5 days ago, Kyler Murray turned the recruiting world upside down with a single tweet.
He and wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge went to Austin on an unofficial visit. Since then there has been mass speculation on whether the nation’s top dual threat quarterback will flip from Texas A&M to Texas. Some national media members have gone so far as to say “it would be crazy for Kyler Murray NOT to go to Texas.” Bias aside, it certainly makes for good drama in these final moments leading up to National Signing Day.
So first let’s look at the facts.
- 1/16 – 1/18: DT Daylon Mack, RB Soso Jamabo, WR DaMarkus Lodge, and QB Kyler Murray all at A&M for an official visit. (Small but important sidenote: Rumor is that these 4 blue chips want to play together.)
- 1/21: Kyler Murray and DaMarkus Lodge tweet pictures of Longhorn jerseys during an unofficial visit.
- 1/22: The following day at an award ceremony, Murray tells the Dallas Morning News he’s “still committed to A&M.”
- 1/23 – 1/25: Kai Locksley, FSU’s 4-star quarterback commit, takes an official visit to Texas over the weekend. By all indications, he really enjoyed himself and is seriously considering flipping to Texas. Soso Jamabo and Daylon Mack were also visiting Texas the same weekend.
- 1/24: Zach Gentry, Texas’ 4-star quarterback commit, flips to Michigan on an official visit.
- 1/25: Johnny Manziel tweets the following which was retweeted by Kyler Murray.
At first it all seems a convoluted mess. But by all appearances, the state’s top recruits are very much considering both A&M and Texas. Credit to Charlie Strong for leveraging Malik Jefferson’s commit to the max. Just one week ago, no one outside Austin thought Texas was a serious contender for any of those recruits.
Kyler Murray is the linchpin with all of this. He knows it, but more importantly Charlie Strong knows it. It’s the reason Strong has made such a hard push for him in the closing hours. Should he flip to Texas, Daylon Mack, Soso Jamabo, and DaMarkus Lodge will likely follow him. However, should he remain at A&M, expect the Aggies to regain commitments from Daylon Mack and DaMarkus Lodge with an outside chance at Soso Jamabo.
In all of this, relationships outside of these 4 players might end up determining where everyone ends up. Texas has 5-star LB Malik Jefferson who enrolled early and is recruiting these guys hard. He has a close relationship with Daylon Mack and is fairly close to the others as well. However, A&M has some key relationships of it’s own.
Both 5-star WR Christian Kirk and 4-star LB Richard Moore are early enrollees in A&M’s 2015 recruiting class. Kyler Murray’s relationship with Christian Kirk is considered the biggest influence that gave the Aggies Kirk’s pledge over Arizona State. Just that fact alone makes me think he wouldn’t leave his good friend hanging out to dry.
Furthermore, Richard Moore was teammates with DaMarkus Lodge at Cedar Hill High School. Both have expressed an interest in playing together at the next level. With Moore already enrolled, the only way for this to happen is for DaMarkus Lodge to recommit to A&M.
Finally, Daylon Mack is and always has had a great relationship with defensive coordinator John Chavis. He decommitted from A&M in December and listed LSU and TCU as his top 2 choices. Upon the announcement of A&M hiring John Chavis, he cancelled his official visit to LSU and immediately listed A&M and TCU as his top two choices with TCU as the leader. Despite his visit to Texas this past weekend, not once has he listed Texas above A&M or TCU.
Last but certainly not least is the legacy factor. Kevin Murray, Kyler’s father, quarterbacked from 1983-1986 and is the winningest quarterback in Aggie history (25-6-1 record). During that time he passed for 6,506 yards and 48 TD’s with a highlight Cotton Bowl win over Auburn and Heisman winning running back Bo Jackson. He understands better than most the rivalry that exists between A&M and Texas. Not saying he would forbid Kyler from going to Texas. But it seems like a long shot that Kyler would be A&M’s solely recruited quarterback for 2015, hold his commitment for 8 months, and then spurn the Aggies for the Longhorns in the final hour.
Crazier things have happened, but I’m not buying what Ketch and Chip are selling. Kyler Murray signs with the Aggies in 9 days.