After pulling in the nation’s top-ranked class in 2022, what does Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher do for an encore? Well, so far, things don’t look nearly as rosy. With just 13 verbal commits, the Aggies rank No. 15 in the nation, according to 247sports, as Wednesday’s Early Signing Period approaches. That’s no better than 6th in the SEC, behind Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Tennessee and Florida.

Here’s a look at how the Aggies stack up so far.

Highest-rated player: 5-star DL David Hicks

The 6-4, 270-pounder from Paetow High School in Katy, Texas, Hicks is the nation’s top-rated defensive lineman and the No. 2 overall prospect in the state. He is the No. 12-rated recruit in the entire class of 2023.

Hicks remains verbally committed to Texas A&M, although he did make a recent official visit to Oklahoma as well as an unofficial trip to Oregon. Some are saying Hicks could eventually wind up at Oklahoma.

A shot put and discus thrower in high school, Hicks has tremendous lower body strength along with quickness and agility, making him a wrecking ball at any spot along the line.

With a rating of .9961, