The Texas A&M Aggies and Texas Longhorns are set to duke it out for a very important in-state recruit: 4-star weak-side defensive end, Jarrett Johnson.
Johnson is ranked as the No. 22 weak-side defensive end in the country, and he has great intangibles. He has good size at 6'3'', 226 pounds, and he runs a very impressive 4.65 40, according to 247Sports.
Recruiting well in-state is a must if you want to develop a successful program. Consider the fact that the state of Texas is known for producing elite football talent, and you can see why it's so important to keep recruits in-state for both Texas A&M and Texas.
To add another layer of intensity to the recruiting trail in Texas though, each program is trying to keep these recruits away from the other, so every win counts.
Johnson is going to represent a huge pickup for one of these two programs, and according to Courtney Roland of AggieYell.com, the Aggies and Longhorns are his top two choices:
"My top two are Texas and Texas A&M," he said. "They are tied right now. I would say there are no more junior days in line for me. It is safe to say I will be choosing between Texas and Texas A&M."
Let's break down each program's chances of landing the 4-star recruit.
The Aggies are undoubtedly the hot program right now, and Kevin Sumlin and his staff are doing a phenomenal job on the recruiting trail. Texas A&M is set up to compete in the SEC and perhaps even for a national championship spot in the next few seasons, and sensational quarterback Johnny Manziel is the most hyped up player in college football.
There are a lot of factors that Johnson is considering with his decision, per Roland's report:
"Both are great schools," Johnson said. "It could come down to what I want to major in, or the coaches I click better with, or what school is closer to home and that would be A&M. It may come down to the city. Do I want a more country feel or city feel?"
Little details often matter on the recruiting trail, and Johnson is keen on the differences between living at Texas A&M compared to Texas (Roland):
"Right now I live in what I would call more of a country type of atmosphere," said Johnson. "I am used to that so that would be more comfortable. Being downtown, I would feel probably a little bit more on edge, just checking my back, not as safe as a smaller town."
Could that be a deciding factor in Johnson's decision? I've often heard Texas fan say that the Aggies are in the "middle of nowhere," while the Longhorns reside in bustling and beautiful Austin, Texas.
In many cases, the city life tends to draw recruits, but it appears as if Texas A&M could gain a slight advantage via the feel and culture of College Station instead.
In a closely contested recruiting race, that small detail could prove to be vital.
Finally, consider the momentum factor and how much that plays into a recruit's decision.
Texas A&M is one of the three or four hottest recruiting programs in the nation right now. The sky is the limit for the Aggies program, and they building a serious contender.
Texas, on the other hand, has been on a down-swing, and head coach Mack Brown is firmly on the hot seat. Recruiting has taken a hit, as has the on-field product, and it's safe to say that Texas is trending in the exact opposite direction as A&M.
It's very much worth nothing that this perception of Longhorns football can drastically change if Brown can get the team back on track in 2013, but the final factor here concerning Johnson's commitment is that he plans on making his decision before his senior season, per Roland's report.
If that is indeed the case, Texas won't have the opportunity to turn things around just yet, and conversely, Texas A&M wouldn't have the opportunity to cool off.
Everything considered, it appears as if the Aggies have the best chance to land Johnson.