Texas A&M Football

Texas A&M Recruiting: Ags' Chances at Landing Top 5 National Signing Day Targets

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2014

Texas A&M Recruiting: Ags' Chances at Landing Top 5 National Signing Day Targets

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    The recruiting dead period has come and gone, and the Texas A&M football staff is feverishly at work putting their finishing touches on the 2014 recruiting class. The Aggies have five or six spots left in the class and are in a good position to add their top remaining targets by signing day. 

    The 2014 Texas A&M recruiting class currently has 21 commitments in it and is ranked No. 4 in the nation by 247Sports. The Aggies have six members of the class already on campus and enrolled in school. 

    The NCAA has set a limit of 25 players signed in a single recruiting class. Since the six players are currently enrolled in classes, they can count towards the 2013 class—which opens up more spots for 2014.

    Do not be surprised to see the Aggies add six more players to the 2014 class if they are the right players. The Aggies will be bringing in recruits to visit the campus over the next two weeks in order to try to convince them to sign with A&M.

    This is a look at the Aggies' chances of landing some of those top recruits on national signing day.   

Mattrell McGraw

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    Mattrell McGraw is a 6'0, 183-pound safety from John Curtis High School in New Orleans. He is ranked as a 3-star recruit by 247Sports and the No. 17 overall recruit in Louisiana. 

    McGraw was a participant in the Under Armour All-American game. He has solid size for a safety and has displayed a willingness to come up and be physical against the run. 

    McGraw has nice quickness to the ball and is a plus player in pass defense. In addition to A&M, McGraw has received scholarship offers from Oregon, Alabama, Arkansas and UCLA. 

    When Dylan Sumner-Garner decided to follow former Aggie defensive backs coach Marcel Yates to Boise State, McGraw became a priority for the A&M coaching staff. The Aggies need immediate help at the safety position and McGraw could see playing time the moment he steps on campus. 

    Chance of signing McGraw: 95 percent

     

Steven Parker

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    Steven Parker is a 6'2", 188-pound safety from Jenks, Oklahoma. He is one of the top safety prospects in the country. 

    Parker is a 4-star recruit who is ranked as the No. 2 overall prospect in Oklahoma by 247Sports. In addition to the Aggies, Parker is considering offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Auburn. 

    He has everything you look for in a safety prospect. Parker has size, speed and a bad attitude when he arrives at the football. If he signed with the Aggies, he would give A&M one of the bigger defensive backfields in the country with 6'2" Floyd Raven and 6'2" Kameron Miles. 

    Auburn and Oklahoma are thought to be the Aggies' biggest competition for Parker's signature. This one could go down the wire until national signing day.  

    Chance of signing Parker: 35 percent

     

Otaro Alaka

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    Otaro Alaka is an outside linebacker recruit from Cypress Falls High School in Houston. Alaka is ranked as the No. 18 overall recruit in Texas and is a 4-star prospect according to 247Sports

    Mack Brown and Texas won a head-to-head battle with A&M for Alaka's services when he gave a verbal pledge to the Longhorns in March of 2013. With Charlie Strong taking over in Austin, Alaka is considering his options. 

    The Aggies linebacker play was poor in 2013. It contributed to a defense that was among the worst in the nation. The linebackers should be better in 2014 with more experience, but the A&M coaches need to continue to add talent at the position. 

    Alaka is a 6'3", 205-pound pass-rushing terror. He has explosive speed off the edge and is a very sudden player. He has offers from Texas, LSU, Arkansas and A&M.

    Because of his thin build, Alaka is a very good redshirt candidate. He could be a difference maker at outside linebacker for the Aggies in 2015.   

    Chance of signing Alaka: 80 percent

     

Kenny Young

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    LB Kenny Young makes a tackle during 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl
    LB Kenny Young makes a tackle during 2014 U.S. Army All-American BowlEric Gay/Associated Press

    Kenny Young is an inside linebacker from John Curtis High School in New Orleans. He is a 4-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 8 inside linebacker in the country by 247Sports. 

    Young is a 6'2", 220-pound linebacker who has the size and ability to step in and play immediately in the SEC in 2014. He is an explosive tackler who drives through ball-carriers when he hits them.

    Young would step into the linebacker rotation immediately at A&M and would see the field in 2014. He would help add depth at the position behind Darian Claiborne.

    The competition for Young's signature is coming down to LSU, UCLA and A&M. LSU would have to be considered the prohibitive favorite right now since that is Young's hometown team.

    Chance of signing Young: 40 percent 

Nick Gates

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    Beth Hall/Associated Press

    Nick Gates is a offensive tackle recruit from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. The 6'5", 270-pound offensive tackle is ranked as a 3-star prospect  and ranked as the No. 2 recruit in Nevada by 247Sports.

    The Aggies currently have five offensive linemen committed in the 2014 class but are looking to add one more before signing day. Gates and Olathe, Kansas offensive tackle Braden Smith are the Aggies' top two targets. 

    Gates has tremendous feet and plays with a mean streak. He plays right tackle for Gorman but could project to guard or even left tackle in college. 

    Gates has been offered by Oregon, Nebraska and UCLA. He would be a prime candidate to redshirt in 2014 and then compete for a starting spot for the Aggies at right tackle in 2015.

    Chances of signing Gates: 50 percent 

     

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