A&M currently holds 9 commits for 2015 which is good for the #1 recruiting class in the nation. The class right now is as follows.
RB – Rodney Anderson (4-star recruit)
RB – Jay Bradford (4-star recruit)
TE – Jordan Davis (4-star recruit)
OL – Trevor Elbert (4-star recruit)
OL – Connor Lanfear (4-star recruit)
DT – Daylon Mack (5-star recruit)
CB – Deshawn Capers-Smith (3-star recruit)
S – Larry Pryor (4-star recruit)
S – Justin Dunning (4-star recruit)
While A&M certainly sits well right now, there still is lots of work to be done between now and national signing day next February. Taking the graduating seniors into account, Sumlin’s major areas of need is quarterback, safety, inside linebacker, and offensive line. Maroon Report has compiled a list below of the top 10 uncommitted targets for A&M.
1. QB – Kyler Murray (5-star recruit)
Reason: While Kyler Murray is an elite talent, his reason for being the #1 priority target is due to the need in this position area. A&M currently has 3 scholarship QB’s on roster, with one QB currently suspended. Kenny Hill certainly has an opportunity to work his way back onto the team and into the starting lineup. However, many speculate that he might transfer if he loses the starting job to Kyle Allen or Matt Joeckel. And with Joeckel graduating after this year, A&M could be down to only 1 scholarship quarterback. Coach Sumlin needs to land Murray simply to have at least 2 scholarship quarterbacks next season.
2. CB – Kendall Sheffield (5-star recruit)
Reason: Rated as the top recruit in Maroon Report’s Best of Texas, Sheffield is an elite playmaker that would be in the rotation from day one. What’s more is that A&M will be looking to replace 3 of 4 starters in the secondary next season. Sumlin has already addressed the glaring need at safety by landing Larry Prior and Justin Dunning. They are the two best safeties in Texas and will be needed immediately. However, A&M also loses DeShazor Everett at cornerback. Sheffield is the 2nd best cornerback in the nation according to Scout and could be counted on early to help fill the shoes of Everett.
3. OLB – Malik Jefferson (5-star recruit)
Reason: Although A&M does not have an immediate need at the outside linebacker position, Jefferson is the type of talent you take no matter what. Scout lists him as the #1 outside linebacker in the nation. He is 6’3” 220 lbs and he clocked a 4.57 in the 40-yard dash. A solid A&M lean at this point, Jefferson is the #3 priority target based on skill alone.
4. OL – Conner Dyer (4-star recruit)
Reason: A&M loses 2 starters and 4 scholarship offensive linemen to graduation next season. Cedric Ogbuehi could be a top 5 pick and Jarvis Harrison already has 31 career starts. Both will land on NFL teams next year. And while there are some players in the pipeline to step into those opening spots, more recruits need to make up for the loss of bodies. Sumlin has already recruited two standout 4-star prospects in Trevor Elbert and Connor Lanfear. Connor Dyer could be better than both of them.
5. ILB – Landis Durham (3-star recruit)
Reason: Sumlin and staff have offers to two in-state middle linebackers. Anthony Wheeler is the top prospect in the state but has not shown much interest with the Aggies. Durham is the 2nd or 3rd best prospect and recently landed an A&M offer at Friday Night Lights. With only two middle linebackers on the roster in Jordan Mastrogiovanni and Reggie Chevis, A&M desperately needs to add numbers to this position. Landing Durham would provide the coaching staff with a middle linebacker they can redshirt and grow into the position once the upperclassman graduate.
6. WR – Demarkus Lodge (5-star recruit)
Reason: Lodge is an elite talent and the top target for A&M at his position. However, the one area that A&M has an abundance of talent is wide receiver. Otherwise, the 5-star recruit and #2 WR in the nation would be much higher on the list. Listed at 6’2” 188 lbs, Lodge has exceptional body control and the concentration to make leaping catches in traffic. He seemed to be Baylor bound at first but A&M has made up lots of ground and could be the favorites for this receiver’s commitment.
7. OL – Keenan Walker (4-star recruit)
Reason: The Arizona product could be the latest recruit A&M snags from the state. Last year both the top offensive and defensive player from Arizona committed to A&M (Kyle Allen and Qualen Cunningham). This year, A&M is in serious contention for Keenan Walker and WR Christian Kirk. Scout lists the 4-star as the 9th best offensive tackle in the nation. And as mentioned above, A&M needs to fill in for the departing seniors.
8. CB – Holton Hill (3-star recruit)
Reason: Rated by many as the 2nd best cornerback from Texas (only behind Kendall Sheffield), Hill finds himself in the midst of a fierce head to head recruiting battle. Both Charlie Strong and Kevin Sumlin want the Houston product badly and right now Hill seems to be 50/50 between schools. With great closing speed and tackling technique, Hill would be a solid addition along with Sheffield. This would give the coaching staff 2 cornerbacks and 2 safeties, with the flexibility to add a 5th player in the secondary.
9. WR – Christian Kirk (4-star recruit)
Reason: Another elite wide receiver, Kirk has loved the idea of teaming up with fellow Arizona native Kyle Allen. He holds offers from nearly every major program with Alabama, Florida St, UCLA, and Notre Dame leading the way. Every recruiting service has him as one of the top 50 players in the nation. This recruitment should play out well into the season, but right now A&M holds the early lead for his commitment.
10. S – Jamal Peters (4-star recruit)
Reason: A long shot by all considerations, Peters is an elite safety out of Bassfield, Misssissippi. He also holds offers from all the best schools and can play virtually anywhere he wants. However, in February he made some noise when he requested a scholarship offer from A&M. Sumlin responded with an offer and Peters now hopes to schedule an official visit next fall. Ole Miss and Mississippi St. will work tirelessly to ensure the top recruit from their state doesn’t sign elsewhere. But if Sumlin can get the recruit on campus, it might be just enough to land #2 safety in the nation.
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