Dream Finish for 2016 Recruiting

Depending on who you ask, the Aggies should be able to take somewhere between 23-26 recruits. At this point, the Aggies have 16 verbal commits; 1 running back, 2 wide receivers, 2 tight ends, 3 offensive lineman, 2 weak-side defensive ends, 1 strong-side defensive end, 1 linebacker, 2 cornerbacks, 1 kicker, and 1 athlete.

RELATED: 2016 Recruiting Class

In addition to these 16 already committed, Sumlin and staff are in pursuit of some of the best recruits in the nation. Top end offensive athletes have been flocking to College Station for 3 years now, but the impact of Chavis on staff could lead to a similar flood of high profile defensive recruits.

The Aggies will look to add about 10 more players, and this is their dream finish.

LB Jeffrey McCulloch (4-star recruit) – While he’s not the highest ranked recruit the Ags are in play for, he might be one of the most crucial. Defensively, the main area that has struggled this season is linebacker play. With the constant barrage of injuries to the experienced linebackers along with the true freshman that are still learning the ropes, Chavis has often turned to walk-ons to fill the void. This needs to be fixed with development and recruiting. McCulloch will be a good ole fashioned Aggie vs Longhorn recruiting battle. Given how this season is playing out so far, I like our chances. 

S Brandon Jones (5-star recruit) – The safety pull from A&M’s 2015 class featuring Justin Dunning, Justin Evans, and Larry Pryor, is nothing short of impressive. Add Armani Watts and Donovan Wilson from 2014 to the mix and the Aggies are as solid as they’ve ever been at the safety position. This puts them in an enviable position in their recruitment of Brandon Jones. They can absolutely put all their eggs into the “Jones basket” without much threat of backfire. Brandon has long been considered an Aggie lean and would only add to the very impressive safety group that A&M has assembled.

WR N’Keal Harry (4-star recruit) – The top player out of Arizona is considering A&M. Sound familiar? The Aggies have successfully dipped into the Grand Canyon State and stolen the top recruit the past two years (Kyle Allen and Christian Kirk). Add Priest Willis’ recent announcement to transfer into A&M, and A&M has a chance of having Arizona’s top recruit on roster from 4 consecutive classes. Pretty amazing. N’Keal Harry is listed as the #2 wide receiver nationally and is primarily considering Washington and Oregon in addition to A&M. The elite pass catcher will be visiting when A&M takes on Bama this weekend.

CB Byron Murphy (4-star recruit) – The other elite recruit out of Arizona, Murphy checks in as the state’s #2 recruit. He plays at Saguaro High School and was teammates with Christian Kirk last season. Murphy will also be officially visiting the Aggies this weekend along with fellow Arizona target N’Keal Harry. While A&M already has two cornerbacks committed in Travon Fuller and Charles Oliver, they will be looking to add two more to help fill the void of losing Brandon Williams and De’Vante Harris. Both starting cornerbacks expire their eligibility at the end of this season.

OT Greg Little (5-star recruit) – The Aggies are looking to bring in a sure fire starter on the offensive line. Three offensive lineman have given their verbals to A&M for 2016, and Little used to make it four. However, his decommitment in July led to much speculation that the Aggies were out of it and it being a two-horse race between Alabama or Ole Miss. The Aggies are certainly working from behind at this point, but statement wins over Bama and Ole Miss would go a long way in his recruitment. Couple that with the opportunity to play with Kyler Murray, his former Allen High School teammate, and the Aggies just might have a shot to win back the top recruit in Texas.

WR Tyrie Cleveland (4-star recruit) – Tyrie Cleveland is the other player that used to be committed to the Aggies. In April 2015, he chose to open up his recruitment again wanting to make sure that he wouldn’t get buried on a depth chart. Since then, he has unofficially visited for the Ball State and Mississippi St games and appears to be warming back up to A&M. He has to be thrilled with A&M’s use of Christian Kirk and the promise that the best players play. Cleveland checks in as the 6th best wide receiver in the nation.

CB Eric Cuffee (4-star recruit) – This top recruit out of Waco visited A&M unofficially for the Mississippi State game and will take his official this weekend when Bama rolls into town. At 6’0” 180 lbs, he fits the ideal mold of a press-man corner that Chavis likes to implement in this defense. If Byron Murphy and Eric Cuffee jump on board, the coaching staff will shut it down and call it a day for this position group.

OLB Sewo Olonilua (4-star recruit) – The Aggies have been after this TCU commit for quite some time now. He is listed as an athlete with his contributions at running back and safety for Kingwood High School. But at 6’3” 220 lbs, he projects very well at outside linebacker. Sewo has a sibling enrolled at A&M right now which will undoubtedly play a factor in his final decision. Given the Aggies resurgence on defense and Coach Chavis leading the linebackers group, Sewo has a lot to think about. Should he flip and should McCulloch commit, A&M would likely shut down the 2016 linebacker recruiting.

DT Chris Daniels (4-star recruit) – Credit to University of Houston and Tom Herman for gaining commitments from some of the state’s top talent. It shocked the nation when defensive tackle Ed Oliver, the state’s #2 recruit, picked UofH over the likes of Bama, A&M, and LSU. With Houston recruiting suddenly becoming much more competitive, the Aggies have turned their attention to Trinity Euless standout Christ Daniels to fill the need at defensive tackle. At 6’4” 300lbs, Chris Daniels would give the Aggies a big body and elite run stopper.

RELATED: Houston Poses Major Threat to Recruiting

CB Eric Monroe (5-star recruit) – A&M found out first hand last year what it is like to recruit a player in spite of the parents. In the case of Malik Jefferson and Kris Boyd, there were several indications that both players really liked A&M. However, the parents of Jefferson and Boyd pushed for Texas instead. In the end, the Aggies lost out on two truly talented players. This time around, the A&M staff is going up against the coaches at North Shore. The DC/CB coach and their DL/Assistant HC both graduated from LSU and push their top players to go there as well. Eric Monroe is the latest player those coaches have sent LSU’s direction, and A&M will be hard pressed to successfully flip him. Between cornerback targets Byron Murphy, Eric Cuffee, and Eric Monroe, the coaching staff will only look to add two.


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