Texas A&M Recruiting: 5 Players Aggies Must Sign to Turn Around Defense in 2014
The Texas A&M football team is 5-2 on the season and effectively out of the SEC title hunt because they have a very poor defense. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his assistants need to recruit some elite defensive talent to Aggieland in order to turn the defense around.
The 2013 defense only has three senior starters in Kirby Ennis, Steven Jenkins and Tramain Jacobs. The 2013 Aggie defense is young and devoid of difference makers.
Only junior defensive back Deshazor Everett is playing at an All-SEC level, and he may be overlooked for any postseason award because of the overall struggles of the defense.
Sumlin needs to find and sign some immediate difference makers on the defensive side of the ball in the 2014 recruiting class. This is a look at recruits the Aggies must sign in 2014 in order to turn the defense around.
DE Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett is a weak-side defensive end prospect from Arlington (TX) Martin High School. He is the one recruit in state of Texas that the Aggies had to land, and he gave his verbal commitment to A&M on October 18.
Garrett would be starting at defensive end for A&M against Vanderbilt if he were eligible today. He is a 6'4", 247-pound freak athlete who can terrorize offenses off the edge.
He was moved to nose guard for a game against Weatherford High School, and responded with 8.5 sacks and a blocked punt in the game.
When Garrett arrives on campus he will give the Aggies an immediate boost at rushing the passer. Daeshon Hall will be a sophomore in 2014 with a year in the strength and conditioning program.
He and Garrett will give the Aggies a much improved pass rush over 2013.
LB Hoza Scott
Like Myles Garrett, Hoza Scott has already verbally committed to A&M. Scott is a 6'2", 220-pound outside linebacker recruit from LaPorte (TX) High School.
There are some qualification issues for Scott. If he is able to make it into A&M, he will play and possibly start as a true freshman. He will give the Aggie linebacker corps an injection of size, which they currently lack.
If he is not able to qualify, then he will go to a junior college and the Aggies will have to hope to sign him in two years.
DE Qualen Cunningham
Qualen Cunningham is a weak-side defensive end prospect from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz. The 6'4", 220-pound athlete is ranked as a 4-star recruit and the No. 8 weak-side defensive end recruit in the country by 247sports.com.
Cunningham is a speed-rusher off the edge who could help the Aggies' pass rush. In the SEC you need to be three-deep at every position in order to be a truly elite team.
In 2013, the Aggies do not have an elite pass-rusher on the defense. Daeshon Hall may eventually get to that level, but right now he is simply too lean.
If the Aggies sign Garrett on signing day in 2014, then they will have a solid two-deep at the position in Hall and Garrett. Cunningham would offer them great depth at the position and the addition of he and Garrett would essentially flip the script when it comes to rushing the passer in 2014.
The Aggies would go from no pass rush from their front four, to a very solid pass rush from the weak-side position. According to 247sports.com, the Aggies are leading for Cunningham's signature.
NG Josh Frazier
The Aggies simply have to get stronger up the middle on defense. Some of that will come with the maturation of the defensive tackles from the 2013 recruiting class in Isaiah Golden, Jay Arnold, Hardreck Walker and Justin Manning.
They are going to need to continue to bring in difference makers at the defensive tackle spot. The defensive tackle class in Texas in 2013 is a relatively weak one, so the Aggies will have to find help out-of-state.
Josh Frazier is a 6'3", 320-pound nose guard from Har-Ber High School in Springdale, Ark. He is ranked as a 4-star prospect by 247sports.com and is currently favoring Arkansas in his recruitment.
Frazier is the type of prospect who could step onto the field as a freshman in 2014 and help replace the departed Kirby Ennis. He is a rock in the middle of the defensive line and would give the Aggies some much-needed depth on the interior.
This is an athlete who the Aggie coaches need to convince to come to Aggieland.
SDE Gerald Willis
Gerald Willis is a 6'3", 275-pound athlete from New Orleans (LA) Karr High School. He could play both strong-side defensive end and defensive tackle in college.
The Aggies currently need help at both positions on the field. Jarrett Johnson is a strong-side defensive end prospect from Katy, Texas that has already verbally committed to A&M. The Aggies need more options on the interior and Willis may eventually end up as an interior player.
Willis has the quickness to play off the edge, but he has the size to eventually grow into a very effective 3-technique in college. He is a 5-star recruit, according to 247sports.com, who is the No. 26 overall prospect in the country.
It would constitute a major coup for Kevin Sumlin and his staff to pull Willis out of Louisiana and away from LSU. That is what they will have to do if they want to consistently compete on the field with the LSU's and Alabama's of the world.