Consensus five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack of Gladewater said his decision to attend Texas A&M came down to his relationship with coach Kevin Sumlin and his coaching staff.
Mack, rated as the No. 6 recruit in the nation by ESPN, announced his decision on ESPNU during a ceremony at Gladewater High School.
Mack gave his pledge to Sumlin during his official visit Jan. 16, but he said that TCU was a close second.
“They really were my leader,” Mack said. “That’s why I said it was a tough decision. They were no doubt the second team; they were right there.”
In the end, it was the Aggies’ in-home visit that solidified the decision for the Mack family.
“Like I said, TCU, that in-home visit with Coach Patterson was great,” Mack said. “The in-home with Texas was great, too. At the same time, when Coach Sumlin came, there weren’t even any questions we had to ask. We were just so familiar with their staff and their program.”
Mack had committed to A&M last year but decommitted Dec. 19 — allowing schools such as TCU, Texas and LSU back into the picture.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that it reopened it really,” said Mack’s father, Coris. “When Daylon went through his decommitting process — I know the timing might have seemed bad — but it was really him taking a step back to see what was going to happen.
“We still kept open lines of communications with A&M.”
A&M’s hire of defensive coordinator John Chavis from LSU in early January helped Mack’s decision. Mack said at one point LSU was his leader because of Chavis.
Coris played at Texas A&M-Commerce in the early 1990s and fully supported his son’s decision to pick the Aggies.
Mack said he is excited about the chance to play in the Southeastern Conference.
“That was a huge factor,” Mack said. “It’s been a huge factor for a lot of Texas kids. You don’t have to go to these out of state schools — LSU or Alabama — to play good football.”