NCAAF  > General NCAAF  > Texas A&M is new No. 1 in Texas recruiting
January 28, 2014, 01:54 PM
I was scanning the recruiting service sites today for the first time in a couple of weeks and saw that Texas A&M (via Rivals.com) is ranked third, 11 spots a head of former-on-field rival, current recruiting rival, Texas Longhorns.

The Aggies currently have three 5-star recruits. Texas is baron of 5-stars this year and has five less 4-star commitments than their "Big Brother" from the state capital.

I'm not making an attempt to throw the Longhorns under the bus. I'm just making an observation on how joining the SEC has helped A&M more than, I believe, many people -- including Aggie fans -- realized.

Texas will return. Charlie Strong is a proven winner and elevated Louisville's recruiting to a new level. Winning games will put the Longhorns back in the top-10, both on the field and in the recruiting race.

But for now, Texas A&M has evened the score, and then some, with their old-rivals.

How quickly A&M channels consistency as a championship contender, post-Johnny Football, will be interesting to watch.
January 28, 2014  05:36 PM ET

"The Aggies currently have three 5-star recruits. Texas is baron of 5-stars this year and has five less 4-star commitments than their "Big Brother" from the state capital."

Not sure what I wrote here. Should say: "Their 'Big Brother' from the state capital is baron of 5-stars this year and has five less 4-star commitments."

January 28, 2014  07:30 PM ET

This is what I had expected to happen. But never imagined so quickly.

Texas A&M is not only in the better conference, they're the only Texas team in the SEC. I believe that gives them a huge advantage. It finally gives them something unique to pitch to their recruiting base.

January 28, 2014  09:43 PM ET

A&M's defense is terrible, and some of those highly-rated recruits saw a chance to contribute right away on D. That's probably how it was pitched to them.

Ags fans better hope Sumlin knows what he's doing on defense because it will need to be much improved. Manziel, Evans, Malena and Hicks won't be there to outscore the opponent, and Matthews and Harrison are gone from the O line.

January 28, 2014  09:57 PM ET
QUOTE:

... I'm just making an observation on how joining the SEC has helped A&M more than, I believe, many people -- including Aggie fans -- realized.

I think you're giving way too much credit to the SEC and not enough to Kevin Sumlin.

Sumlin is a dynamic recruiter and he's very connected with high school coaches in the Houston area, one of the hottest areas for talent in the nation. He's also a very good coach and has built winners at every stop. Look what he did at U of Houston with Case Keenum at QB. His version of the air raid offense is dynamic and it's something skill players want to play in to exploit their talents in space.

January 28, 2014  10:53 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I think you're giving way too much credit to the SEC and not enough to Kevin Sumlin.Sumlin is a dynamic recruiter and he's very connected with high school coaches in the Houston area, one of the hottest areas for talent in the nation. He's also a very good coach and has built winners at every stop. Look what he did at U of Houston with Case Keenum at QB. His version of the air raid offense is dynamic and it's something skill players want to play in to exploit their talents in space.

But he didn't recruit near this good at Houston.

I think there might be something to playing in SEC, against quality players (something he didn't have at UH) and getting on TV frequently

January 29, 2014  07:17 AM ET

Dang! Them TV guys surely do love them some SEC football!

January 29, 2014  07:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

...Not sure what I wrote here. Should say: "Their 'Big Brother' from the state capital is baron of 5-stars this year and has five less 4-star commitments."

I'm not sure either, but at the risk of being the grammar Nazi, I think you meant "barren" rather than "baron."

FWIW, I spent some time at Fort Gordon when I wore a pickle suit back in the day. Favorite watering hole n Augusta was Hops, Grain, & Barley by Oglethorpe Park near the Savannah River.

January 29, 2014  09:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

But he didn't recruit near this good at Houston.I think there might be something to playing in SEC, against quality players (something he didn't have at UH) and getting on TV frequently

Comparing Sumlin's recruiting to the U of H with his recruiting at A&M is not a good comparison D...regardless of the conference. Not even close. U of H, SMU, North Texas, UTEP, Rice, UTSA, Texas State haven't gotten the kids that A&M, UTx, Baylor, Tech (now TCU) have gotten regardless of the conference affiliations....at least since the old SWC. If conference affiliation has made a big difference in recruiting it has been with TCU moving from the MWC to the Big 12.

I do think it has more to do with Sumlin than the conference for the most part. Same with Briles. Baylor couldn't recruit squat until Briles got there and now they have some talent...and Baylor is in the same conference it was in pre Briles.

