Texas A&M National Signing Day Preview: Targets, Predictions and Rumors Roundup

Michael Taglienti@@miketag98Featured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2014

Texas A&M National Signing Day Preview: Targets, Predictions and Rumors Roundup

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    There is one week left until national signing day when the Texas A&M football coaches will ink the 2014 recruiting class. As should be expected with recruiting, there are a lot of rumors going around about who will sign with the Aggies and who will decommit and go elsewhere.

    Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have assembled one of the top recruiting classes in the country. If the Aggies can finish with the right recruits, then it will be the top-ranked class the Aggies have signed in more than a decade.

    The week leading up to national signing day is always an anxious one for college football fans. When your team's future can be decided based on the whims of a 17-year-old high school student, it lends itself to feelings of uncertainty.

    In the days leading up to signing day there will be rumors and innuendo about where the top prospects are going to end up. College football recruiting fans will ride a roller coaster of emotion as the rumors favor their team or their team's rival.

    This is a look at all the rumors and predictions surrounding the Aggies' 2014 recruiting class.


Nick Harvey Will Stick with the Aggies

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    Bob Levey/Associated Press

    Nick Harvey caught Aggie fans off guard when he decided to take an official visit to Texas on January 24. He is an elite recruit at a position of tremendous need for the Aggies. 

    Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder needs help in the secondary and Harvey could step in and see playing time immediately. The 4-star cornerback is one of the top-ranked recruits in the Aggies' class.

    Sumlin has designs on using Harvey on offense, defense and special teams. He is an impact player who would help the Aggies in 2014.

    Harvey was the first recruit in the 2014 class to pledge to Sumlin. He committed to the Aggies in November 2012 because he wanted to play against the best competition in the country in the SEC.

    Nothing has changed in that area. Harvey will stick with his commitment and sign with the Aggies on February 5.  

Aggies Down to Braden Smith on the OL

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The Aggies want to add one more OL to the 2014 class. The A&M coaches had targeted Nick Gates and Braden Smith for the one remaining spot. 

    Gates recently committed to Nebraska so the Aggies will focus their attention on Smith. He took an official visit to A&M on January 24.  

    Smith is a 6'6", 295-pound athlete from Olathe, Kan., who projects as an offensive guard in college. He is ranked as a 4-star prospect who is the No. 7 guard in the nation by 247sports.com

    Smith is extremely strong, but will likely need a redshirt year to make the transition from Kansas high school football to the SEC. If he signs with the Aggies, it would put a nice finish on a strong offensive line class for A&M. 


Which Safety Will the Aggies Sign?

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    Howard Matthews is beat for a TD against Duke
    Howard Matthews is beat for a TD against DukeJohn Bazemore/Associated Press

    The Aggies have a tremendous need at the safety position. The safety play during 2013 left a lot to be desired and the Aggies need more depth at the position. 

    The Texas A&M coaches are currently recruiting three prospects at the position. Steven Parker, Mattrell McGraw and Donovan Wilson are all being considered by the Aggies. 

    Wilson is somewhat of an unknown. He is a 6'0", 180-pound playmaker at safety who has flown under the radar in recruiting. 

    As a senior at Woodlawn High School in Shreveport, La., Wilson snagged 13 interceptions at safety, and caught 57 passes for 860 yards at wide receiver. Wilson took an official visit to A&M on January 24. 

    Wilson is somewhat of a backup plan for Parker and McGraw right now. Expect McGraw to sign with the Aggies on February 5 and Wilson to look elsewhere. 

Alaka or Young?

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    Kenny Young makes tackle during U.S. Army Bowl
    Kenny Young makes tackle during U.S. Army BowlEric Gay/Associated Press

    Much like safety, the Aggies have a tremendous need at linebacker. The A&M coaches are recruiting Kenny Young and Otaro Alaka in an attempt to add depth at the position. 

    Young played for John Curtis High School in New Orleans, and he is still considering LSU. It is extremely hard to pull a Louisiana kid away from LSU. There is tremendous pressure to play for the state school. 

    Alaka verbally committed to Texas in March 2013 after coming down to the Aggies and the Longhorns. When Mack Brown was let go and Charlie Strong was hired, Alaka began considering his options again.

    He has narrowed it down to A&M and Texas again. Expect Alaka to go with the staff that he has developed a relationship with and sign with the Aggies on February 5. Young will likely stay home and sign with LSU.

    Update: Alaka committed to play for the Aggies.