Texas A&M Football: Breaking Down the Aggies' ESPN 150 Prospects
As far as the past decade is concerned, Texas A&M never threatened to become a recruiting power with a national magnetism. Pulling a 5-star big-shot out of thin air seemed to be a less than common occurrence in Aggieland, meaning that most of what went on in College Station was player development.
While Mack Brown and the Longhorns decisively took over the state, A&M faltered in the final years of Slocum and throughout the tenure of Franchione. Once Sherman took over, however, many Aggies began to see an upturn on the recruiting side as he brought in NFL talent from across Texas.
Unfortunately for Sherman, his recruiting prowess didn't transfer over to on-the-field stratagems. This turn of events leads into today where former Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin leads one of the most powerful 2013 classes in the country.
Sumlin's youth, eccentric spirit and swagger have allowed him to form an aggressive recruiting style unlike one A&M has seen in awhile. Already sporting a jewel for the class, the young coach continues to build on the solid foundation he has laid out over the past few months.
With the worldwide leader in sports releasing their expertly-toned ESPN 150 just a few days ago, we can now begin to delve deeper into where Texas A&M stands among the national recruiting powers.
No. 103 Jamar Gibson
Making his way out of Baytown, TX, the 6'1", 190-pound wideout is more than a threat to most any college secondary. Holding onto the Aggies' lowest spot in the ESPN 150, Gibson's sticky hands and crisp route-running make him a more than deadly prospect.
Putting up solid numbers for his career, Gibson has 62 catches for 999 yards and 13 touchdowns. Ranked as the 12th overall WR by ESPN, the young man is a brilliant pickup for Sumlin and his aging receiving corps.
Verbally committing to the Aggies just over a year ago, Sumlin has to be more than pleased to find out that Gibson's loyalties remain unswayed.
No. 101 Joas Aguilar
While the Aggies offensive line, composed of all returning starters, is certainly the most solid part of the entire squad, the group of men are not getting any younger. Head coach Kevin Sumlin may be an offensive genius, but no offense works without a deep foundation in an O-line.
Texas A&M has a ton of talent strewn around the unit, but most come in the form of either centers or tackles. For a some strange reason, it seems especially difficult for A&M to acquire top-notch guards, but that curse looks to be over.
With the commitment of the No. 3 guard in the country, the Aggies gain another big-time recruit. Making his way out of Birdville High School in Richland Hills, TX, Aguilar comes in at a threatening 6'5", 285 pounds. Sitting just outside the top 100 prospects in the nation, the dangerous buffet buster is a giant addition to the 2013 Aggies recruiting class.
No. 51 Kohl Stewart
Jumping down 50 spots into the midst of some of the top talent in the country is the big-shot QB prospect out of Houston, TX. Standing at a solid 6'2" and 195 pounds, Stewart is considered a Top 5 quarterback by ESPN, boasting both an athletic build and accurate arm.
Starting at St. Pius X High School for the past two seasons, Stewart has acquired top-notch statistics including a 57 percent completion percentage, 6,268 yards passing, 59 touchdowns and only 20 interceptions. Putting down his commitment to A&M last July, Stewart, like Gibson, has chosen to stick with his decision.
Stewart is a feared pocket-passer and dangerous prospect, and Sumlin's ability to hold onto this big-time QB is brilliant.
No. 50 Laquvionte Gonzalez
Moving down just one spot to No. 50, the Aggies second most valuable prospect according to ESPN is a top-notch athlete out of Cedar Hill, TX. Considered the best prospect from the entire Dallas area, Sumlin picking up his commitment early last month was a huge move in the right direction for A&M.
Starting at Cedar Hill High School for the past two seasons, Gonzalez has racked up 37 receptions for 555 yards and six touchdowns through the air and rushed for an impressive 1,170 yards on 132 carries for 16 touchdowns.
Running a speedy 4.41 seconds on the 40-yard dash, this young recruit is easily one of the fastest in the entire class. His versatility and playmaking ability make him the ultimate offensive weapon, making ESPN's No. 6 positional ranking more than appropriate.
No. 28 Derrick Griffin
Coming out of Rosenberg, TX, the crown jewel of A&M's 2013 class is a formidable, if not unstoppable, receiving force. Ranked as the top tight end in the country, Griffin has set himself up to be the next big thing in Aggieland.
Proving himself for the past two years at Terry High School, the young TE has picked up just over 1,000 yards receiving on 64 receptions for 20 touchdowns. Standing at a massive 6'6" and only 220 pounds, Griffin has speed, hands and a fierce competitive nature worthy of any SEC recruit.
Making his commitment less than a week after A&M's Texas Bowl victory over Northwestern, which took place less than an hour from his hometown, Sumlin's 2013 gem brought hope to many an Aggie who thought their recruiting prowess was leaving with Mike Sherman.
No. 53 Dontre Wilson
The all-purpose back out of DeSoto, TX, has a ton of offers according to Rivals, but no decision just yet. With programs such as Texas, LSU, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Oregon all ready and willing to hand him a scholarship, the likelihood of Sumlin picking up the big-time back seems low.
However, not many saw the former Houston head coach doing much of anything in his first year recruiting for the Aggies. Considering Wilson's talent on the field, his commitment will be a huge pickup for whoever snares him.
Chance of Gaining Commitment: Low
No. 89 Maurice Smith
Coming out of Sugar Land, TX, the quick cornerback has yet to reach a final college destination. Like Wilson, his talents are not unknown as programs from Alabama to Notre Dame have their sights set on him.
Considering A&M's struggling secondary over the past few years, adding this kind of speed and agility would work wonders for the defense. Overall a tough prospect to gain favor of, keep an eye out for Smith's commitment somewhere in the near future.
Chance of Gaining Commitment: Low
No. 138 Mike Mitchell
The outside linebacker from Plano, TX, has been considered one of the best in the state for a while now. Receiving a ton of attention from Florida, Iowa, and TCU, Mitchell has many an option for where he wants to attend college.
While not exactly a Top 100 recruit, his kind of aggressive play and tackling ability would help out a defense that is losing two of their leaders at his position after next season. Mitchell is said to be heavily considering the Aggies, along with many other universities, but picking him up seems more than a possibility.
Chance of Gaining Commitment - Medium High
No. 147 Antwuan Davis
Sitting just an hour and a half away from College Station in Bastrop, TX, this young corner would be a huge addition to this class. As mentioned with Maurice Smith, A&M's secondary is a mess and some solid talent there would do wonders, making Davis an ideal target.
Considered more of zone player, Davis brings a unique run support aspect to the cornerback position. Sumlin will have trouble getting Davis to commit now with every program from LSU to Oklahoma looking for his verbal pledge, but as with many other recruits, the young head coach is known to work miracles.
Chance of Gaining Commitment - Low