Now, I will readily admit that changing conference has helped and will help A & M recruit in the SEC area better. Recruiting La, Georgia, Florida, etc is definitely better for them since joining the SEC. Some of that may still be Sumlin though. Won't know for sure if that is the case until he leaves.

January 29, 2014  10:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Now, I will readily admit that changing conference has helped and will help A & M recruit in the SEC area better. Recruiting La, Georgia, Florida, etc is definitely better for them since joining the SEC. Some of that may still be Sumlin though. Won't know for sure if that is the case until he leaves.

The recruiting angle gained by A&M by joining the SEC is HUGE including in-state, an SEC presence in the state of Texas is a gold mine for the SEC and since day one A&M has been very pleased with the new arrangement much to the chagrin of the Longhorns.

January 29, 2014  10:38 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Comparing Sumlin's recruiting to the U of H with his recruiting at A&M is not a good comparison D...regardless of the conference. Not even close. U of H, SMU, North Texas, UTEP, Rice, UTSA, Texas State haven't gotten the kids that A&M, UTx, Baylor, Tech (now TCU) have gotten regardless of the conference affiliations....at least since the old SWC. If conference affiliation has made a big difference in recruiting it has been with TCU moving from the MWC to the Big 12.I do think it has more to do with Sumlin than the conference for the most part. Same with Briles. Baylor couldn't recruit squat until Briles got there and now they have some talent...and Baylor is in the same conference it was in pre Briles. Now, I will readily admit that changing conference has helped and will help A & M recruit in the SEC area better. Recruiting La, Georgia, Florida, etc is definitely better for them since joining the SEC. Some of that may still be Sumlin though. Won't know for sure if that is the case until he leaves.

Agree with this. Cougar High cannot be mentioned in the same context as any B12/SEC school, as much as the UH faithful want to be. It just can't be.

January 29, 2014  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Agree with this. Cougar High cannot be mentioned in the same context as any B12/SEC school, as much as the UH faithful want to be. It just can't be.

there's really not that many UH faithful anyway, UH has always been a commuter school. the students and alumni just don't go to the games. even when they were part of th SWC and winning, the only time they filled the stadium was when they played A&M or the teasips each year

January 29, 2014  11:08 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Comparing Sumlin's recruiting to the U of H with his recruiting at A&M is not a good comparison D...regardless of the conference. Not even close. U of H, SMU, North Texas, UTEP, Rice, UTSA, Texas State haven't gotten the kids that A&M, UTx, Baylor, Tech (now TCU) have gotten regardless of the conference affiliations....at least since the old SWC. If conference affiliation has made a big difference in recruiting it has been with TCU moving from the MWC to the Big 12.I do think it has more to do with Sumlin than the conference for the most part. Same with Briles. Baylor couldn't recruit squat until Briles got there and now they have some talent...and Baylor is in the same conference it was in pre Briles. Now, I will readily admit that changing conference has helped and will help A & M recruit in the SEC area better. Recruiting La, Georgia, Florida, etc is definitely better for them since joining the SEC. Some of that may still be Sumlin though. Won't know for sure if that is the case until he leaves.

When comparing the UofH to other C-USA schools vs TAMU to other SEC schools, I would say it would be a good comparison. And I don't think he recruited that well in that arena.

His only "champion-caliber" year was 2011 when he went 12-1...he even had a 5-7 year...in CUSA!.

He is definitely a good coach, and a good recruiter, but the SEC has helped him tremendously.

January 29, 2014  12:20 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

The recruiting angle gained by A&M by joining the SEC is HUGE including in-state, an SEC presence in the state of Texas is a gold mine for the SEC and since day one A&M has been very pleased with the new arrangement much to the chagrin of the Longhorns.

Gotta disagree Nork. Lived in Texas all my life. A&M has always been a big enough name to recruit to regardless of anything else IMHO. They could go independent and still attract top kids...with the right coach IMHO. Same with Texas. But those are the only two schools in the state that are able to recruit with their name only. Same with some other biggies like tOSU, Michigan, OU, USC, ND, Bama, etc. Again, even all of these need the right coach.

The gold mine for the SEC was the in roads for the other schools into Texas recruits. I expect that flood gate to open even more in the future.

