Texas A&M Football Recruiting: Meet the Aggies' 2014 Class

Jim Sullivan@jsully711Featured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2014

Texas A&M Football Recruiting: Meet the Aggies' 2014 Class

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    Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

    National signing day has finally arrived—the circled date on the calendar that every high school prospect, college coaching staff and recruiting junkie looks forward to during the offseason. And at Texas A&M, the tables have suddenly shifted into the Aggies' favor, as the 2014 class looks to be arguably the school's best, well...ever. 

    With the official word out on commitments, head coach Kevin Sumlin registered 18 prospects for this offseason's class, which comes in as No. 5 nationally and No. 3 in the SEC, per 247Sports.

    Bleacher Report breaks down each of the Aggies' 18 high school commits, delving into whether any have a shot at early playing time and where they stand on the depth chart. 

    *All information, statistics and rankings courtesy of 247Sports.com.

S Donovan Wilson

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'0.5", 180 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star safety, No. 1337 overall prospect

    High School: Woodlawn (Shreveport, La.)

    Other Finalists: Utah, Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe

    Commit Date: 2/1/2014


    With the late addition of Wilson to A&M's class, the Aggies fill in the gap left by 4-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, who flipped to Boise State mid-December. The 3-star Louisiana native will act as more of a project for the coaching staff and should have minimal impact on the starting roster during his freshman season. Nonetheless, he adds to a depleted Aggies secondary and will force immediate competition at safety, where the program has been weak as of late. 

CB Cedric Collins

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 5'10", 175 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star cornerback, No. 1098 overall prospect

    High School: Skyline (Dallas, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Houston, Kansas State and Nebraska

    Commit Date: 8/22/2012


    Despite the rumors surrounding Collins and his fallout from the Dallas Skyline program, the much-needed cornerback prospect was allowed a medical scholarship to A&M, according to Kate Hairopoulos of The Dallas Morning News. However, due a career-ending back injury, he won't ever see the field for the Aggies. For Texas A&M to honor his scholarship offer, though, remains a class act. 

OT Kealvin Davis

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'4.5", 247 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star offensive tackle, No. 564 overall prospect

    High School: Lakeview Centennial (Garland, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, North Texas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State

    Commit Date: 1/27/2013


    Over the course of the past few years, A&M has garnered a reputation for developing quality offensive linemen, allowing Luke Joeckel a second overall selection in last year's NFL draft and Jake Matthews a quick route to a top-tier first-round selection. Davis has a long way to go in terms of earning playing time, especially in terms of his weight and muscle mass, but his technique will help him to compete in the unit from the get-go. 

OT Koda Martin

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'6.5", 245 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star offensive tackle, No. 488 overall prospect

    High School: Manvel (Manvel, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Alabama, Arkansas and Auburn

    Commit Date: 6/8/2013


    Similar to Davis, Martin brings talent to a position that has thrived on developing future NFL offensive linemen. He is another tackle with the potential of snaring playing time later in his career. Overall, he adds depth to the unit and will search to compete for a starting role during his upperclassman years. 

WR Jamal Jeffery

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 5'9", 168 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star wide receiver, No. 415 overall prospect

    High School: Lufkin (Lufkin, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 28 receptions for 413 yards and four touchdowns

    Other Finalists: None

    Commit Date: 12/14/2012


    Considering the talent and scope of the wide receiving unit, including early enrollee Speedy Noil, Jeffery isn't exactly top tier or ready to provide an immediate impact. However, with many of the Aggies' recent top wideouts coming from literally nowhere (see Travis Labhart), Jeffery has the potential to emerge as a similar serious-impact type of athlete. Right now, though, he will sit near the bottom of the depth chart with lots of room for improvement. 

OT Zach Ledwik

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'4.5", 271 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 3-star offensive tackle, No. 321 overall prospect

    High School: La Grange (La Grange, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Arizona State, Houston and Missouri

    Commit Date: 6/15/2013


    Another offensive lineman, another project for the coaching staff. The Aggies didn't exactly attack many of the country's top-ranked linemen, but snaring commitments from under-the-radar athletes such as Ledwik gives Texas A&M the opportunity to develop them over time, especially with an elite group of players already working within the program. 

DE Jarrett Johnson

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 226 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star defensive end, No. 309 overall prospect

    High School: Seven Lakes (Katy, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Missouri, Northwestern and Oklahoma

    Commit Date: 6/2/2013


    Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M made it very clear where its focus lay during this offseason—defense. Johnson was just one stepping stone in the class' strong defensive presence, adding a strong pass-rusher with potential for upward movement and immediate on-the-field time. The defensive line is by far one of the most volatile units, and he will have the opportunity to earn a spot in the starting lineup from the start. 

LB Josh Walker

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 220 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star outside linebacker, No. 233 overall prospect

    High School: Gilmer (Gilmer, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 65 tackles and three sacks

    Other Finalists: Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech

    Commit Date: 10/25/2012


    Linebacker is filled with question marks for A&M's defense, and while the addition of Walker doesn't exactly answer any of those questions, it does begin to fill in the blanks. Considering the lackluster performance of the unit last season, he will have the opportunity to compete for immediate time, especially with the knowledge that the Aggies' leading in-season tackler was true freshman Darian Claiborne. 

DT Zaycoven Henderson

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'1", 280 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star defensive tackle, No. 219 overall prospect

    High School: Longview (Longview, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 36 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and two sacks

    Other Finalists: Texas, Arkansas, Baylor and Nebraska

    Commit Date: 1/8/2014 — early enrollee


    Since losing Spencer Nealy two seasons ago, the Aggies have been short one dominant defensive tackle. Even with Isaiah Golden, Justin Manning and Hardreck Walker on the roster, Henderson has an immediate chance to impact the starting lineup. It would come as no shock to see him garnering some time on the field next season. 

