Q&A with GigEm247

Taylor Hamm and Brian Perroni with GigEm247 held a Q&A session on Friday and fielded all kinds of recruiting questions.

Q: Next 3 commits?
A: I think A&M gets one tonight. That’s my gut feeling. I could see Lodge shutting it down. I could also see Landis Durham shutting it down to if/when he’s offered. A couple of the 2016 kids are candidates too. Really tough to call three in a row but I’d keep an eye on Friday Night Lights because something tells me the YESSIR signal pops up before the night is over.

Q: What are your thoughts on how the 2015 DB class might shake out with all these new targets/offers?
A: I think Roney Elam will probably end up at Texas when all is said and done with his relationship with Kevin Shorter being key. I’m not sure LSU pushes for him. Kendall Sheffield will likely be an Aggie but he doesn’t plan to announce until early January. Holton Hill is 50/50 right now between A&M and Texas. It will be one of those two but I don’t know which one. Jaylon Lane will likely commit to A&M if offered. Deionte Thompson either sticks with Alabama or goes to LSU. Right now those are the only two schools in it. PJ Mbanasor will likely end up at OU or A&M. Kris Boyd is a wildcard with other issues keeping him from offers.

Q: Any guesses on the next commit?
A: I would say most likely a DB. It could be Jaylon Lane if he is offered. It could be Holton Hill whenever he decides between A&M and Texas. The biggest guys – Kyler Murray, Kendall Sheffield, Malik Jefferson, etc. – aren’t ready to shut things down yet.

Q: Landis Durham and Arthur McGinnis: How does A&M stand with them and vice versa? Is a LB class with those 2 and Malik the most likely scenario or is there someone else we should keep an eye on?
A: Well A&M has yet to offer Durham but I’d be surprised if he left FNL without one tonight. If he does get offered I expect A&M to shoot up to the top of his list or even shut it down on the spot. Arthur McGinnis has UCLA and A&M as his top two. There are more national targets A&M is recruiting and hope to get visits from like Justin Hilliard and Leo Lewis. I expect more guys to pop up on Hagen’s radar after the spring evaluation period that’s coming up soon. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hagen make a few JUCO stops this spring as well.

Q: Any backstory on Prentice McKinney?
A: He’d been leaning towards Notre Dame for a while.

Q: With Weathersby off the board, does A&M press more on Dyer? Or perhaps Sutherland? Any other OL to watch for?
A: The one I’d keep an eye on is Joshua Jones from Fort Bend Bush. Athletic, long OT that will be at FNL tonight. A&M will continue to recruit Dyer as well. Sutherland too but he is likely headed elsewhere with Arkansas being the consensus right now. They’ve been recruiting both very hard. Dyer will be at A&M again on Saturday. Sutherland is warming up to A&M but BJ Anderson has some ground to make up on a few schools. Josh Jones from FB Bush will be at FNL tonight and he’s one to keep an eye on for sure.

Q: Talking to these kids, specifically the elite ones, when are they getting their first offers? Do they realize some of them are offers in name only? Is march really too late to get in on some of them? Also, do you find recruits now are more offer whores, in that they just try to collect as many as possible for posterity?
A: Most of them don’t realize that early offers, especially out-of-state ones, are not committable. That puts the in-state schools in a bind for sure. However, with guys that A&M, Texas, Tech, Baylor, etc. have been able to see quite often, March of their junior year is getting a little late for the big-name guys. It’s just the way it is. They’ve always liked offers and bragging about offers. Twitter and the addition of more recruiting sites and blogs has just made it more in the public eye and easier for them to compare with each other. It also keeps colleges accountable, though, which is a good thing. If a school tells everybody QB they are the school’s No. 1 target, for example, it will get out. They have to be a lot more forthcoming these days.

Q: I realize it’s not a good year for Texas high school front 7 recruits, but outside of Daylon and hopefully Malik what are we going to do? I have no expectations of getting any of the Georgia or Virginia offers. It seems the staff is focused on DB’s which we need, but not doing much work on the front 7.
A: They are scouring for prospects which is why a guy like Landis Durham has popped up. You’ll likely see offers go out to some lesser-known guys before all is said and done for sure.

