One of the biggest priorities for first-year Texas coach Charlie Strong is to take back the state of Texas on the recruiting trail.
Texas A&M would like a word about that. And the word is "no."
(Or, "YESSIR." Either way.)
On Thursday, the Aggies landed a verbal commitment from 4-star wide receiver Kemah Siverand of Cypress Ridge High School in Houston, Texas. That pledge came one day after 5-star dual-threat quarterback Kyler Murray, the No. 1 prospect at that position in the country, verbally committed to A&M.
As always, this is the time to point out that verbal commitments don't mean a thing until pen meets paper meets fax machine next February. Still, Murray's family ties to A&M should mean his verbal is solid. With that likely being the case, Murray is one of the influential cornerstones of the Aggies' 2015 class.
Consider this blurb from Dave Behr of the Austin American-Statesman about A&M's recent string of recruiting news:
Wednesday’s announcement by Murray seemed to be the catalyst for Siverand to make his decision public. News of Siverand’s intention to declare Thursday broke shortly after Murray committed, and this came just one day after Siverand released a top 18, which included Texas, Texas Tech and TCU among other national power programs.
Murray’s decision also seems to have affected A&M’s top overall recruit, Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack. The five-star prospect tweeted Thursday, 'I have cancelled my summer visits,' after weeks of speculation he might open his recruitment.
With eight whole months until signing day, A&M already has a pair of 5-star commits—Murray and Mack—and the No. 4 class in the country. Nine of A&M's 13 commits are one of the top 50 players in the state.
Yes, things are bound to change (for better or worse) between now and then, but A&M has shown no signs of slowing down on the recruiting trail. A&M is heavily in the running for three other top-10 in-state players: linebacker Malik Jefferson, cornerback Kendall Sheffield and wide receiver Damarkus Lodge.
The last time a school reeled in five of Texas' top 10 players was in 2012 when the Longhorns signed running back Johnathan Gray, defensive tackle Malcom Brown, tackle Kennedy Estelle, guard Curtis Riser and receiver Cayleb Jones.
It's not that Texas isn't in the running for top-tier prospects for the '15 class—Sheffield is also high on the Horns—or that Strong is bound for a disappointing class. Texas can't control what A&M does. The only thing the Horns can do is go out and win. Do that and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Horns pick up the momentum they've lost on the recruiting trail.
But there's no denying A&M has the momentum in Texas at the moment. When you have momentum, the last thing you want to do is give it up.
Especially to Texas.
Ben Kercheval is a lead writer for college football at Bleacher Report. All quotes cited unless obtained firsthand. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.