A pair of bluechip recruits were dismissed from their respective programs this past month. Zach Whitley was booted from UCLA for an undisclosed rules violation while Gerald Willis was kicked from Florida for multiple incidents involving fights with teammates and shoving Jameis Winston on the sideline of the UF-FSU game. This presents an interesting situation for Kevin Sumlin and the coaching staff as both players expressed an interest in transferring to A&M.
Zach Whitley was a highly touted inside linebacker from Houston, TX. Rivals listed him as the 88th best player nationally and the 7th best player at his position. The Aggies were recruiting him hard, but he ultimately chose UCLA in the end. The Aggies are facing a huge need at the inside linebacker position. Although Otaro Alaka filled in admirably for Josh Walker at middle linebacker, it is not his natural position. When Walker returns from his injury, he should retake the starting spot with Jordan Mastrogiovanni backing him up. But after those two guys, there isn’t any depth at that position. If the Aggies hope to bolster the depth of that position, they may want to take a chance on Whitley.
Gerald Willis was one of the top defensive tackles out of high school. Rivals had him as the 83rd best player nationally and the 7th best player in the state of Louisiana. Once again, the Aggies recruited the 4-star athlete and even got him in for an official visit on September 13, 2014. However, he chose Florida over A&M and hometown favorite LSU. With a rotation of Alonzo Williams, Jay Arnold, Hardreck Walker, Justin Manning, Zaycoven Henderson, and DeShawn Washington at defensive tackle, the Aggies are not needing the depth near as much. And given all of the incidents at Florida, he might be a risk the coaches want to avoid.
Kevin Sumlin and John Chavis will need to consider both of these players but weigh their situations individually. They both signed in 2014 and logged playing time with their respective teams. Should they transfer to A&M, they will be required to sit out a year due to NCAA transfer rules. Afterwards, they would have 3 years to play 3. The players will certainly be on a short leash with the coaching staff and would have to keep out of trouble for over a year just to get a chance to play again. Sometimes players need a second chance. Sometimes coaches don’t want the risk.
What do you think?