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Grading the Big 12: A&M Recruiting

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Texas A&M managed to sign 24 recruits despite circa signing day defections from four stars Kapron Lewis Moore (Notre Dame), Lamar Harris (OU), and Sedrick Johnson (Iowa Fucking State?) to complement earlier rejections from former commits Aundre Dean, Dravannti Johnson, Britt Mitchell and...and a partridge in a pear tree.

But this is College Station and Aggies are well fortified against the icy sting of rejection. They've lived in a world of recruiting cruelty since the Clinton Administration. Contrast their cool poise in the face of adversity compared to our Hell-hath-no-fury-like-a-Longhorn-scorned tantrum in what I like to delicately call The Unfortunate Darrell Scott Matter.

 height=Still, the electric Mike Sherman inked a class and it's worth a look. It's a fascinating group primarily because so many of the best players have no clear cut position and it requires some imagination in projecting them.

Josh Ayers OL 6-5 285 He played TE for Euless Trinity in their jumbo power running game. He's a college OT all of the way. Think Eric Winston lite. He's athletic, has great feet, finishes on every play. I really like him as an OT project. Give him some time in the weight room. His offer list is shit, but I'd take him. Good get.

Eddie Brown DT 6-0 260 He's listed at 6-2. He's 6 feet even wearing six pairs of socks. Still, he's a strong explosive kid with an ability to disrupt. Where though? His tweenerism is troubling. Dwight Freeney is the fashionable name to throw around whenever you get a speedy short DL, but there are more Schrutes than Freeneys in this world. Maybe he's an interior DL playing a gap? Another trifling matter - he may not qualify. You'll notice that this will be a recurring theme in this class.

Andrew Wolridge DE/LB 6-2 235 I like Wolridge. I really like him with his hand on the ground. The Aggies project him as a ILB/MLB, but that will take some adjustment for him - he's just not fully comfortable standing up yet.

Aaron Buckley LB 6-1 225 He was the 3A Defensive Player of The Year at Palacios. Physical, great motor, mediocre speed. Weak ass competition. I like him as an inside LB, but you need to shield him from blockers and let him use his instincts. I question his size, but wouldn't be shocked at all to see him turn into a reasonably productive D-1 guy.

Ricky Cavanaugh LB 6-2 215 Great first step and excellent quickness. He's a classic A&M OLB circa 1990. Listed as a two star in Rivals and that's an absolute travesty. Just like his transcript. He'll likely play his football at Navarro Junior College next year.

Blake Chavis DE 6-5 230 I don't see it at all. This guy is overdone. He has a weird following as an "underrated recruit." Inexplicable. He's probably also headed to JUCO, which is, in my estimation, a secret blessing for the Aggies. He doesn't exactly fly off of the ball.

LeRoy Chevalier OL 6-6 325 Very physical. Strong as an ox. A load at the point of attack. Excellent motor and effort for a very big man. Good stuff there. The bad stuff? He has no bend, no flexion, it's zombie blocking. He'll be abused by quickness unless he starts an ashram yoga regimen pronto. He reminds me a lot of William Winston. If he's willing to put in the work anything is possible. If he continues to eat and doesn't jump rope for an hour every day, his primary function will be scaring people as he steps off of the bus.

Rod Davis DT 6-2 300 I like him. I wish we'd gotten him. He has a nice first step despite his size. A bull in a china shop. Some of the recruitniks are unimpressed with him - suggesting that either his film is completely deceptive or that they wouldn't know quality interior DL play if it was mounted on their dick.

Tommy Dorman QB 6-3 205 Not Tommy Doormat. Damn solid QB. Dorman is very accurate, his mobility is adequate, his arm strength is there. His size is legitimate as well. The kid throws a nice ball. It takes about six plays to know he's a legitimate upper tier Division I QB prospect. I find his bottom of the Top 100 in-state ranking somewhat surprising.

Adren Dorsey DT 6-4 295 Incomplete. The only footage I saw of him was at TE where his play was forgettable.

Terrence Frederick DB 5-10 170 Katy guy. What you'd expect: winner, plays hard, technically proficient, minimal upside, the definition of a two star.

