Hey everyone! Busy day today, but a lot to talk about. Let's get right to it.
Trey Williams '14 Heisman winner. Im calling it
Bold predictions right out of the chute. I like it. But he's got No. 2 in his own backfield that he'll have to battle. Trey Williams should have a nice career in Aggieland. Heck of a player and young man.
Do you see any more decommitments? Would the Aggies pull an offer if it meant landing the Alexander brothers?
William, I don't see any more decommitments coming at the moment. And no, I don't see them pulling an offer to land Mackensie and Mackenro Alexander. Honestly, that ship is sailing away and it's highly unlikely that they end up in Aggieland.
What are some of the issues Mark Snyder is facing with a new LB coach and the loss of defensive leaders like Moore, Porter, and Nealy?
The first issue is getting that depth developed at defensive tackle. The Aggies overachieved at that position and they return Kirby Ennis but Spencer Nealy and Jonathan Mathis have graduated. They have four DTs coming in as freshmen in the recruiting class, so it's critical to get those guys going. With the LB coach, Mark Hagen, there's always a transition period but I think it will be fine. Sumlin's good about letting guys handle their business so I'm sure Snyder either got to pick his guy or have plenty of influence. The other issue is finding an elite pass rusher...where's this year's Damontre Moore coming from? Can Julien Obioha make a big leap in progress after a good freshman season?
With the momentum created off the '12 season, recruiting has been taken to a whole new level at A&M. What are your thoughts on the "over-signing"/forced decommitment rumors to thin the class in order to take the best of breed recruits who want in?
Casey, the Aggies aren't going to oversign, and I hope anybody that's paid close attention to their recruiting knows that. They brought in eight guys at mid-term (nine originally, but one didn't make it in) so those guys don't count against your 25-man limit per SEC rules. So they'll end up with 33. A few receivers jumped off the boat on their own accord because they saw how many receivers were in the class. I wouldn't call it "forced," but certainly it's a strategy where you see who really wants to compete. From what I heard they did offer a grayshirt to Edward Williams who decided to decommit and they did pull one junior college offer to a defensive tackle during the fall because the young man had been injured and hadn't played all year. But it's not like there's been a mass exodus of guys to make room for elite guys.
What are the chances that the #1 Running Back from the 2014 class who is visiting, would commit to A&M, who is obviously a air raid team. He has to have interest to make a visit but what would make him go to aggieland.P.S. Have we stopped recruting Reuben Foster?
I'm assuming you're referring to Leonard Fournette, the running back from New Orleans Saint Augustine. I wouldn't expect him to commit on his junior day visit this weekend. I would imagine he'll take some time. He already has an LSU offer and is not far from Baton Rouge, so there's that to consider. But getting him on campus is a huge step for Texas A&M. As for Reuben Foster, it doesn't appear he'll be visiting Aggieland so don't expect him to wind up there. I'm betting he goes back to Auburn (I mean, he already has the tattoo).
How many more commits do you see TAMU getting and list who you think they will be starting with the highest percentage
Brian, I think they'll add one more. One of the DE targets: Daeshon Hall or Torrodney Prevot. I think I'd rate Hall as more likely right now but honestly, I could see them landing both, possibly.
Do you think that the change in Offensive Coordinator is going to have any impact at A&M next year?
I'm sure it will have some impact, yeah. There's a certain dynamic to calling plays and the flow of the game. I don't think it will be a major impact and I think the Aggies will still be one of the best offenses in the country. Clarence McKinney, the new playcaller, knows the offense and has been in it for five years.
What do you think the odds are ok the ags getting both of committed DE's they are targeting?
I think the odds are decent. At this time of year, almost anything goes.
Any signing day surprises?
I don't expect any surprises at this point, no.
With a favorable SEC schedule, will A&M be picked to finish second in the west this year?
If you're considering Alabama as No. 1, then yes, I think many will pick the Aggies to finished second in the division. I think you might see some even pick them to win the SEC West on the strength of the return of Johnny Manziel and Jake Matthews.
Can Texas A&M pull offers from committed recruits? Would they pull the offer if it meant they could land any of the big names (Hall, Alexander brothers, Prevot, Savaineaii, etc.)?
The Aggies can pull offers if they want but I don't see them doing it from here on. It looks bad, especially this late in the process. So I don't see that happening. And they have room for one more at the moment, possibly two if you consider that one commit might not qualify.
Mark Hagan seems like a great hire, especially since he was Indiana's recruiting coordinator and they were having a good year recruiting by their standards?
That seems to be the consensus, that he was a good recruiter. And they did score some nice players in the time he was there. Kevin Sumlin likes guys that can coach and recruit, rather than be strong at one or the other. It seems like Hagan fits that mold.
