As Kevin Sumlin’s seat begins to warm, you get the feeling that Signing Day represented the start of a make or break year for the sixth year coach of the Aggies.
While their class comes in at sixth in the SEC, it was 12th overall in the nation, per 247Sports. While the 27 player class lacks a five-star recruit, there are more than a few upper-level four-stars.
In all, A&M’s Signing Day was relatively tame, as three-star DT Joshua Rogers was their only commit of the day. But, there were no surprises in the other direction, either, as all 27 recruits are either signed or signed and enrolled.
Let’s dive in.
4* WR Jhamon Ausbon
Bad news: Josh Reynolds, A&M’s leading wide receiver last year graduated.
Good news: Christian Kirk (928 yards and nine touchdowns) is back, and Jhamon Ausbon looks ready to contribute right away.
The 6’2” WR commit from the famed IMG Academy shocked everyone in November when he flipped his commitment from LSU to Texas A&M, but the Aggies will certainly have no problem benefitting from his decision.
Ausbon’s Hudl is a bit dated (from 2015), but even back then, you could see the type of skills he’ll bring to the A&M offense.
4* QB Kellen Mond
Ausbon isn’t the only A&M offensive commit from IMG Academy, as dual-threat QB Kellen Mond joins his former receiver in College Station. Did that play a role in Ausbon’s flip from LSU to A&M? Perhaps.
Regardless of that, Mond is the third-ranked dual threat QB in the class of 2017. It’s easy to see why. He had a combined 36 touchdowns (19 passing, 17 rushing) and 2560 yards (1803, 757) for IMG this season.
With Trevor Knight’s graduation, A&M hasn’t committed to a starting quarterback for the 2017 season yet. Sumlin has shown in the past that he isn’t afraid to start true freshmen if necessary (Kyle Allen in 2014, Kyler Murray in 2015). While Mond may not start week 1, it’s not crazy to assume he’ll make an appearance at some point this year.
4* WR Hezekiah Jones
3* WR Camron Buckley
3* WR Roshauud Paul
3* TE Camron Horry
3* OG Adrian Wolford
3* TE Keynel McZeal
3* OG Dan Moore
3* RB Jacob Kibodi
3* QB Connor Blumrick
3* OG Carson Green
3* OT Jared Hocker
4* ILB Anthony Hines
Hines, from Plano, Texas, is the highest overall recruit A&M hauled in this year. Per 247Sports, he’s A&M highest-ever ILB commit (at least since 2000).
Hines committed to Texas A&M over UCLA, among others, thanks largely to his relationship with defensive coordinator John Chavis. After his commitment in early December, Hines told the Dallas Morning News, “"When he [Chavis] talks to me you can tell he actually genuinely cares for me. A relationship like that between your position coach and an actual player, that's big. That's the difference between being elite and just being normal."
While Otaro Alaka will likely be the starter at ILB for the Aggies going into the year, Hines could very well work his way into some playing time sooner or later.
4* S Derrick Tucker
4* DT Jayden Peevy
4* OLB Santino Marchiol
4* S Myles Jones
3* S Keldrick Carper
3* OLB Devodrick Johnson
3* DE Micheal Clemons
3* DE Tyree Johnson
3* CB Devin Morris
3* DT Josh Rogers
3* DE Ondario Robinson
3* S Debione Renfro
- This is a huge class. At 27 members it trails just Alabama (29) and Tennessee (28) for biggest in the SEC.
- There’s a lot of balance between offense/defense, as there are 13 defensive players and 14 offensive. If you look into position groups, though, there isn’t a lot of balance. A&M recruited four safeties, for example. Given the nature of recruiting, though, it makes sense. Common sense says not all four safeties will pan out, nor will all four remain at safety for their entire college career.
- Noteworthy on the offensive side: The top three recruits all play wide receiver. You can never have too many wide receivers in college football. Ditto offensive linemen.
- As you’ll see in the breakdown by state, A&M cleaned up their home state. In fact, Texas A&M had more recruits from the state of Texas than the Texas Longhorns had recruits in general.
Breakdown by State
District of Columbia: 1