Alabama vs. Texas A&M: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
The biggest game this weekend is undoubtedly Alabama vs. Texas A&M. College Station will be rocking all weekend, as this has been an anticipated matchup since the minute the horn sounded at the end of the Aggies' defeat of the Crimson Tide last season.
Both SEC programs are among the best in the country, and they are enjoying a great 2014 recruiting cycle.
With the pair of juggernauts getting ready to meet on the field, it is time they square off in a recruiting class battle.
2014 Alabama Recruiting Class Capsule
The Crimson Tide have an impressive class of 20 commitments full of great talent. Head coach Nick Saban has acquired outstanding quality to go along with good quantity.
Saban has gone to states such as California, Florida, Iowa, Texas, Ohio, Georgia, Colorado, Minnesota and South Carolina. However, the two leading states for 'Bama's class are Alabama and Louisiana, each with three commitments.
The class is split into 10 offensive and nine defensive prospects, plus a kicker. Alabama is known for having a strong offensive line, so it should be no surprise that unit leads the class with six committed prospects.
2014 Texas A&M Recruiting Class Capsule
Head coach Kevin Sumlin may not have as many commitments as Alabama, but his 14-man class is still a solid group. The Aggies have ascended into one of the top recruiting schools in the country.
Outside of one commitment from Arizona, the entire 2014 Texas A&M recruiting class is from the Lone Star State. Sumlin has eight defensive commitments, which shows that he is focused on that side of the ball.
Yet his six offensive pledges exhibit that the offensive-minded coach will not forget what is the bread and butter of his program.
Top 2014 Alabama Commitments
Alabama's class is loaded with elite 4-star recruits. Bo Scarbrough, a 6'2", 225-pounder, can play running back, receiver or linebacker.
Quarterback David Cornwell has NFL size at 6'5" and 241 pounds. With his arm strength, solid accuracy and ability to work through his reads, he could challenge for the starting job as a true freshman.
Linebacker Christian Miller was committed to Florida, but the 6'4", 222-pound South Carolina native flipped to rush passers in Tuscaloosa.
Ross Pierschbacher, Viane Talamaivao, Dominick Jackson and JC Hassenauer are a quartet of offensive linemen who will make impacts early in their careers. Defensively, cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent and linebackers Zach Whitley and Shaun Hamilton lead the rest of the group.
Top 2014 Texas A&M Commitments
Like Alabama, many of the top commitments for Texas A&M are 4-star prospects. Linebacker Hoza Scott is one of the top defensive players in the nation. He is 6'2", 220 pounds and has excellent speed, range and athleticism.
A player to watch is linebacker/defensive end Josh Walker. He is a talented rusher off the edge due to his great quickness. He could play a hybrid role in the Aggies' 4-3 attacking defense. Running back Varshaun Nixon fits Texas A&M's spread offense well thanks to his speed and productivity in space.
Also, safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner has the talent to make an early impact.
2014 Alabama Recruiting Class Headliner
The best player in the Tide's class is 5-star left tackle Cameron Robinson. Robinson, who is from Louisiana, is such an elite talent that he would have been ranked as the best prospect at his position in 2011 or 2012.
He is a 6'5", 330-pound mammoth who has the movement skills of a tight end. Robinson plays with natural knee-bend, is quick out of his stance and has the feet to shadow and mirror rushers in space. He can adjust to deny inside moves, doesn't panic when facing stunts and twists, plus possesses a strong punch.
In the running game, Robinson has the quickness and agility to get to the second level, powers through the point of attack and can fit in a power- or zone-blocking scheme.
2014 Texas A&M Recruiting Class Headliner
With Johnny Manziel likely leaving for the NFL after this season, the Aggies must make sure they have a quarterback of the future. That is why 5-star quarterback Kyle Allen is such an important player in Texas A&M's recruiting class.
Allen may not be the biggest passer at 6'2.5" and 185 pounds, nor does he possess a cannon for an arm. However, he is a natural distributor of the football who can deliver passes to targets with great accuracy, timing and rhythm.
Allen can make solid pre-snap reads, flashes deceptive mobility and makes great decisions. He throws his receivers open, anticipates the opening of windows and understands how to locate holes in coverages.
Do not be shocked if he challenges for the starting job in 2014, should Johnny Football bolt for the pros.
And the Winner Is...
The Aggies have a great class that is impressive and demands respect. However, Alabama has 16 4-star or higher rated recruits in its class, where Texas A&M only has 14 total commits.
Alabama's class is deeper, has a little more talent and has more quality commitments. Texas A&M's class is nothing to sneeze at, as this was not an easy victory for the Tide, but Alabama's class is better.