Q: Could you give a brief overview on how A&M stands with their 2015 LA targets at the moment that haven’t been touched on already?
A: Realistic targets:
WR Michael Chigbu – very good shot
LB Arthur McGinnis – co-favorites with UCLA
RB Kirk Merritt – falling back a bit with the new interest
DT T.D. Moton – likely Alabama bound if the Tide accepts his pledge

Q: I realize it’s not a good year for Texas high school front 7 recruits, but outside of Daylon and hopefully Malik what are we going to do? I have no expectations of getting any of the Georgia or Virginia offers. It A: Seems the staff is focused on DB’s which we need, but not doing much work on the front 7.
A: I think A&M ends up offering and flipping Lampkin. They’ll likely go OOS for another DL or two. Terry Price and Terry Joseph have some strong Georgia ties and I think they end up getting at least one from GA.

Q: Could you give a brief overview on how A&M stands with their 2015 LA targets at the moment that haven’t been touched on already?
A: Realistic targets
Derrick Dillion- A&M in the race but still a ways to go.
Kirk Merritt- Likes A&M a lot. LSU will be tough to beat and he’s being nationally recruited.
Michael Chigbu- A&M in great shape, probably his leader. Could make a decision before end of the school year.
Tyron Johnson- LSU is the team to beat currently but watch out for Tennessee. A&M losing some ground.
Arthur McGinnis- A&M and UCLA top two
Xavier Lewis- Don’t see him anywhere but LSU

That’s a quick rundown.

Q: If you had to list the 10 best 2016 guys that A&M has a great shot at, if not outright lead for, who would they be?
A: Realistic targets:
OT Gregory Little – likely co-leaders with OU
S Brandon Jones – leader
OT Patrick Hudson – leader
DT Kendell Jones – Texas is his leader but he hasn’t been to A&M yet
CB Travon Fuller – A&M the first to offer
LB Dontavious Jackson
RB/S Devwah Whaley
DE Isaiah Chambers
WR Reggie Hemphill
S Deontay Anderson

Q: Horns saying they feel like they took the lead for malik. thoughts?
A: They’d have to really have a turnaround season in Strong’s first year for Texas to become a legitimate threat again. He’s always liked Texas and he’s good friends with DeShon Elliot so it’s not out of the question they become a real player. Just too early to tell at this point. I’d actually say Baylor is a contender at this point. A&M still holding down the top spot right now though.

Q: What’s the strongest position in the state for 2015 and 2016?
A: 2015 – cornerback and running back. 2016 – it’s still early but there are a bunch of receivers who will be highly-recruited.

Q: Have you talked to Malik since his trip to Baylor/Texas? Is A&M still a heavy favorite?
A: Yes I’ve talked to Malik. Both Texas and Baylor made good impressions on Jefferson. Still think A&M is the team to beat right now.

Q: Will Jaylon Lane have any impact on Brandon Jones? I would really hate to miss out on both.
A: If Lane doesn’t commit to A&M it won’t have an impact on Jones.

Q: Do y’all hate the idea of the “committable offer” as much as I do?
A: Yes I do but A&M is doing the same sort of thing when they give out all the offers in Georgia and the like. Only out of state schools can afford to do it because they know the players won’t commit on the spot. It really puts in-state schools in a bind and forces some early offers that may not have gone out with a little more eval time.

Q: Could Kealvin Davis play Fullback in the future? It seems like it would be hard at his size to play Tackle or Guard on our O-Line. He seems like he could be a good center in the hurry-up as well. Jeff Banks mentioned that Cameron Smith was playing Fullback so I’m wondering if that position will be utilized more in the future now that Spav is the OC.
A: Davis is very, very lean. He almost looks like a weakside DE right now. Schools liked him because of his footwork and his long arms though. He is definitely not a prototype at either fullback or center. He will redshirt and bulk up and likely stay at tackle. The only other position he could fit in at would be DE IMO.

Q: Would Chris Warren be receptive to an offer as LB?
A: He is saying the right things about being open to it but enough schools are recruiting him at RB, which is his preferred position, that he would have to absolutely fall in love with a school recruiting him as a LB.

