisions, and – in the greatest upset of all – becomes the catalyst for a potent Aggie baseball offense.
WORST CASE SCENARIO: "With the 7th overall pick of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft, the Kansas City Royals select Kyler Murray."
Jay Bradford – The Class 3A 100 Meter Champion, Bradford brings serious straight-ahead acceleration to the A&M backfield.
BCS: With blazing speed, Bradford could be a kickoff return terror from day one, and is only a year away from being a key cog in the backfield rotation.
WCS: He also shows a lot more burst than vision, and may be relegated to a 3rd-down back.
Kendall Bussey – A bowling ball from New Orleans, the 5’8", 205 pound running back features a great combination of acceleration, vision, and balance.
BCS: Redshirts then explodes onto the stage while sharing carries with James White, before taking over as the feature back that A&M fans have been longing for.
WCS: Struggles to recover from ACL injury sustained late in his senior year. Eats too many Po Boys on return trips home.
Jordan Davis – The Semper Fi All American is a 6’4", 255 pound matchup nightmare for defenses.
BCS: Already on campus as an early enrollee, Davis has every opportunity to grab a starting job as a true freshman and become the dual-threat tight end Aggie fans have been pining for since Marty B.
WCS: Having been much more a receiver than a blocker at the high school level, Davis may struggle for a year or two before becoming a complete tight end. Also, he has a history of hydration issues.
Where bae w my Vitamin Water!— Jordan Davis (@UKnowJD) February 6, 2015
Christian Kirk – One of the highest-rated wide receivers in the country, Kirk is already on campus and will go through spring practice.
BCS: Speedy Noil 2.0, but with far more experience at the receiver position, Kirk starts from day one in Malcome Kennedy’s old spot, and quickly becomes a key cog of the most dangerous wide receiver group in the country.
WCS: Sebastian Larue. JaQuay Williams. Thomas Johnson. Just a few of the higher profile wide receivers to transfer out of A&M over the last few classes. It’s a persnickety position, and new guys come in waves.
I wonder if there's a really nice sunset in AZ right now.. Huh guess I'll never know— Christian Kirk (@ChristianDavon2) January 21, 2015
Damion Ratley – Another early enrollee, Ratley arrives from Blinn where he spent last season hauling in 20 touchdowns and averaging over 26 yards a catch.
BCS: Enters the rotation this year and is able to develop a hilarious, yet touching JUCO touchdown dance with Josh Reynolds that really tugs at the heartstrings. 2 year starter at the X wide receiver position.
WCS: I was really excited about DeQawn Mobley. Once.
Kemah Siverand – The 1st Team All District wide receiver represents yet another head to head recruiting victory over LSU and Texas.
BCS: Redshirts, gets stronger, becomes best friends with Aaron Moorehead, and is the smooth yin to Christian Kirk’s crazy yang for the next 3 years.
WCS: No career downsides exist after giving speeches like this:
Trevor Elbert – Checking in at 6’6", 310, the Army All American is a load in the run game.
BCS: Takes his redshirt year to completely heal from a shoulder injury suffered senior year. 3 year starter at right guard. Sets a team bench press record in the process.
WCS: Is unable to stay awake during film sessions.
That nap probably wasn't the best idea— Trevor Elbert (@74BIGtrev74) February 9, 2015
Connor Lanfear – The onetime Longhorn commit flipped to A&M after realizing ‘scoring points’ is quite helpful to overall team success.
BCS: Like most high school linemen, Lanfear could use a redshirt year, but there’s a 4 year starting position at right tackle with his name on it.
WCS: A&M has brought in a ton of 6’5"+ athletic kids on the O line the last few years; somebody is going to get left out.
Eric McCoy – Most likely being groomed to take over at center, McCoy is the smallest of the offensive linemen checking in at a mere 6’4", 305.
BCS: After sitting a year, watching Mike Matthews, and growing stronger, McCoy takes over as a 4 year starter at center.
WCS: As a member of the top 10% of his high school class, McCoy can always help others stay eligible if he is unable to claim a starting spot.
Keaton Sutherland – Yet another Army All-American, Sutherland may have the highest ceiling of any of the offensive line prospects A&M signed this year.
BCS: Sutherland redshirts, and bides his time before stepping in as the 6th consecutive 1st-round left tackle after Luke Joeckel, Jake Matthews, Cedric Ogbuehi, Avery Gennesy, and Koda Martin.
WCS: Sutherland falls to the 2nd round.
Kingsley Keke – One of the more underrated recruits in the class, Keke is already pushing 6’4", 310 pounds.
