Texas A&M Football: On The Recruiting Trail (Part 1)

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IOctober 22, 2009

In the midst of a sub par season that began with a bit of hype before it started, it is time to take a look at a reason to keep Mike Sherman around.

He has been recruiting better than any coach in recent memory, and has a top-15 rated class for 2010, according to several recruiting magazines and websites.

The Aggies do not have any five-star recruits, but have received verbal commitments from eight four-star players.

The biggest addition to the Aggies next year will be the recruitment of four fantastic offensive lineman, at least two of which should be able to contribute right away.

The Aggies offensive line has been terrible this year, but not so terrible to start four freshman on it to begin next seasonβ€”no quarterback should be subjected to such inexperience. That being said, nobody on the current offensive line should feel their job is safe if all four end up signing with the Aggies.

Leading the bunch of youngsters is Jake Matthews out of Elkins High School, son of NFL hall of fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews. Matthews is rated the No. 78 recruit in the nation by Rivals.com.

Jake has the tools be a great lineman at not only the collegiate level, but the professional level as well. He is 6'5", 275 pounds and still growing. Jake started his freshman career at quarterback before growing into his body and being asked to play center as a sophomore.

He is listed as an offensive tackle, but will probably be placed wherever the team needs him. A talent that sets Matthews apart from his fellow lineman is his athletic ability which allows him to play all five offensive line positions. This will help him possibly earn instant playing time as a true freshman.

The next rated offensive tackle to verbally commit is Shep Klinke out of Katy High School. Katy has been a Texas high school powerhouse and Klinke is certainly a big part of that the past two years. Klinke is ranked nationally at No. 130 by Rivals.

He is a physical stud standing at 6'7" and weighing in at 290 pounds. Klinke's best attribute is that he hustles and plays until the whistle blows. One of the things he has over the other lineman the Aggies have recruited is pass blocking ability. He has very quick feet and his long arms help keep separation when pass blocking.

However, if he wants to compete for a spot on the line early, he will need to work on his foot speed and hand placement.

The Aggies have really been on the hunt for offensive lineman, and for good reason. The third offensive tackle the Ags have snatched up is Cedric Ogbuehi out of Allen High School, who is rated No. 140 by Rivals.

Oghbeuhi is a player who will probably not see very much playing time as a true freshman, and may even be red-shirted. He is a work in progress and a late bloomer, so to speak, as he is still growing into his body, which stands at 6'5" and weighs 270.

Ogbuehi is in his senior season but is only playing his second as an offensive lineman, so he will need some work before he can compete at the collegiate level. That being said, he did win first team All-State in Texas in his first season on the line, and is a favorite to do so again this year.

One thing the recruiters are drooling over is his athletic ability and quickness. Ogbuehi played defensive end his first two years and that has translated into his offensive line play. He has great ability to get to the second level make blocks.

The last piece to the offensive line puzzle is Luke Joeckel, offensive tackle from Arlington High School. Joeckel comes as a package deal with his twin brother Matt, who is a three-star recruit himself (see his profile in part two).

Luke is rated No. 161 by Rivals, and should solidify a dominant offensive line in the next two or three years for the Aggies.

He stands at 6'6" and weighs 280 pounds, but it is the attitude he plays with that has scouts impressed. Several scouts and recruiters have noticed that Luke plays with a mean streak, which should help his game translate to the next level.

One thing Luke will have to work on is his pass blocking, but with all the talent at offensive tackle the Aggies are bringing in, that may not be as dire an issue as originally thought. Luke plays tackle in high school, but can slide into either one of the guard positions, as he is a fantastic run blocker.

Aggie Head Coach Mike Sherman seems to know the formula for building a powerhouse and I couldn't agree with him more. They need to have a dominant offensive line to perform every facet of offense.

I just hope the Aggie faithful don't start calling for his head if they finish under .500 again and miss a bowl for two consecutive seasons.

Since 1985 (when the Aggies began their dominance of the SWC and Big 12), the Aggies have only missed a bowl in consecutive seasons onceβ€”in 2002-2003.

Hopefully Sherman turns around the misfortune and makes Kyle Field what it once wasβ€”the most feared stadium in the country.

Be sure to catch part two of this article, when the four other four-star recruits will be profiled.


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