Texas A&M is still more than seven months away from finalizing an inevitably outstanding 2015 recruiting class, but head coach Kevin Sumlin is already commanding massive headlines on the 2016 trail. Greg Little, the nation's No. 1 overall rising junior in 247Sports' composite rankings, committed to the Aggies on Friday.
The 6'5.5", 282-pound offensive tackle posted news of his pledge on Twitter:
Texas A&M is on a tear right now, picking up 5-star recruits on consecutive days. Wide receiver Damarkus Lodge, rated No. 4 nationally among 2015 receivers in 247Sports' composite rankings, committed Thursday.
Little and Lodge hop on a bandwagon that continues to grow packed with blue-chip prospects.
Murray is teammates with Little at Allen High School, a two-time defending state champion in suburban Dallas. He collected 4,943 total yards and 65 touchdowns in 2013 with the sophomore anchored at right tackle.
Little, who transitioned from tight end after his freshman season, became a full-time starter last fall. He was an instant success, dominating defensive counterparts despite raw technique.
“He took to it very quickly," Allen offensive coordinator Jeff Fleener told Brian Perroni of 247Sports. "He definitely was able to use his leverage and wingspan to his advantage where he was probably still lacking a little bit in strength, just being a sophomore.”
It isn't easy to make a name for yourself as an underclassman in a locker room loaded with established state champions and Division I prospects. However, Little didn't waste time announcing his arrival to the Eagles lineup, as Fleener told 247Sports:
When we first moved him to tackle, the very first day he went down to one-on-one pass rush, a lot of the older d-linemen started chirping at him a little bit. The very first time he goes, though, he grabs one of our d-linemen and throws him to the ground. He’s got an aggressive nature to him.
That attitude shined throughout the 2013 season, as did Little's athleticism. Coordination can be a shortcoming for many young players of his physical stature, but he moves smoothly and already exhibits tremendous reach while dealing with pass-rushers.
Little joins fellow 5-star Texan offensive tackle Patrick Hudson in Texas A&M's 2016 class. The massive bookends could stabilize the Aggies' front line for years to come, protecting Murray and 5-star 2014 quarterback signee Kyle Allen from fearsome SEC defenders.
College Station has become the place to be for in-state prospects during Sumlin's tenure.
The 2014 and 2015 recruiting classes feature the nation's top-rated pro-style passer (Allen) and top-rated dual-threat quarterback (Murray), two 5-star wide receivers (Lodge and Speedy Noil), two 4-star receivers (Siverand and Frank Iheanacho) and a 4-star tight end (Jordan Davis).
During that span, the Texas Longhorns have landed just two pass-catchers with 4-star credentials (Lorenzo Joe and Armanti Foreman), while adding a pair of 4-star passers (Jerrod Heard and Zach Gentry).
Little's commitment to Texas A&M continues a trend of recruiting dominance that's undoubtedly met with frustration in Austin. The Longhorns extended a scholarship in October and hosted him on campus for the team's spring game in April.
Auburn, Baylor, Georgia, Tennessee, Oregon, USC and Clemson were among more than 20 offers on Little's list.
Texas A&M currently holds five 5-star commitments between its 2015 and 2016 recruiting hauls. Coveted defensive tackle Daylon Mack committed in October and remains the top-rated player in 2015, ranked second nationally by 247Sports.
The addition of Little ensures a similar rise in rankings next year and provides the latest sign of a rapidly changing recruiting climate in College Station.
Recruit ratings and information courtesy of 247Sports, unless otherwise noted.