Aggies land a deep and talented class to top Texas universities in recruiting

Posted Tuesday, Feb. 05, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Future stars?

QB Kenny Hill (6-1, 205), Southlake Carroll: The Gatorade and AP Player of the Year in Texas had 3,196 total yards and 42 touchdowns, won a state title as a junior and was a three-year starter.

DT Justin Manning (6-2, 275), Dallas Kimball: One of three four-star defensive tackles expected to sign with Aggies today. Manning is a monster in the middle, a prerequisite for success in the SEC.

DB Kameron Miles (6-2, 200), West Mesquite: Prototypical safety and type of player who can become a fan favorite as a ball-hawking playmaker also capable of providing run support.

WR Ricky Seals-Jones (6-5, 220), Sealy: One of the most heavily recruited receivers in Texas, Jones is a big target for Johnny Manziel and future quarterbacks.

WR JaQuay Williams (6-3, 205), Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy: Originally tabbed a five-star prospect out of high school in 2012, Williams committed to Auburn but didn't qualify. After a year of junior college, he signed with A&M in December and is already on campus.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Today is National Signing Day, a relatively new holiday for many college football fans, where the home team refills its talent coffers with fresh blood in place of yesterday's heroes who have graduated to the NFL or other endeavors.

Recent history has seen Texas and Oklahoma stockpile monster classes with many of the highest-rated prospects from the Lone Star State. But the Longhorns and Sooners now find themselves challenged in recruiting by Baylor, TCU and especially Texas A&M, an awoken giant that is feasting off a successful, fresh start in the Southeastern Conference.

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made it clear during the week leading up to the Cotton Bowl that he wants the Aggies back on the national stage, and his plan of attack starts with recruiting.

"One year does not a program make," he said. "We made some real strides this year, I think, in order to get back on the national stage. So because of that I think it has helped us from a recruiting standpoint. We have to increase the profile of our team size-wise, and we have to increase our talent level if that is where we want to be."

The 2013 crop should go a long way toward increasing that talent level as nearly every recruiting organization has A&M signing a top-10 class today.

The class is probably the largest A&M has had since the scholarship limit was cut to 85 in 1994, said publisher Jeff Tarpley, who has covered Texas A&M recruiting since 1999 and has followed it since the 1970s.

"It's rated a top-10 class by, but the difference between this class and the previous classes is that they got 15, 16 four-star recruits. Regardless of the total numbers you sign, the team that competes for national titles are usually up around 14-, 15-plus total as far as four- and five-star caliber guys go."

Bottom line: The Aggies are expected to get a large infusion of young talent. Counting mid-term signings, A&M has 32 committed players.

Though NCAA rules stipulate that each program can sign only 25 football prospects per academic year, the Aggies are using a very SEC way of circumventing the rules in what is commonly referred to as a "soft cap."

Because A&M signed only 15 prospects in 2012, it can count midterm signees, players who inked on Dec. 19, toward last year's class. These prospects can be any combination of early high school graduates, four-year college transfers or junior college transfers.

The Aggies signed nine early enrollees.

"As an overall group, I have them in my top 10 and moving up fast," said Randy Taylor, who has 30 years of experience in college football recruiting and is the recruiting coordinator for National Collegiate Scouting Association Athletic Recruiting. "What I like about this class is the kids who are already on campus, the early enrollees."

The group has several strengths: two top-tier quarterbacks, including the Texas Class 5A Player of the Year in Southlake Carroll's Kenny Hill; three four-star defensive tackles, led by Dallas Kimball's Justin Manning; and a great group of big, fast defensive backs. But where the Aggies have outdone themselves is at wide receiver, where they have seven commitments.

"It's got numbers; it's got quality; and it measures up as a class that can compete for a national title," Tarpley said.

And Tarpley said A&M is still in on a couple four-star caliber defensive ends: Lancaster's Daeshon Hall, who's committed to Washington, and Torrodney Prevot, who originally committed to USC.

"So they may not be done yet," he said.

Jarret Johnson, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @JohnsonJarret

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Kansas City «3Final | Box
San Francisco2
110th World Series, Game Three. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «117Final | Box
New York80Final | Box
Toronto «83
Minnesota «113Final | Box
San Antonio87Final | Box
Houston «96
Miami «104Final | Box
Phoenix «105Final | Box
Sacramento «93Final | Box
LA Lakers92
Denver112Final | Box
Golden State «119
Portland «99Final | Box
LA Clippers89
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas «3Final(SO) | Box
New Jersey2
Tampa Bay «4Final | Box
Vancouver3Final | Box
Colorado «7
Carolina3Final | Box
Edmonton «6
Columbus1Final | Box
Anaheim «4
Full Scoreboard