The Texas A&M football coaches have less than a month to finalize the 2014 recruiting class before signing day. According to 247sports.com, the Aggies currently have the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation, but there are still some major holes that need to be filled.
The Aggies are currently sitting on 21 commits in the 2014 class. They have an excellent class when it comes to the lines and the offensive skill positions.
The Texas A&M coaches have glaring needs at linebacker and safety in this class. They need to address those needs in order for the program to continue to progress as one of the top programs in the Southeastern Conference.
You need to stack elite recruiting classes on top of each other year after year in order to be an elite SEC program. Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff are in their third year of this process.
This is a look at what a signing day wish list would look like for the Aggies' coaches.
The Aggies only have two linebackers committed in the 2014 class. The Texas A&M defense struggled in 2013 because they had a lack of size and experience in their front seven.
It is imperative that the Aggies address this issue through recruiting. They need to recruit bigger linebackers to tackle the bigger skill position players in the SEC.
Otaro Alaka is a 4-star linebacker recruit from Cypress Falls High School in Houston. He is currently verbally committed to the Texas Longhorns.
Alaka is ranked by 247sports.com as the No. 19 overall outside linebacker in the nation. He is currently 6'3" and 205 lbs, but he has a great frame to add quality weight.
The Aggies would need to convince to Alaka to pick A&M over Texas. Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin has already had some success in this area by flipping defensive tackle recruit Zaycoven Henderson from Texas to the Aggies.
Alaka would likely need a year to redshirt and add some weight, but you can never have too many playmakers on defense. He would give the Aggies a nice pass-rushing option at linebacker.
Kenny Young is a 6'2", 220-pound inside linebacker from John Curtis High School in New Orleans. His primary recruiter for the Aggies was defensive backs coach Marcel Yates.
Yates left A&M to take the defensive coordinator job at Boise State. His departure may have set the Aggies back in their pursuit of Young, although he has an official visit scheduled to A&M on January 17.
Young is the type of player the Aggies have to land if they want to win at an elite level in the SEC. Not only would Young give A&M more size at the linebacker position, it would keep a top talent away from SEC West rival LSU.
Young is ranked as the No. 9 overall inside linebacker in the country by 247sports.com. He is a 4-star recruit.
The Aggies need more size and talent at middle linebacker, and Young would offer that the moment he steps on campus. He would see immediate playing time at middle linebacker.
Nick Harvey is currently committed to Texas A&M. He was one of the first players to pledge to the Aggie class, making his commitment during his junior season in November 2012.
Harvey is a fantastic athlete and playmaker. He has excelled at cornerback, safety, quarterback and wide receiver in high school.
The Aggies plan to use Harvey on both sides of the ball, at cornerback and wide receiver. He is the type of athlete who always comes up with the big play to win games.
There is some concern about Harvey signing with the Aggies because he has taken multiple unofficial visits to Texas. You can never have too many game-breakers on your roster.
The Aggies have plenty of them on offense, but they need a few more of them on defense. The Texas A&M coaches need to hang onto Harvey until signing day.
Edwin Freeman is a 6'0", 212-pound outside linebacker recruit from Arlington, Texas. Freeman played safety as a junior in high school but transitioned to linebacker as a senior, and he is highly valued because of his speed.
Freeman is a 4-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 18 overall player in Texas by 247sports.com. He would give the Aggies more speed at the linebacker position, which would help against the many spread offenses in the SEC.
The recruitment of Freeman has gone down to the wire between A&M and Texas. Right now it appears that Texas is the popular pick to sign him.
Freeman does not currently have the size required to play linebacker in the SEC. He would likely redshirt if he joined the A&M program. You build a program through recruiting, and Freeman is the type of building block recruit that is a part of championship programs.
Steven Parker is a 6'2", 188-pound safety from Jenks, Okla. He is a four-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 9 overall safety in the nation by 247sports.com.
Parker is a recruit that the Aggies must land. With Dylan Sumner-Gardner switching his commitment from A&M to Boise State, the Aggies find themselves without a safety in their 2014 recruiting class.
The 2013 Aggie defense featured very poor safety play. Injuries and suspensions resulted in multiple starting lineups and inconsistent play at the position.
The Aggies desperately need to add more talent to the roster at safety. Parker has the size and speed to help the Aggies immediately. He would see the field against South Carolina in the Aggies' 2014 season opener.
The Aggies need impact players at safety and Parker fits the bill to a T.