The 5 Recruits That Will Make or Break Texas A&M's National Signing Day
With Feb. 5 and national signing day inching closer by the day, Texas A&M is looking to lock up any wavering or possible prospects into the fold of its impressive class. The Aggies have already enrolled multiple stars, including 5-star quarterback Kyle Allen and wide receiver Speedy Noil, but many more await printing their names down in just over a week from now.
Bleacher Report breaks down A&M's top five make-or-break prospects for this upcoming signing day and how their committing to the Aggies will impact the future of the rising program.
WR Frank Iheanacho
With top-tier prospects like Allen and Noil enrolled early in College Station, the honor of Texas A&M's top offensive recruit falls instead to 4-star wideout Frank Iheanacho, a 6'6" 220-pound monster from Houston, Texas.
While Allen and Noil will each receive their fair due of praise, Iheanacho remains the only athlete of the three to be actually "signing" on national signing day, Feb. 5.
Don't allow Iheanacho's 4-star rating to fool you—the wide receiver is just shy of earning the distinctive 5-star ranking, and he's the 13th overall pass-catcher and 89th recruit overall, according to 247Sports' Composite Rankings.
DE Myles Garrett
Like Iheanacho, Myles Garrett has opted to sign with A&M on national signing day. The 5-star defensive end will stand as the Aggies' top defensive signee of the class, not to mention the nation's second-rated overall athlete and the best at his position, per 247Sports.
Garrett's top-tier pass-rushing skills separated him from the rest of the pack from the beginning, and his commitment to A&M will make waves immediately for an Aggie defense that fell well under par last season. Holding on to Garrett, as is predicted, will continue to remain a key factor for head coach Kevin Sumlin up to and through national signing day, as he will play a major role for A&M down the road.
S Steven Parker
According to 247Sports, Steven Parker is divided between Texas A&M and in-state power Oklahoma, particularly following Kevin Sumlin's in-home visit with him Monday. The 4-star safety from Jenks, Okla., grew up in the Sooner state, and for A&M to pull him away would be a significant move for the Aggies.
With the loss of 4-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner to Boise State, Parker would be a valuable addition to A&M's recruiting class and would compete for a starting position right off the bat. Oklahoma will continue to remain a favorite, but if A&M can take advantage, snaring Parker would mark a huge win for the Aggies.
OG Braden Smith
Braden Smith continues to waver between A&M, Auburn and TCU, and he will visit College Station this weekend. The 4-star offensive guard would be a valuable addition to a class loaded with tackles, and he would easily stand as the Aggies' top commit in the category.
From now through signing day, Smith will most likely continue to ponder between the three programs, only making his decision once Feb. 5 rolls around. Considering A&M's recent spell of talented offensive linemen, including second overall 2013 NFL draft selection Luke Joeckel and predicted 2014 first-rounder Jake Matthews, the Aggies have a proven track record with the unit, a factor that will serve as an advantage in Smith's recruitment.
LB Otaro Alaka
Otaro Alaka remains a current Texas commit, but as noted by EJ Holland of the Dallas Morning News, recent events involving the Longhorns have forced the outside linebacker to reconsider his options. Alaka cancelled his official visit to LSU recently, leaving only A&M and Texas. As noted by 247Sports, both head coaches—Kevin Sumlin and Charlie Strong—met with him on Thursday, hoping to persuade the 4-star athlete to join their cause.
With A&M's loss of Hoza Scott due to grades, adding Alaka would fill in the gaps at linebacker. Ultimately, his addition would be both a valuable asset and a statement of the Aggies' recruiting power in the state, swaying even Texas commits to their side.