Q: In your opinion, are any of our major 5 star targets less likely gets than previously anticipated? Are guys like Sheffield, Kyler, Malik, Lodge, Kirk still very likely A&M leans?
A: Other than Kyler, every single one of those kids are going to be tough to lock down. I think Sheffield will be the toughest coup because he’s not going to decide until next January. A&M is still the leader though. Other than that, I think A&M is still in good shape with everyone else right now. If something changes I’ll be sure to let you guys know.

Q: After a talented player like PJ Mbanasor do you think the aggies will take a serious look at central Texas kids?
A: It’s definitely an underrecruited area right now. That’s how San Antonio used to be. I think the class of 2016 could see some guys like CB Brian Bullock from Round Rock, DE/LB Erick Fowler from Manor and some others.

Q: I’ve read on other sites that 2016 Louisiana might be even more elite than 2014 which would be amazing if true. Is A&M doing work on these 2016 LA kids other than the Warren Easton WR offer?
A: You’ll see a bunch of offers go out here soon. Let the evaluation period take its course.

Q: Do you believe Euless Trinity OL Patrick Vahe remains a Texas commit? If not, is there a chance we make a move on him?
A: If he doesn’t end up at Texas, it would be because he switched to LSU. I don’t think he has any interest in A&M.

Q: What’s up with Tyron Johnson? It’s been awfully quiet since he skipped out on the junior day with his classmates.
A: His interest in A&M is waning, for whatever reason. He’s a long shot at best right now.

Q: Anything change recently with Kyler Murray? Is A&M still the lead by a long shot? Also, is his daddy going to allow outside influences like longhorn fans, boosters, etc influence his son’s decision? How does Mr. Murray feel about Texas?
A: Nothing has changed with Kyler.

Q: Did Sumlin fire any coaches while at UH or does he stick with his hires through thick and thin?
A: He fired DC John Skladany after 2 seasons as DC. 2008-2009.

Q: Don’t remember anything coming out about Mike Mitchell recently, have you heard anything?
A: Things have been really quiet but most assume that he and his brother end up at Baylor.

Q: What up with Tyron Johnson? It’s been awfully quiet since he skipped out on the junior day with his classmates. Odds of a commit tonight? And yalls estimations of the amount of defensive lineman we take this year, defensive ends and tackles?
A: Long story with Johnson. Wouldn’t consider him a realistic target right now. I think A&M ends up with at least one commitment tonight. I’ve been told Coach Price has 4-5 spots to work with on the DL this cycle. That number could change depending on a number of things.

Q: Do you consider any recruits from the east (Virginia, Georgia, Miss) A&M leans? It sounds like Price and Joseph have ties in that area but none of these recruits seem to be showing much interest.
A: There’s too much competition in that region with a ton of conferences having footholds there. The safety, Khane Pass, recently said A&M is his favorite but who knows if that will stick. Other than him, those guys are pretty much all longshots.

Q: Is it true that Conner Dyer is leaning to Texas Tech?
A: They are strong contenders for sure.

Q: How many more scrimmages are left?
A: Two more scrimmages. Tonight’s FNL even is completely closed. No media access and the one on April 5th will likely be closed as well so we may only be able to cover three more practices.

Q: Any talk of Claiborne’s punishment?
A: Nothing new with Claiborne.

Q: Defense has been more dominant in spring? Do your truly believe the skill level of the defense has increased or do you attribute it to our “new” QB’s running the O?
A: I attribute it to a new QB and new wrinkles being thrown into the offense because it’s spring time and that’s when you’re trying new things. Remember, the staff spent a lot of time with other prominent college coaches recently brainstorming new ideas. That’s going to slow things down at times because you’re trying to see what works and what doesn’t. Spavital even said that early in the spring that they’ll be adding and scratching a lot of things. Furthermore, the coaches get a lot more time with the players over the summer with the new NCAA rules so it will help them be more prepared when the real stuff begins in the fall.

Q: Also, did spring ball last YEAR sound the same, as in defense dominating?
A: Last spring was more offensively dominated but I don’t think it correlates to this year if that’s what you’re trying to do.

Taylor Hamm and Brian Perroni fielded and answered all the questions. They are both some of the most knowledgeable persons when it comes to A&M recruiting. Follow them on Twitter.

Taylor Hamm: @taylorhamm247
Brian Perroni: @Perroni247

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