Texas A&M Football: Will Aggies Beat Texas Longhorns on 2013 Recruiting Trail?

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2012

Texas A&M's move to the top football conference in the country coupled with Texas' recent struggles on the field has leveled the recruiting playing field in the state. With the addition of Kevin Sumlin and his staff at A&M, the Aggies are poised to surpass the Longhorns in recruiting in 2013 and beyond.

Scout currently has A&M ranked with the No. 2 class with Texas at No. 6. Rivals has the Ags' class ranked No. 5 while Texas' is No. 9. The experts over at 247sports have the Aggies' class at No. 9 with Texas' at No. 10. 

Recruiting class rankings are not worth the paper they are written on. What you really need to look at is how a team is filling their needs. Texas A&M has major needs in the front seven of their defense. They currently have five defensive linemen and four linebackers committed, so the coaches are doing a tremendous job this year.

Recruiting rankings can be manipulated. Players' rankings fluctuate over the summer even though no games are being played. There are players whose rankings increase simply because a "name" school offered them. They did nothing on the field to earn the boost in rank, it is just a sheep mentality where if one person likes a player then others follow the lead. 

The Aggies are stocking up on the kinds of playmakers that they will need in order to succeed in the Southeastern Conference. They are improving the depth on the lines and continue to bring in top skill position prospects who like the idea of performing in Sumlin's wide open offense.

Sumlin's staff has five former recruiting coordinators on it. The assistant coaches are adept at selling the program to 17- and 18-year-olds. Sumlin has assembled one of the top recruiting staffs in the country.

Meanwhile in Austin, there have been some dents showing up in the Longhorns' armor. Top prospects Ricky Seals-Jones and Daeshon Hall have decommitted from Texas.

Longhorn commit Tyrone Swoopes performed so poorly at consecutive national combine events that his ranking by 247 plummeted all the way to No. 102 in the nation, and he was reclassified from quarterback to athlete.

That is not a good sign for a school that has gained a reputation for not being able to develop their talent. Evidently Seals-Jones was so impressed with the prospects of catching passes from Swoopes for the next four years that he decommitted shortly after catching passes from him at the Rivals Five Star Challenge.

Texas is looking at another four-loss season with West Virginia, TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Kansas State on their schedule. Going 8-4 in a suspect league like the Big 12 is not going to appeal to many recruits.

Texas is not the elite program they once were on the field, and now A&M can offer recruits the carrot of playing in the top conference in the country. That enticement, along with a top-notch recruiting staff, has tipped the scales in the Aggies' favor.

Texas A&M will bring in a better recruiting class than Texas in 2013 and for the foreseeable future. College football is cyclical in nature, and the pendulum has swung back toward Texas A&M.