Any chance A&M pulls a signing day surprise and lands a 5 star recruit?
I'll never say never, but I would say probably not.
Has the shipped sailed on the LB from HI coming to CS?
Pretty much. The lead recruiter for Isaac Savaiinaea was Brian Polian, who is now Nevada's head coach. His position coach would have been Matt Wallerstedt, but he's gone too (Texas Tech defensive coordinator). So it looks like Savaiinaea will probably wind up at UCLA.
So do you think Larue is going elsewhere?
No, LaRue is going to Texas A&M. He committed this afternoon. See here: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post?id=5815
not that larue has jumped on board do you see any other espn 150's coming along or is the class pretty much set where it is besides maybe some late nr prospects?
I don't see any other ESPN 150s at this point, no. There's still ESPN 300 potential additions in Torrodney Prevot and Levonte Whitfield, though it will be interesting to see what happens with Whitfield now that LaRue is on board.
With LaRue taking spot 32, is the staff holding the other two slots for Hall and Prevot? Which is more likely to commit to A&M?
If they can get both Hall and Prevot, they will take both most likely. Prevot to me seems unpredictable so I'll put the odds on Hall first, Prevot second.
I think it is pretty safe to presume the offensive is going to be just as explosive as last season (correct me if you see it differently), however the defense is a little concerning with all the seniors headed out on that side of the ball. What are the chances they will have the defense where it needs to be in time for the bama game and which spots on defense are the biggest concern with depth and talent? That game will be a huge deciding factor in the SEC west championship after all.
Great question. With the Alabama game being the third of the year, it certainly doesn't allow a lot of time for growing pains. Defensive tackle will be a concern - who is replacing Spencer Nealy? At least Kirby Ennis will be back, so that will help and he played really well against Alabama last year. Also, two linebackers that were senior leaders are gone in Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart. Steven Jenkins will be a senior at outside linebacker but the others, whoever they wind up being, have to grow up in a hurry. I think it's reasonable to assume that it's going to be tougher sledding this time around defensively against Alabama than it was last year, though the home field advantage should count for a little bit too.
Any updates on Derrick Griffin's academic status. Heard lots of rumors about him maybe not making it academically.
Kyle, I wrote about that topic in some length in my story on Griffin earlier this week. See here: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post/_/id/5730/tamu-commit-griffin-focused-on-future ... Long story short, he's doing better but still has a long way to go. I think you categorize him as a long shot to qualify.
Sam, how hard did Texas recruit Sebastion? It's amazing the pull the aggies are getting after 1 year.
Texas came in late, offering earlier this month, and they tried to get him down for a visit on Feb. 1. It seemed like he might take it but ultimately decided against it. I think the official visit to Texas A&M went that well and he has known assistant coach Marcel Yates for a long time (Yates recruited LaRue when he was at Boise State).
How much of an impact do you expect Sooner transfer Brandon Williams to have, after sitting out this season?
Dave, I think Brandon Williams will have a pretty significant impact. He's physical enough to run through guys but fast enough to run by them. You probably will see Ben Malena starting when the year starts and Malena has earned that. But Williams I think will get some touches and if he can show that he's not a liability in pass protection, he'll get on the field because he's extremely talented.
If Griffin fails to qualify, could he become a gray shirt? And would that open a spot for someone else? Or would it be too late in the game?
If he doesn't qualify he'll go to a junior college. Here's the bottom line: if they sign him, they're betting that he'll qualify. If they don't and he signs junior college, then there's your answer and I assume the Aggies will be proactive when it comes to having someone on board in his place or saving that spot for next year's class.
Looking into the class of 2014 what are the biggest needs. seems like the need to build depth
Receiver! (Just kidding). I think the secondary is going to be (and already has been) a primary focus. The class of defensive backs in Texas in 2014 is pretty strong and they already have two on board in Cedric Collins and Nick Harvey. I think you could see them grab one or two more. They already have two linebackers and might add one more. And I think you'll continue to see them add guys on the offensive and defensive lines because you can never have enough depth there. But the class overall is going to be smaller since this year's class is so big.
Do You Think Kohl Steward Come To A&M Or Goes Mlb
We might not know that answer until July. He says he rally wants to go to Texas A&M, but honestly, if he's picked in the top 15, I think it will be hard not to go play baseball. Plus, if you go baseball, you can always come back to football (see Brandon Weeden).
Sam with the plethora of WRs already on campus, plus the 7 new ones, what do you think the odds are of RSJ being moved over to the other side of the ball? There is a need at DE that hasn't been filled.
With his body type, I don't doubt he could make the transition but I doubt you see that. His speed and athleticism and ability to make something happen with the ball in his hands is too enticing for the Aggies to pass up in their offense.
