Published December 13, 2012 - 10:50am
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On the heels of 11- and 10-win seasons, Florida and Texas A&M are gaining serious momentum on the recruiting trail. Yeah, Alabama still has the #1 class in the SEC, but the Gators and Aggies are right on their heels and arguably have more momentum than the Tide right now.
In addition to building winning programs, both teams are also benefiting from other in-state powers having down years. Miami is on the verge of NCAA sanctions, and Florida hammered rival Florida State, who is also experiencing coaching turnover recently as well. Florida is hand picking the top prospects out of the state of Florida. Texas A&M, on the other hand, is carrying momentum over from Johnny Manziel’s Heisman Trophy and benefiting from the in-state power Longhorns having an average team at best. The Aggies finally have the SEC brand backing them when they enter Momma’s house to recruit their son, and it’s making a serious difference.
Florida and Will Muschamp just received a commitment from Georgia blue chip and former Clemson commitment Demarcus Robinson. Robinson is largely regarded as a top five receiver in the South, and he was a huge need for Florida at the position. Robinson makes the fifth wide receiver in Florida’s class, a position with no impact players on the current roster. The addition of wide receivers coach Joker Phillips made the difference with Robinson.
Florida has arguably the top running back in the ‘13 class in Kelvin Taylor already committed and a good #2 option with Adam Lane, too. But Florida is on the verge of landing another top running back from Florida in Alex Collins.
The Gators are loading up on the defensive side of the ball, too, with four defensive back commitments, including the top corner in the country Vernon Hargreaves. Florida also has three linebackers committed in Daniel McMillan, Matt Rolin and James Hearns, all highly recruited prospects. And they are not finished. Look for Florida to add at least one more corner, one linebacker and possibly two more defensive linemen, with top prospect Montravius Adams still on the board.
If you look at the Aggies’ current 34 commitments, five of them are wide receivers, and that doesn’t include athlete Ricky Seals-Jones. Seals-Jones and Derrick Griffin – both wide receivers and the top two prospects committed – could turn into hybrid tight end-type players because of their size and athleticism. Do you think high school wide receivers want to play with Johnny Manziel?
The Aggies, too, are loading up on the defensive side of the ball. They currently have 16 defensive prospects committed, and four of them are defensive tackles. Justin Manning and Isaiah Golden are two of the top tackles in the country, and they will suit up for the Aggies in the future, being the staple of their interior line for the next several years.
Kevin Sumlin and his staff are doing a fantastic job selling their brand to blue-chip recruits and benefiting from another down year for in-state power Texas.
Photo Credit: Thomas Campbell