Texas A&M Football Recruiting: 13 Commits & Top Targets to Watch at The Opening
Nike's The Opening has developed into the premier college football recruiting event of the summer. The Texas A&M football team will have multiple recruiting targets and verbal pledges participating in the 2014 edition.
The Aggies have five verbal commitments who are participating in. The fact that the Aggies have five verbal pledges participating in a national recruiting event speaks volumes about the state of Texas A&M recruiting at this time.
The Opening gives a large group of the elite recruits in the country the chance to compete and compare themselves with each other. It allows fans of college football recruiting the chance to get an unfiltered look at recruits.
This is a look at the Aggie recruiting targets and commits who are competing in The Opening.
Jordan Davis, 4-Star TE
Jordan Davis is a 6'4", 240-pound tight end from Clear Lake High School in Houston, Texas. He is a 4-star recruit who is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 8 overall tight end in the nation. Davis was the Aggies' first commit of the 2015 recruiting class.
He earned the first Opening invite for a tight end at the Houston NFTC. Physically, Davis is built like former Texas A&M star and current Chicago Bear tight end Martellus Bennett.
Aggie fans should be paying attention to what Davis runs in the 40-yard dash. He is a complete tight end who can block and is a weapon in the passing game. If he runs a good 40 time he should move up in the national rankings.
Justin Dunning, 4-Star Safety
Justin Dunning is a 6'3", 200-pound safety recruit from Whitehouse High School in Whitehouse, Texas. He is ranked as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 11 overall safety prospect in the country.
Dunning has verbally committed to play for Texas A&M. He is listed as a safety prospect but may spin down to linebacker or even defensive end in college. Dunning missed most of the 2013 season with a knee injury.
Aggie fans should pay special attention to Dunning's 40 time and what he weighs in at. If he runs a sub-4.7 in the 40, he will project well at safety. If he weighs in at anything above 210 pounds, then you have to believe that he will be linebacker size by the time he arrives in Aggieland.
Holton Hill, 4-Star CB
Holton Hill is a 6'2", 180-pound cornerback from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas. He is a 4-star prospect, per 247Sports, who is ranked as the No. 23 overall cornerback in the country.
Hill is considering Texas A&M, Texas, Florida State, Baylor and Alabama, among others. He has the size desired by all defensive coordinators now because he can cover the bigger receivers who are taking over the game.
Hill needs to show well in the drills and in the seven-on-seven competitions in order to boost his national ranking. With a good effort against the nation's top receivers, he could move into the top 10 cornerbacks in the country.
Soso Jamabo, 4-Star RB
Soso Jamabo is a 6'2", 207-pound athlete ranked as a 4-star prospect by 247Sports and the No. 12 running back in the nation. He has starred for Plano West High School in Plano, Texas, in football and basketball since he was a sophomore.
Jamabo earned his trip to The Opening by performing well at the Dallas Nike Combine. He ran a 4.61 in the 40, which is a very good time for an athlete of his size.
Jamabo is uncommitted at the moment and is considering Oklahoma, Texas, Baylor and Texas A&M right now. There is some question about where Jamabo projects to play in college.
If he continues to grow, he may grow out of the running back position and into a linebacker. He needs to run a 40 in the 4.5s at The Opening to prove he is capable of staying on the offensive side of the ball and could possibly end up moving to wide receiver.
Malik Jefferson, 5-Star OLB
Malik Jefferson is a 6'2", 220-pound outside linebacker from Poteet High School in Mesquite, Texas. He is a 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and the No. 17 overall recruit in the nation.
Jefferson is arguably the top recruit in Texas. He had 93 tackles and 14 sacks as a junior and is an elite pass-rusher from his outside linebacker spot.
Jefferson has his pick of colleges and is currently considering Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama and Ohio State. The Opening will be an opportunity for Jefferson to reassure scouts and coaches that he is among the elite recruits in the country.
Anything he does at The Opening will be icing on the cake for one of the top prospects in the nation.
Tyron Johnson, 4-Star WR
Tyron Johnson is a 6'1", 185-pound wide receiver from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans. He is a 4-star prospect who is ranked as the No. 5 overall receiver in the country by 247Sports.
Johnson ran a 4.52 in the 40 at the Nike Combine in New Orleans to earn his invitation to The Opening. As a junior, he racked up 1,300 yards receiving and 20 touchdowns.
Johnson is already thought of as one of the top wide receivers in the country. He can boost that ranking with a dominant performance in the drills and seven-on-seven action in Oregon.
Johnson is uncommitted right now and is considering LSU, Texas Tech and Texas A&M.
Christian Kirk, 5-Star WR
Christian Kirk is a 5'11", 197-pound wide receiver from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a 4-star prospect who is the No. 76 overall recruit in the nation, according to 247Sports.
