Re-Evaluating Texas A&M's Recruiting Class After the 2014 Opening

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, left, poses for photos with the most valuable player,  offensive, Allen quarterback Kyler Murray, following a 63-28 win over Pearland during a UIL Class 5A  Division I high school football championship game on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Matt Strasen)
Matt Strasen/Associated Press

Texas A&M had seven members of their 2015 recruiting class in attendance at the 2014 edition of The Opening along with a number of recruiting targets. Their performances against some of the top athletes in the country reaffirms that the Aggies are going to bring in one of the nation's elite recruiting classes.

The Aggies currently have the No. 2 ranked recruiting class in the nation, but recruiting in college football is more of an art than a science. You are trying to project what teenagers will look and play like in four to five years.

The rankings and evaluations of recruits are inexact, even by the coaches who are paid to do it. When you have an event like The Opening where a number of the top prospects in the country get together and compete with one another, it provides a bigger picture of where these recruits stack up against one another.

The Aggies have a core group of elite players in the 2015 class who performed very well on this big stage. They need to land some of their targets in order to bring in the type of talent needed to compete with Alabama and LSU on a yearly basis.


Top Targets

The Aggies have a nice class right now but still need to add some difference makers on the defensive side of the ball. A couple of the top players left on the Aggies' recruiting board showed well in Beaverton, Oregon.

Malik Jefferson blew the competition away with his athleticism and range in the 7-on-7 games. The 6'2", 225-pound outside linebacker turned in a 4.39 second time in the 40. That is elite speed for any position, but it is freakish for an athlete of his size.  

Jefferson continues to make his case to be one of the top five recruits in the nation. The Aggies are right in the mix along with Alabama and Texas for Jefferson's services. He is the No. 2 ranked player in the Lone Star state and is expected to wait until signing day to make his decision. 

Kendall Sheffield showed his elite speed in Oregon. The 5'11", 180-pound cornerback was solid in coverage against some of the top receivers in the nation. 

Some people consider Sheffield the top recruit in Texas. The Aggies appear to be in the driver's seat to gain a commit from one of the top cornerback recruits in the nation. 

Christian Kirk made the All-Opening team for his play at wide receiver. The 5'11", 180-pound receiver developed a nice chemistry with Aggie quarterback commit Kyler Murray. 


Texas A&M's Commits

The Aggies' verbal commits performed well at the opening. At this point, none of them appear to be wavering on their pledges to sign with the Aggies in February. 

The Aggies did not pick up any commits during the week, but having their targets in such close proximity with seven commits has to help their chances. A few of the Aggies' commits drew rave reviews for their play. 

Defensive tackle Daylon Mack and safety Justin Dunning both performed well in the testing and the competitions. Mack turned in a 40 time of 4.98 after weighing in at 330 pounds. Dunning measured in at 6'3.5" tall and ran a 4.59. 

Quarterback recruit Kyler Murray impressed with his play in 7-on-7. He continues to prove that he deserves his ranking as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the nation. 

The Aggies are going to sign one of the top recruiting classes in the nation in 2015. The performances by their current commits at The Opening just re-affirmed the quality of their class.