January 29, 2014  12:24 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

When comparing the UofH to other C-USA schools vs TAMU to other SEC schools, I would say it would be a good comparison. And I don't think he recruited that well in that arena.His only "champion-caliber" year was 2011 when he went 12-1...he even had a 5-7 year...in CUSA!.He is definitely a good coach, and a good recruiter, but the SEC has helped him tremendously.

Played the last two years with Sherman's kids. The cupboard wasn't bare when he got there...i.e. one prediction has three offensive players drafted in the first round this year...Manziel, Evans and Matthews. One even had all three in the top 20 I believe.

Sumlin is definitely a good recruiter...still to be determined about the coach part but he's off to a good start.

January 29, 2014  12:33 PM ET

I assume Mizou is now the highest rated in Missouri now as well? ;-)

But it is kind of expected IMO, with mack Brown uncertainty almost all year, I doubt many top ateletes want to comit to something they know wont be there.

I also think UT has taken recruiting for granted for too long; the days of "make an offer and they accept" are long gone, recruits of 4 or 5 stars now know about other programs from all over the country and are recruited everywhere.

One Question tho: Does TAMU's class lean heavily towards the defense, or will they continue in the making of the new offense heavy SEC? Yes, their offense has been spectacular at times, but Sumlin isn't known for strong D's.

January 29, 2014  12:52 PM ET

Also, TAMU had certainly been "creeping" on Texas their last cpl of yrs in the B12; 2010 Tamu won 24-17 and came close in 2011, 25-27.

I only wonder how a cpl of lowly B12 teams can come to the mighty SEC ("if you played in the SEC you wouldn't win a game" comments) and yr 1 beat the mightiest of the mighty with one of the 2, and yr 2 win the East with the other. Still having problems with the logic on that one...

Is it the fact that as soon as a team becomes a member of the SEC they automagically get MUCH better, in which case the statement is wrong because by virtue of automagically being better they WOULD win games. The antithesis is that they don't just automagically improve, in which case the Hypothesis is wrong 'cause perpetually mediocre B12 teams came in and instantly in one case, and after a year in the other, went to the top of the SEC heap. Something that was quite rare when they were in the B12.

January 29, 2014  01:00 PM ET
QUOTE(#5):

But he didn't recruit near this good at Houston.I think there might be something to playing in SEC, against quality players (something he didn't have at UH) and getting on TV frequently

Did Urban Myer recruit as well at Utah as at Florida? Has his recruiting dropped off any since moving to Columbus?

My point is, of course he recruits better at a big name school in a big name conference, especially s a coach on the rise. No matter the coach, Texas and TAMU will ALWAYS out recruit Houston and Rice. The nature of the best, just like the 4 Cali PAC schools are gonna out recruit Fresno, San Jose, and San Diego St. (no offense AP).

January 29, 2014  01:10 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

I do think it has more to do with Sumlin than the conference for the most part. Same with Briles. Baylor couldn't recruit squat until Briles got there and now they have some talent...and Baylor is in the same conference it was in pre Briles.

+1.

I also think MB had a lot to do with it, I know generally he was viewed as an old dude that lost his edge, couldn't put a winner on the field.He got his fair share, but not like he usta. And it's not just the other Texas schools, their pockets are picked from all over the B12 and the nation. Just the norm in todays world, some kids want to stay at home, some don't.

Look at just about any school in the country and you will see Florida, Texas, and Cali kids.

January 29, 2014  02:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

+1.I also think MB had a lot to do with it, I know generally he was viewed as an old dude that lost his edge, couldn't put a winner on the field.He got his fair share, but not like he usta. And it's not just the other Texas schools, their pockets are picked from all over the B12 and the nation. Just the norm in todays world, some kids want to stay at home, some don't.Look at just about any school in the country and you will see Florida, Texas, and Cali kids.

MB was a good coach, but he didn't win that many CC's or RRSO's.

9.8 wins per season compared to Stoops 10.6...and while he had a run of 9 10+ wins per season, that was all he had in 16 seasons...

MB was good, but not that good

 
January 29, 2014  02:11 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Texas and TAMU will ALWAYS out recruit Houston and Rice. The nature of the best, just like the 4 Cali PAC schools are gonna out recruit Fresno, San Jose, and San Diego St. (no offense AP).

After much thought, prayer, many seances and convening with Mother Nature....I would say this is a true statement.... :)

But it isn't comparing TAMU to Houston...it was comparing his recruiting at Houston to other schools in the C-USA or other lower tier conferences vs his recruiting as compared to SEC and other upper tier conferences.

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