Trent Hunter DB 5-10 190
Katy guy plus 20 pounds. See above. Rinse and repeat.

Jeff Fuller WR 6-4 202 Great measurables. He apparently played in a fairly retarded high school passing offense so his statistics and film are limited. What is apparent is a guy with a great body, hands, and adequate college speed. He's clearly one of the top 3-4 WRs in the state and an obvious take for any major program.

Keon Furtch DB 6-2 180 More quick than fast, but he makes a lot of plays. He'll have to play safety or Cover 2 cornerback and I think he'll show better range there than his straight line speed would suggest. Reminds me of Anthony Arline from Baylor, if you remember him. Needs to get stronger.

Cyrus Gray RB 6-0 195 Tape makes me think of Russell Shepard...as a sophomore. Name makes me think of The Warriors. Can you dig it, suckas? Explosive guy with home run potential. All the way to Coney Island. Deceptive strength. He sheds a lot of tackles and runs through glancing blows and arms easily. So the Baseball Furies wouldn't bother him. Is he a Reggie Bush NFL style change up back? A slot WR? Or does he get stronger and become a complete back like a Joe Addai? He's a guy I'll follow with interest. He should be a special teams stud.

Derrick Hall ATH 5-10 200 Michael Goodson speed. Juan Epstein academics. He's comparable to Cyrus Gray, but without the production or evocative name. Speaking of - if he's such a good football player - why hasn't he produced more on football fields? I find that puzzling. Odds are we'll learn the answer to that question when Blinn plays Navarro. Unless he has a cousin who looks like him that can rock the ACT.

Jeffrey Hyde OL 6-7 295 Awesome size. Good competitiveness. Horrendous competition. He should have gone to UCLA because goddamn he's Wooden.

Tony Jerod DE 6-5 255 Don't worry if there's only one seat on the subway, Tony Jerod likes to stand. Straight up. That said, the motor and effort are there as is the frame and quickness. You'd be hard pressed to call him polished, technical, or even possessed of a single pass rushing move. Dude is raw. But who gives a shit - you take the great athlete and teach. Obvious take.

Chris Lathrop OL 6-4 290 The best guy on a very good high school OL. His other offers were Army and Navy. I'm not shitting you.

Kyle Mangan LB 6-2 225 He's a guy you want to love as a football purist. Heart, effort, motor, hits with intent. He's agile but not fast. Physical but not strong. A little bit country and a little bit rock n roll. His tape reminded me a lot of Reed Boyd when he was at New Braunfels Canyon.

Matt Moss DE 6-4 270 Squattier than his alleged height. Good first step. Solid build. Surprising quickness. He's a JUCO so he should be physically ready to provide some depth in a place where the Aggies badly need it.

Brian Thomas OL 6-3 265 No. He's having trouble getting push on 220 pound high school DL. He's mobile and athletic, but you'd expect that for an undersized guy. I don't know - maybe a redshirt and four years in a weight room yields something.

Joe Villavisencio OL 6-4 305 Well, one of his highlights includes him giving up a sack. Don't worry, it got better. A little.

K.J. Williams ATH 6-4 235 Interesting. He's a Norman, OK kid with a good frame and body. He's not quick, but he's totally relentless and plays with a great deal of effort. The Aggies are looking at converting him to TE and though none of his highlights feature him there, it doesn't take a great deal of imagination to see it. I don't think he's going to be confused with Antonio Gates, but he can certainly at least approximate Joey Thomas.

My Top 10:

Cyrus Gray
Jeff Fuller
Rod Davis
Tommy Dorman
Tony Jerod
Derrick Hall*
Josh Ayers
Eddie Brown*
Andrew Wolridge
Matt Moss

* possible non-qualifier

Overall:

I like what the Aggies did on the DL and and they secured some impact players at the skill positions on offense. Fuller, Gray and the DL will all contribute early. OL and DB are fairly tragic as they're relying on sleepers, projects, bodies, hope. That's not a good thing, given that these are the two areas that are most at a premium in the Big 12. LB is adequate. If you throw in the academic uncertainty of 3-5 key players and the late decommits, A&M finishes with a B- recruiting class; probably 4th in the Big 12 overall.