Recruiting is the lifeblood of all college football programs. Great players make coaches look good. You cannot win championships without great players and you cannot get great players unless you recruit well.
With the advent of the Internet, college football recruiting has sprung up an entirely new industry. Millions of fans flock to websites to see where recruits are rated and how their college is doing in assembling a recruiting class every year.
Invariably there are going to be misses. These "recruiting experts" are going to rank some kids high who do not deserve it, and there are some players who simply do not pan out. College football coaches will tell you that if half a recruiting class becomes contributors on the field, then that is a great class.
A&M has had a lot of success lately developing football players and putting them in the NFL. This is a look at the other side of the coin. This is a look at some of those recruiting misses on the Aggies football team.
Rhontae Scales was supposed to be the Aggies' next great left tackle when he came out of Killeen High School and signed with the Aggies in the 2009 recruiting class.
Scales showed some ability on the offensive line but evidently struggled to pick up the offensive plays. He was switched over to the defense to take advantage of his immense size and strength.
At 6'6" and 300 lbs, Scales should be able to help an Aggies defensive line desperate for size and strength on the interior. Right now he is third on the depth chart at defensive tackle and will likely only see the field during garbage time.
He has been passed on the depth chart by a true freshman. Scales was simply a recruiting miss.
Desmond Gardiner is a 5'10" 193-lb defensive back from Port Arthur (TX) Memorial High School. He came to A&M as a member of the 2009 recruiting class.
This will be his fourth year in the program, and he is basically a special teams player only. Like Scales, the only time you will see Gardiner on defense is in garbage time or if there are major injuries on the depth chart ahead of him.
He has not shown the ability to make plays in the secondary. He will be a career special teams player.
Domonique Patterson was a very good high school linebacker. He combined with Corey Nelson and Anthony Wallace at Dallas Skyline to form one of the best linebacker corps in the DFW area in recent history.
Nelson went to OU, WIlson to Oregon and Patterson signed with A&M. Patterson's biggest issue is that he simply has not been able to add weight.
He has safety size at 6' and 218 lbs. He has struggled to get on the field at linebacker. He has helped the Aggies on special teams. Patterson is simply not big enough to play linebacker in the SEC.
Brandal Jackson is a case of unrealized potential. He has ideal size for a wide receiver at 6'1" and 191 lbs. He has solid speed and flashed his potential with a 118-yard receiving game as a freshman against Arkansas.
He had a 60-yard touchdown reception against the Razorbacks. That has been the highlight of his career.
Jackson has shown inconsistent hands and has not been a good practice player. He has the speed to stretch a defense but has not been consistent enough to garner playing time.
Jackson was given a new lease on life when Kevin Sumlin and his pass-happy offense arrived in Aggieland, but he has been unable to move up the depth chart. True freshmen are passing him up. Jackson is a good example of a player with a lot of talent who was not willing to work hard enough to meet his potential.
LeKendrick Williams was recruited by Mike Sherman to A&M for one reason and one reason only: to return kicks and punts.
A diminutive 5'8" and 170 lbs, Williams was given a scholarship to shore up the return game. It is now Williams third year on campus, and he has yet to return a punt or kickoff.
Williams has some wiggle; his major issue is that he has not been able to consistently catch the ball.
Although he did show some promise at wide receiver in the spring, Williams has been relatively quiet during two-a-days.
Williams was surpassed on the depth chart in the return game by some of the incoming freshmen. It remains to be seen what he will contribute on the field during his career at A&M.