Kirk earned his invitation to The Opening when he performed well at the 2013 event. Kirk could earn a fifth star if he shows well against the top defensive backs in the country during drills and the seven-on-seven games.
Kirk is uncommitted at this time and is considering Texas A&M, Oregon, Ohio State and USC. He had a 40.5" vertical leap at the Los Angeles combine and will be a threat to turn in the highest SPARQ rating.
Damarkus Lodge, 4-Star WR
Damarkus Lodge is a 6'2", 190-pound wide receiver from Cedar Hill High School in Cedar Hill, Texas. He is a 4-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and is ranked as the No. 3 overall wide receiver in the country.
Lodge earned his invite to The Opening with a dominant junior season in which he caught 72 passes for 1,255 yards and 22 touchdowns. Lodge helped lead Cedar Hill to the Texas Class 5A State championship.
Lodge is a physically dominant football player. He could earn his fifth star and ascend to the No. 1 wide receiver spot in the nation with a good showing in Oregon.
Lodge is uncommitted at this time and is considering Texas A&M, Baylor and LSU.
Daylon Mack, 5-Star DT
Daylon Mack is a 6'1", 316-pound defensive tackle from Gladewater High School in Gladewater, Texas. He is a 5-star prospect whom 247Sports ranks as the No. 22 overall recruit in the country.
Mack has been a known entity in recruiting circles since his sophomore season when he registered 16 tackles for loss and six sacks. As a junior, he registered 36 tackles for loss and spent some time at running back, where he displayed his speed on a 67-yard touchdown run.
Mack is committed to Texas A&M and could assist in convincing other recruits to join the Aggies. His presence in Oregon could result in some commits for the Aggies in the very near future.
Mack can improve his national ranking with solid performances in the linemen challenges and by lowering his 40 time from a 5.1 to sub-5.0.
Arthur McGinnis, 3-Star LB
Arthur McGinnis is a 6'2", 228-pound linebacker from Warren Easton High School in New Orleans. He is a 3-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and ranked as the No. 38 overall recruit in Louisiana.
McGinnis played defensive end in 2013 and registered 14 sacks along with 32 tackles for loss. He earned MVP honors at the Washington D.C. Nike Combine at linebacker in order to punch his ticket to The Opening.
McGinnis is only a 3-star recruit because there are questions about how well he will transition from playing with his hand on the ground to linebacker at the college level. If he performs well in coverage during the seven-on-seven games, he will answer some of the doubts and likely earn his next star.
McGinnis is uncommitted and is considering Texas A&M, UCLA, Mississippi State and Notre Dame, among others.
Kyler Murray, 5-Star QB
Kyler Murray is a 5'11", 170-pound quarterback from Allen High School in Allen, Texas. He is a 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country.
Murray is a dynamic playmaker who earned his invitation to The Opening by accounting for 107 total touchdowns while leading Allen High School to back-to-back 5A state titles in Texas.
Murray is already the top-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation. He could improve his overall ranking by displaying his usual accuracy during the seven-on-seven games. There is really not much for Murray to prove at this point.
Murray may help the Aggies' cause by helping to recruit a few of the receiver prospects in Oregon. If Murray performs well, then some of the receivers who are up in the air may choose to play in college with him.
Larry Pryor, 4-Star Safety
Larry Pryor is a 6'0", 203-pound safety prospect from Sulphur Springs High School in Sulphur Springs, Texas. He is a 4-star prospect who ranks as the No. 8 safety recruit in the country by 247Sports.
Pryor played quarterback as a junior at Sulphur Springs and passed for 2,666 yards while rushing for 1,027 yards. He earned his invitation to The Opening by running a 4.07 in the shuttle at the Dallas Nike Combine.
Pryor can move up in the national rankings with a good showing in the drills and in seven-on-seven games. He has the size and athleticism to be a major-college safety but will need to show the skills on the field if he wants to improve his national rank.
Pryor is committed to Texas A&M.
Kendall Sheffield, 5-Star CB
Kendall Sheffield is a 5'11", 180-pound cornerback from Thurgood Marshall High School near Houston, Texas. He is a 5-star prospect, according to 247Sports, and the No. 3 cornerback recruit in the nation.
Sheffield punched his ticket to Oregon with a 41.7" vertical leap and a time of 4.09 seconds in the shuttle at the Houston combine. He is one of the fastest athletes in the country with times of 13.63 in the 110-meter hurdles and 36.34 in the 300-meter hurdles.
Sheffield is currently uncommitted and is considering Texas A&M, Texas, LSU and Alabama. He is a truly elite recruit who is fast enough to play immediately in college.
Much like Malik Jefferson or Kyler Murray, all Sheffield can accomplish at The Opening is confirm what everyone else already knows. He is one of the top prospects in the nation and will look to prove it once again on the field in Oregon.
Recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.