Thursday, February 3, 2011
Texas A&M recruiting analysis
By David Ubben
Texas A&M Aggies
Signees: 22 (three from junior college, five enrolled early)
Top prospects: Kicker Taylor Bertolet will likely spend a year behind starter Randy Bullock, and two signing-day steals are at the top of the list of possible future stars in Tim DeRuyter's defense. 6-foot-5, 230-pound Brandon Alexander is the nation's No. 32 defensive end, but the Aggies fully intend on using him as a linebacker. He picked the Aggies over the rival Longhorns the morning of signing day. Cornerback Floyd Raven also picked Texas A&M over Ole Miss on signing day as well, despite a letter of intent mixup.
Needs met: Bertolet answers a big need for the Aggies in 2012, as the nation's No. 2 kicker. Don't be surprised if Alexander gets some early playing time to help replace Von Miller and Michael Hodges, two of the team's top defenders and linebackers who exhausted their eligibility after the 2010 season. Shaun Ward, a Florida native, is also a top linebacking prospect who could help early.
Analysis: Texas A&M had to make a late push for what looked like a mediocre class early on. In early July, the Aggies had just seven commits (10th in the Big 12) and its best prospect was the nation's No. 53 athlete, Jonathon Henderson. But Mike Sherman made a late push and signed 10 recruits with the same or better recruiting grade from ESPNU and help give the Aggies a class that ranks in the middle of the Big 12. It's not a class that wows, but it's one that should be able to continue some of the momentum that Texas A&M established in the 2010 season.
ESPN recruiting grade: B-minus