Texas A&M Football: Top in-State Recruits Aggies Must Land for 2013 Class
The state of Texas is, by no contest, the best recruiting area in the country. Year after year, many of the nation's top prospects hail from the southern giant, continually giving off the impression that the sport is more of religion than a game in the Lone Star state.
As of right now, 20 of Texas A&M's 21 commits call the state home, with many more still considering. As head coach Kevin Sumlin is looking to bring in a full class of approximately 25-28 in his first full offseason with the Aggies, more Texas recruits will need to verbally pledge to take their talents to College Station.
We take a look at the top five uncommitted Texas prospects that the Aggies must land for their already stellar 2013 class. While A&M has many out-of-state high school athletes considering playing at Kyle Field for the next four years, it is more than a necessity to secure more of Texas' top prospects.
DT Hardreck Walker
Hometown: Houston, TX
The 6'2", 280-pound monster from Westfield High School is one of the biggest (literally) names left on the board at his position. In almost every recruiting year, the interior defensive line prospects seem to fall into their respective colleges early, and the 2013 class is no different. However, Hardreck Walker still remains open and his talents are greatly valued by the Aggies.
While Texas A&M already has two big-shot defensive tackles in Isaiah Golden and Kerrick Huggins committed to their program, the addition of Walker would greatly improve the stock one of the weakest units in College Station.
Furthermore, his commitment would help A&M secure the perception that they are gearing up to build an SEC-style defense. While many associate the conference with deadly speed by linebackers and defensive backs, it is the size down in the trenches, particularly on the defensive side of the ball, that makes the difference on the field.
As of right now, Walker is ranked by Rivals and ESPN as the 17th and 40th best at his position, respectively. He owns offers from 13 programs including powerhouses such as Arkansas, Michigan and West Virginia.
WR Ra'Shaad Samples
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Under new head coach Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M is in transition to a more modern "air raid" offense, making the wide receiver position extremely important. As of right now, the Aggies have four wideouts committed including a giant in Derrick Griffin and speedster in Laquvionte Gonzalez, but in the spread offensive style, one can never have too much receiver talent.
In steps the 6'0", 170-pound Skyline High School product Ra'Shaad Samples. With superb hands and sharp speed, there isn't much anyone can find wrong with the incoming senior prospect. According to Rivals and ESPN, the young man is ranked as the 39th and 94th top WR in the country, both exceptional considering the depth of the group this season.
Samples committing to Texas A&M would just further the Aggies' stellar talent at the position, especially if 5-star wideout Ricky Seals-Jones decides to recommit to the rival Longhorns. For now, Samples has 29 offers from dominant programs such as Ohio State, USC and Notre Dame.
LB Mike Mitchell
Hometown: Plano, TX
In the SEC, one of the most versatile positions on the field that receives considerable NFL respect is at linebacker. Quickness and size morphed with agility and strong tackling are necessary attributes for any quality linebacker, especially in the conference that values them the most.
As Texas A&M enters the league next season, the Aggies will bring in possibly the most talented linebacker unit in the entire SEC. With Sean Porter, Jonathan Stewart and Steven Jenkins poised to rack up some heavy numbers over the course of the season, this defense will own a strong backbone against the toughest rushing attacks in the nation.
Replenishing those ranks, however, is ever more difficult than watching current athletes make plays for your program. The 6'4", 215-pound Mike Mitchell out of Prestonwood Christian Academy, though, would provide ample substitution in this 2013 recruiting class.
As of right now, A&M holds two linebackers in Brett Wade and Reggie Chevis, but Mitchell trumps both in ability and overall talent. He is ranked as the fifth and 13th best nationally at his position by Rivals and ESPN, respectively.
The young incoming-senior has 16 offers from programs around the country including Iowa, USC and Florida, but the Aggies hold the in-state advantage and hope they pick up the big-time prospect.
OL Maurice Porter
Hometown: Missouri City, TX
The key to any great offense has always been a strong offensive line. No matter how talented, athletic and gifted skill players are, none of them will be able to do most anything without top-notch blocking and defensive understanding.
For A&M's first season in the SEC, they own arguably the best O-Line unit in the country. Anchored by future first- and second-round draft picks in senior center Patrick Lewis and junior tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews, the Aggie offense will revolve around their success blocking the best defensive lines in the nation.
Continuing to build winning offensive lines requires great recruits first and foremost and although A&M already has three commits in Ishmael Wilson, Joas Aguilar and J.J. Gustafson, the addition of Maurice Porter would skyrocket this class' value for later in their careers.
The 6'5", 285-pound tackle from Fort Bend Marshall HS has solid footwork to go along with his NFL size. It's not a surprise Rivals and ESPN rank him as the 36th and 54th best offensive tackle nationally, placing him up with some of the top prospects at the position.
For now, the buffet buster owns nine offers with some attractive ones from Oklahoma State and West Virginia, but the Aggies are certainly in the running for this powerful tackle.
DE Torrodney Prevot
Hometown: Houston, TX
As noted before, the SEC is built around what goes on down in the trenches, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. The interior has to be huge, mainly playing the role as "occupier of space" so that the athletic linebackers can make tackles at and behind the line of scrimmage.
However, the defensive ends out on the edge are required to have both size as well as speed, basically mixing the athleticism of a linebacker with the prowess and power of a defensive tackle. The 6'4", 210-pound incoming-senior out of Alief Taylor High School Torrodney Prevot fits that bill perfectly, making his commitment to A&M almost a necessity for new defensive coordinator Mark Snyder.
Even though the Aggies have snared DE prospects such as Jay Arnold and Jordan Points, both hailing from Rockwall, TX, Prevot would cap the position like no other recruit could. Known as one of the best defensive lineman in the state, Rivals and ESPN have ranked him the fifth and 19th best end in the country.
For the time-being, Prevot is one of the most wanted men in the nation. Holding 23 offers from programs such as LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon and Tennessee, the Aggies will have a rough time picking up his commitment. However, never count of Sumlin and this staff of brilliant recruiters.
WR Ricky Seals-Jones
Hometown: Sealy, TX
I will start off this slide by being extremely explicit with why Seals-Jones makes this list. The big-shot wideout from Sealy High School is not a necessity for Sumlin to snare for his 2013 recruiting class; he is, however, a requirement if Texas A&M wants to show the rest of nation they mean business on the gridiron.
If the Aggies want to begin to prove that they have not only moved out from Texas' longtime shadow and into the light of the SEC, but also are currently working to overshadow the Longhorns in the state the two programs share, picking up Seals-Jones would most certainly do the trick.
The 6'5", 220-pound Ricky Seals-Jones is, by consensus, the best wide receiver in the nation, according to Rivals and ESPN. The "Worldwide Leader in Sports" even ranks him as not only the best prospect in the entire state, but also in the whole southwestern region. A&M snaring his commitment would provide a statement to their new conference that they mean business, particularly on the football field.
Even with the Aggies having picked up four other WR prospects in Derrick Griffin, Laquvionte Gonzalez, Quincy Adeboyejo and Kyrion Parker, Seals-Jones is a jewel like no other in this class. Unfortunately, the top-notch wideout has seemingly already started to lean back toward recommitting to Texas.
When Seals-Jones decided to decommit from the Longhorns in early June, he labeled three other universities that would be in the running for his signature on National Signing Day besides Texas. Baylor, LSU and Texas A&M stood as those three, leaving the "75 percent recommitted" Seals-Jones not out of the running yet in Sumlin's eyes.
You're not committed till you're committed.