Texas A&M vs. Ole Miss: Whose 2014 Recruiting Class Is Better Right Now?
Texas A&M will travel to Oxford this weekend, and waiting for the Aggies will be Ole Miss. The Rebels have a 3-2 record and will be looking to slow down the 4-1 Aggies' offense.
The pair of SEC programs also are in the middle of constructing great recruiting classes, as they've collected an impressive list of commitments. Recruiting is important for both teams, and their staffs love to attack the trail to search for talented prospects.
With two of the better recruiting schools in the country facing one another Saturday night, it's time to decide which has the better class right now.
Texas A&M's 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
The Aggies have become one of the sexiest recruiting schools in the country. Head coach Kevin Sumlin has the distinct advantage of telling talented Texas recruits that they can stay in their beloved native state while still competing in the SEC.
Sumlin has assembled a class of 14 commitments, and 13 are from the Lone Star State. Texas A&M has eight defensive commitments, including four at defensive back.
Offensively, the class has six pledges. Offensive line depth has been the emphasis, evidenced by the three commitments at that unit. The defensive line also will get multiple reinforcements, as three prospects in the class play in the defensive trenches.
Ole Miss' 2014 Recruiting Class Capsule
After a banner recruiting year in 2013, Ole Miss is building another impressive group. Head coach Hugh Freeze has a talented staff of recruiters, and all of them do a great job of fostering relationships with recruits.
The Rebels have a 21-man class, and six different states are represented. Mississippi leads the way with 11 commitments, so Freeze clearly understands how important it is to lock up his backyard. Yet Georgia, Alabama, Texas, Missouri and Tennessee all have been raided by the Rebels.
The class is broken down into 10 players on offense, eight on defense, two athletes and one kicker. With four, wide receiver/tight end is the position with the most commitments. However, the offensive line, defensive line and defensive back units have three commitments each.
Texas A&M's Top 2014 Commitments
Hoza Scott is a 4-star outside linebacker who is one of the best defensive players in America. The 6'2", 220-pounder has great speed, athleticism and range on the second level.
Varshaun Nixon, a 4-star running back, is a perfect fit for the Aggies' spread offense. He has great quickness, can explode out of his cuts and catches the football well out of the backfield at 5'9" and 185 pounds. A 4-star defensive back, Nick Harvey, who is 5'9" and 175 pounds, has the athletic ability, instincts and toughness to play cornerback or safety.
Dylan Sumner-Gardner is a 6'1" safety who weighs 193 pounds. He can hit with force on the third level, and the 4-star prospect also shows solid vision. Josh Walker and Jarrett Johnson are 4-star defensive players who can play linebacker and defensive end.
Ole Miss' Top 2014 Commitments
C.J. Hampton is a 4-star safety who can play with anyone in the nation. He displays great speed, sees the field well and can set and reset coverages on top of the defense.
At nearly 6'6" and 304 pounds, Andy Bauer can play right tackle or kick inside to guard. The 4-star offensive lineman plays nasty, physical and loves to bury his opponent in the dirt. D.K. Buford is an explosive 4-star running back who can also play receiver at 5'10" and 190 pounds.
Buford will be joined in the offensive backfield by Akeem Judd, a 4-star recruit who will provide some power to the Rebels' rushing attack. Like Judd, Jeremy Liggins is a 4-star JUCO recruit. He is 6'3", weighs 270 pounds and could play an array of positions.
Demarquis Gates is a speedy 4-star outside linebacker who plays instinctively at 6'2" and 220 pounds. At 6'4" and 185 pounds, 3-star prospect Dayall Harris has quicker-than-fast athleticism and great ball skills. He will make an impact for the Rebels as a receiver in a season or two.
Texas A&M's 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
The main attraction for the Aggies' recruiting class is 5-star quarterback Kyle Allen. The Arizona native is nearly 6'3", weighs 185 pounds and is an intelligent passer.
Allen can work from under center, quickly drop back and set up in a hurry. He makes good reads, can get the ball out of his hands quickly after he plants and has great delivery quickness in his throwing motion. He's a solid ball-handler and can throw receivers open with accuracy.
Allen doesn't possess incredible natural arm strength, but he does an impressive job of using his legs to generate velocity on his throws to the perimeter and third level. He has great anticipation skills, can release the ball into spots on the field before his receivers appear to be open and flashes running ability.
He is the quarterback of the future for Texas A&M.
Ole Miss' 2014 Recruiting Class Headliner
Roderick Taylor is a 4-star offensive lineman who has 5-star talent. At 6'3.5" and 305 pounds, Taylor can play all five positions on the offensive line.
However, it appears he will play guard for the Rebels. A good athlete for his size and position, the Mississippi native displays outstanding quickness at the snap. Taylor has the ability to consistently jump on top of defensive linemen and has excellent strength and power.
He plays even bigger than his size at the point of attack, easily moves opponents off their marks and has the strength to sustain through the whistle on running plays. Taylor does a great job of rolling his hips and bringing his feet when engaged, which helps him overwhelm defensive linemen.
He dances well in short areas to protect the quarterback, flashes a strong punch and has the ability to use his mitts to counter and re-counter moves by rushers. With some technique refinement, Taylor has the potential to be an All-SEC guard for Ole Miss.
With both classes being impressive, this recruiting battle is really a draw. However, since a winner must be decided, hairs must be split.
Ole Miss has 21 commitments, and six are 4-star recruits. Texas A&M only has 14 pledges, but nine are 4-star commitments, and the Aggies also boast a pledge from a 5-star prospect.
So although the people in Oxford are putting together a great class, the folks in College Station are getting more value, which makes them the winner of this recruiting class battle.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Don't forget to check out the interactive 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. It can be used to locate and track the top recruits in the country!