If someone had told you a year ago that Sumlin would be taking commits away from the likes of OU and USC, would you have believed them?
I would have believed it if you said "two or three years down the road" because I thought Kevin Sumlin would be successful at Texas A&M, but I thought it would take longer than one year to find the kind of success they are having now. Actually, when it comes to Oklahoma, the De'Vante Harris flip seemed to be the domino that started the Aggies beating the Sooners for guys in the 2013 class and that was well before they stepped on the field for 2012. But being in the mix for top guys on the West coast or the East coast? I didn't see that coming right away.
Loved the "Icy Whites" uniforms in the Bama game and the Cotton Bowl. All black vs. Miss St. was pretty nice too. Any new Adidas wrinkles in uniforms this season?
I'm sure there will be but they are pretty good about keeping that under wraps until it happens. I don't think the players even knew about the all-blacks until they saw them in the locker room.
How are we looking with Deshan Hall and Prevot
I think they have a decent shot to land one or both.
Did Torrodney prevot Just Decommit from USC? (via @HeatherBrit) ??
Not to my knowledge. It could happen but let's wait and see if someone can actually source the information from someone reliable first.
any chance the ags land a dt or de off the jc 100? or at least someone right outside of there with some experience?
Dustin, I suspect that if the Aggies have a spot left, they'll hold it for the next class rather than use it on a junior college guy. They identified several jucos that are already in the class (mid-year guys) so I think right now the focus is on high school guys.
If secondary is going to be a target in 2014, is there a chance that the CB/S situation will improve in 2013 as well?
I think you'll see some improvement at corner simply because of growth. De'Vante Harris will be a sophomore, Deshazor Everett will be a junior. Both of those guys, I expect, will be better next season. Toney Hurd will be a senior and I thought he had a really nice year. He's probably a good option at one of the safety spots. And Howard Matthews came on nicely late in the year at the other safety. If he can continue to progress, he has the potential to be a really nice player. Then, it's just a matter of ensuring quality depth behind those guys.
It looks like and intense battle is brewing with next year's recruiting class between Texas and A&M over state of Texas talent
Big time battle. Texas and Texas A&M are going to fight it out for several guys (and already have battled for some that have committed in the 2014 class) but this coming year is going to tell a lot when it comes to the balance of power in the state moving forward.
Are there any big time commits for next years class the we are favorites for
I think it's a little early to call the Aggies "favorites" for any particular juniors, especially the ones they're recruiting now because they're looking at guys that have so many options that are high-caliber guys. Many of the guys they were heavy favorites for they've already landed (Hoza Scott, Cedric Collins, Nick Harvey, etc.). I think after this junior day coming up on Sunday we'll get a better feel for how some of those elite juniors are liking the Aggies.
Where do you see Tony Brown ending up?
Whew, that's a hard one to call. He already has offers from a lot of the big-time schools, A&M included. Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, Notre Dame, Texas, USC. He has his pick of the litter and he doesn't seem to want to rush. I think it's a little early to pick one. I'll say this: the Aggies have a nice chance. He liked his unofficial visit to a game this year.
DO you know which Juniors are coming for this weekends Junior Day
There are a lot of good ones. I have many listed in my notebook from this morning. Check it out: http://insider.espn.go.com/blog/colleges/tamu/post?id=5794
With Hoza Scott commited the top OLB next year can he help us get some other big time linebackers and if so who do you think?
It's possible. Scott has an infectious personality and I know a lot of players respect him. He has played against Zac Whitley from North Shore (they're in the same district) so it'll be interesting to see if Scott can get in his ear. The Aggies like Whitley.
SEC Media Days, who is a more coveted interview; Saban, A.J., or Johnny?
Johnny Manziel. He's the hot stuff right now and he's the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. We all know what we're going to get from Nick Saban. And A.J. McCarron's cool, but been there, done that. For some folks at SEC Media Days next year, that will be the first time getting the chance to interview Manziel face to face since he wasn't there last year and was off limits to the media all season.
The most coveted interview at SEC Media Day is Katherine Webb. /Musburger
Bingo! Or Sarah Savage. Is Johnny still dating her?
what did you think of johnny's throw off the top row of the zone into the hoop that aired today?
I was impressed. I know he's a quarterback and you're expected to throw passes accurately, but that's different than throwing a deep pass on a football field. And I love the guys from Dude Perfect. Been watching those videos since they first did that basketball shot at Kyle Field in 2009.
Alright gang the clock has hit 4 p.m. CT. I've got to run but thanks for joining the chat. If I missed your question, drop me an e-mail or hit me on Twitter. Thanks for participating and see you next time!