One of the main benefits of Texas A&M joining the Southeastern Conference was an expected boost in their recruiting.
The move to the SEC has resulted in a positive impact to the Aggies 2013 recruiting class. The Aggies recruiting should continue to improve as recruits see that the Ags can compete in their new league and the new coaching staff establishes relationships with Texas high school coaches.
With the move to the new conference, A&M is going to have to make some changes to their recruiting criteria. The coaching staff is going to recruit different areas of the country than they have in the past. They are also going to recruit a different type of player.
This is a look at how the move to the SEC has impacted A&M's recruiting.
The Ags move to the SEC will result in more visibility for the program. The SEC television contract is superior to the Big 12 contract. Every SEC team has all of their conference games televised. Almost every SEC team has all of their non-conference games televised.
When the conference establishes the SEC network, then all fans will be able to watch every SEC game on television.
More exposure on television will mean that more recruits will get to see the A&M program. This will generate more interest in A&M and will eventually result in more recruits considering the program.
The SEC is the best collegiate conference in America. The state of Texas produces the most Division I football recruits in the country annually.
It is a huge boon to A&M that the only option available to Texas high school athletes to stay in state and play in the SEC is to attend Texas A&M. It helps separate the A&M brand from all the other schools in the state.
The top two teams in America the past few years have been LSU and Alabama. If you are a high school recruit and want to see those teams play, all you have to do is take a short drive to College Station. Once you are on campus, the Aggie staff can show you all that A&M has to offer.
The fact that A&M is the only Texas school in the SEC is a huge plus for the university.
The SEC is the most physical conference in America and it is dominated by the play in the trenches.
SEC teams win championships by running the ball.
If A&M wants to be successful, then they need to recruit a different type of athlete. The Aggies need to bring in bigger running backs that can handle the pounding from SEC defenses. The average SEC running back is close to 220 lbs while the average running back in the Big 12 was closer to 205 lbs (via ESPN).
The Ags are also going to have to recruit bigger defensive backs. A&M has already started to do this. Floyd Raven and Deshazor Everett will start in the Aggie secondary in 2012. Raven is 6'2" tall while Everett measures in at 6'0". Bigger defensive backs are needed to handle the power running games in the league.
The emphasis on dominating in the trenches can been seen on signing day. SEC teams will sign four to six defensive linemen in every recruiting class.
The Aggies have adjusted to their new league. Right now the Aggies have four defensive linemen committed in the 2013 class in Jordan Points, Isaiah Gilden, Kerrick Huggins and Jay Arnold.
Expect the A&M staff to continue to evaluate defensive linemen over the summer and to try to sign at least one more defensive lineman in the 2013 class. The Ags should sign four to six linemen in every class from here on out.
It takes a special kind of player to want to test yourself against the best of the best on a weekly basis. A lot of guys will talk a big game but will not back it up when it comes time to strap the helmet and pads on.
You saw this with Desoto RB recruit Dontre Wilson (via Rivals.com). He committed to Oregon, which will run a system that will get the ball to Wilson in space. It is the ideal system for Wilson to succeed in. He will have much more success at Oregon against Pac-12 defense than he would running between the tackles against LSU and Alabama.
The A&M coaches need to go out and find the recruits that have a competitive edge to them—the kind of players who want to prove themselves on a weekly basis against the best of the best.
The SEC is going to increase the Aggies brand visibility on a national scale. That will help open up some areas to recruiting that were not previously available.
We've already begun to see A&M recruit in the Southeast region more with offers going out to recruits in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for the 2013 class.
With the addition of Brian Polian to the staff, the Ags have stepped up their recruiting of California high school players also. Terry Price has recruited in the SEC for the past two decades, and you can see his impact on the staff with those offers in the Southeast.
Expect the Agges to continue to focus their out-of-state recruiting efforts on Louisiana. The close proximity of the state to College Station and the abundance of quality athletes makes it a natural fit for A&M.