Texas A&M edged out a pair of SEC foes and an in-state rival Monday for a commitment from 4-star offensive lineman Keaton Sutherland. The 6'5", 280-pound prospect picked the Aggies over Ole Miss, Arkansas and Baylor.
He shared the decision on Twitter:
Sutherland, who attends Marcus High School in Flower Mound, Texas, decided to accept a scholarship from Texas A&M less than a week after his latest visit to College Station. He initially received an offer from the Aggies while attending a junior day event in February.
His list of collegiate options included nearly 20 teams. Sutherland cut those options down to four teams earlier this month, with Arkansas, Baylor and Ole Miss also in the mix.
Less than two weeks later, he decided Texas A&M provided the complete package and pulled the trigger on a pledge.
“I just like everything about Texas A&M,” Sutherland told Ryan Bartow of 247Sports. “I love everything going on there right now. How they are building their program. The chemistry they have going on there. The academics and the college atmosphere."
His decision was an upset in terms of where many thought Sutherland would play at the next level. He was projected to sign with Arkansas by 91 percent of experts in 247Sports' crystal ball predictions.
Sutherland is a versatile athlete who moves fluidly for his expansive physical frame. He's shuffles well laterally and flashes the strength to drive his defender, direct traffic and open rushing lanes.
Though Sutherland has the skills to line up at guard, his likely destination is right or left tackle at Texas A&M. His slide-step requires some refinement, but he is quick off the ball and does a solid job getting wide to cut off the angles of incoming pass-rushers.
His height and his reach are tremendous, but he remains somewhat slender at the position, particularly with the prospect of taking on elite SEC defensive linemen on a weekly basis. Sutherland will develop in the weight room, packing on solid pounds that will enable him to hold his own in the trenches.
Sutherland isn't likely to be counted on as a true freshman and could be destined for a redshirt campaign. Expect him to approach the 300-pound range by his sophomore season, when he could make a push for playing time.
Recruit information and ratings courtesy of 247Sports unless otherwise noted.