BCS: Surprising freshman contributor locks down a starting spot as a sophomore, and teams with classmate Daylon Mack to form the MACKEKE ATTACK, the most dominant defensive tackle duo the collegiate game has ever seen, then passes on the majority of MACKEKE ATTACK-related merchandising profits to the author of this story.
WCS: Not one damn downside going through life with this hair sir.
Defensive player of the year!! pic.twitter.com/bPcmFLccsg— Kingsleyy#⃣ 5⃣5⃣⚡️ (@BucketsAll_Day) January 23, 2015
James Lockhart – Another year, another top-ranked defensive end in the state winds up in College Station.
BCS: His 260 pound frame sees the rotation year one before taking over at strongside end across from Myles Garett. Lockhart has All-SEC potential.
WCS: However, he’s a bit on the shorter side for defensive end, and is possibly the kind of player who might have already physically maxed out.
Daylon Mack – You probably know him as the best defensive tackle recruit in the country.
BCS: 3 Year starter. Top 5 draft pick. Difference maker at defensive tackle A&M hasn’t seen since Ty Warren. Destroyer of offensive line universes.
WCS: His family makes so much money off of registering the #WRTS trademark that he immediately retires from football in order to study patent law.
Landis Durham – A linebacker and defensive end from Plano East, Durham will start his A&M career with his hand on the ground.
BCS: Finds a home as a pass rushing specialist and special teams standout.
WCS: Turns out he’s really Greg Oden, and not eligible for college football.
Riley Garner – The A&M Consolidated product missed all of his senior year after suffering a very serious non-football head injury.
BCS: Is able to get back on the football field and contribute in any way.
WCS: He's already seen it. Nothing but up for Mr. Garner.
Claude George – The JUCO signee is on campus and will go through spring drills.
BCS: Immediate starter at middle linebacker. Has ability to diagnose plays and make tackles. A&M fans faint, recover, rejoice.
WCS: Provides depth to Josh Walker and special teams help.
Richard Moore – A tackling machine, the undersized linebacker is an early enrollee.
BCS: Moore redshirts, puts on good weight, and thrives in John Chavis’ attacking 4-3, starting for 3 years at weakside linebacker. His legend is cemented when Damarkus Lodge announces his transfer to A&M after his freshman year in a tearful press conference.
WCS: Unable to put on the weight needed to thrive in the SEC, Moore becomes a special teams ace.
Dwaine Thomas - Lightly recruited out of Louisiana, Thomas is a project linebacker, but a fast, instinctive one.
BCS: After redshirting, Thomas spends two years making plays on special teams before claiming a starting spot his junior year.
WCS: Is unable to help recruit more Louisiana prospects to College Station.
Deshawn Capers-Smith – Gatorade’s Mr. Louisiana, Capers-Smith played quarterback in high school but will start his collegiate career at cornerback.
BCS: After a year spent redshirting and improving his footwork, he bursts onto the scene as a physical, shutdown cornerback.
WCS: THERE IS NO DOWNSIDE TO LOOKING THIS DAMN GOOD.
Justin Dunning – A giant 6’4" safety with range? Yes please.
BCS: A special teams standout his freshman year, Dunning is able to claim a starting safety position as a sophomore, and becomes the head hunting sideline-to-sideline presence A&M has missed on the back end for way too long now.
WCS: Possibly a tweener between linebacker and safety, he could get stuck in the dreaded 3rd down linebacker void.
Justin Evans – The JUCO All American is on campus and practicing.
BCS: Immediate starter at safety. Makes the game-clinching interception in the 2016 SEC Championship, and in a beautiful homage to Terrance Kiel, fires the ball in Nick Saban’s crying face as time expires.
WCS: Suspended at least 3 games a year for knocking people the [REDACTED] out.
Roney Elam – All-State, District MVP, and a press corner starter kit.
BCS: With precious little depth on campus, Elam is forced in the rotation freshman year, but takes his lumps, puts on weight, and becomes a 3 year starter and a John Chavis favorite.
WCS: A&M somehow fields a Power 5 team in 2017 with zero cornerbacks.
Larry Pryor – 2 time District MVP will start out at free safety.
BCS: Redshirts, and follows in Armani Watts footsteps as a smooth, playmaking safety.
WCS: Lack of elite athleticism leads to a career bouncing between both safety spots as depth.
Daniel LaCamera - The Semper Fi All-American hails from Tarpon Springs, Florida.
BCS: Groza award winner.
WCS: Eaten by Canadian Bear. Never to be heard from again.
Me with a Canadian bear pic.twitter.com/Pn7S9j3wi0— Daniel Lacamera (@dlacamera18) December 23, 2014