S Armani Watts

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 5'10.5", 179 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star safety, No. 207 overall prospect

    High School: North Forney (Forney, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 56 tackles and nine interceptions for three touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Arizona State, Clemson and Nebraska

    Commit Date: 3/2/2013


    Anyone who saw the Chick-fil-A Bowl understands how horrifically terrible the A&M secondary was; the program needs immediate help at the position. Sumlin and his coaching staff responded, adding multiple athletes such as Watts to the mix, who will be vying for a starting role from Day 1 of fall camp. 

LB Otaro Alaka

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 205 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star outside linebacker, No. 163 overall prospect

    High School: Cypress Falls (Houston, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Texas, Arkansas, Baylor and Boise State

    Commit Date: 1/26/2014


    A big-time steal from Texas in the closing weeks of recruiting, Alaka adds another strong linebacker prospect to a defensively focused class. The 4-star Houston native brings immense talent to the table, and similar to Walker, he should emerge as a contender for a role on the defense next season. 

DE Qualen Cunningham

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'4", 220 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star defensive end, No. 156 overall prospect

    High School: Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)

    Other Finalists: Arizona State, Boise State, Michigan State and Nebraska

    Commit Date: 10/24/2013


    Cunningham's signing represents another out-of-state addition with immense talent, and he will serve as a pass-rusher for a defense that has lacked any such threat since Damontre Moore's graduation two seasons ago. Initially, Cunningham will have no problem competing and should be in the mix for on-the-field time once the season rolls around next fall. 

DT DeShawn Washington

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'3", 277 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star defensive tackle, No. 146 overall prospect

    High School: Nederland (Nederland, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas Tech

    Commit Date: 3/2/2013


    Washington represents another top-tier defensive tackle, which is a position that Texas A&M consistently showed problems with last season. Overall, his addition gives yet more depth to the unit as a whole, and he will compete for immediate playing time with many of the Aggies' other young defensive tackles. 

WR Frank Iheanacho

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 6'6", 220 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star wide receiver, No. 89 overall prospect

    High School: Westside (Houston, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 44 receptions for 652 yards and 16 touchdowns

    Other Finalists: Oregon, Arkansas, LSU and Florida State

    Commit Date: 1/4/2014


    The massive wide receiver may not snare much starting time in his first season with A&M, but the development of Iheanacho will serve as yet another reminder of the Aggies' indomitable wideout unit, which features athletes such as Ricky Seals-Jones, Malcome Kennedy and LaQuvionte Gonzalez. With Iheanacho's 6'6" frame, the young wide receiver brings all the tools of a top-tier wideout and will generate consistent playing time down the stretch of his career with the Aggies. 

CB Nick Harvey

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    Credit: 247Sports

    Height/Weight: 5'9", 175 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 4-star cornerback, No. 57 overall prospect

    High School: Travis (Richmond, Texas)

    Other Finalists: Texas, Baylor, LSU and Arkansas

    Commit Date: 11/26/2012


    The Richmond product will serve as the Aggies' top-signing defensive back prospect, and he will immediately add to the quality of a depleted A&M secondary. Harvey's skills at cornerback will grant him access to the starting lineup—or at least playing time—if he performs well during fall camp. He has the potential to hold the position down the road. 

QB Kyle Allen

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    Height/Weight: 6'3", 200 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 5-star quarterback, No. 10 overall prospect

    High School: Desert Mountain (Scottsdale, Ariz.)

    Senior-Year Stats: 186-of-272 passing for 2,535 yards, 29 touchdowns and 10 interceptions

    Other Finalists: UCLA, Alabama, Arizona and Arizona State

    Commit Date: 6/3/2013 — early enrollee


    You may be looking at Johnny Manziel's replacement, which is a task as unenviable as they come. Kyle Allen, the nation's top-ranked quarterback and early enrollee at Texas A&M, will immediately compete with senior Matt Joeckel and sophomore Kenny Hill for the vacant quarterback position. With his strong arm and pocket mobility, he may earn the job as early as this spring. 

WR Speedy Noil

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    Height/Weight: 5'10.5", 176 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 5-star wide receiver, No. 8 overall prospect

    High School: Edna Karr (New Orleans, La.)

    Other Finalists: LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Florida

    Commit Date: 1/2/2013 — early enrollee


    Even with a name like Speedy Noil, this 5-star wideout has earned his reputation as one of the nation's very best high school prospects, garnering buzz out of New Orleans for more than the past year. From Day 1 in College Station (which began with his early enrollment), he will have the opportunity to find a spot on the starting lineup, especially given his talent in the slot. 

DE Myles Garrett

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    Height/Weight: 6'4", 240 lbs

    Position/Ranking: 5-star defensive end, No. 2 overall prospect

    High School: James Martin (Arlington, Texas)

    Senior-Year Stats: 88 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks

    Other Finalists: Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor and Florida State

    Commit Date: 10/18/2013


    Meet Myles Garrett, the nation's big fish. Around the country, the Arlington-based defensive end has been hailed as an elite recruit, with some services even labeling him the nation's top prospect for the 2014 class. Here is the simple fact about him—he will provide an immediate impact from Day 1. His talents at pass rushing exceed any of the Aggies' current defensive linemen. 

National Signing Day Heat Map

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    This heat map breaks down the country's top 200 prospects and their college destinations, with live updates for uncommitted athletes as they reach their decision.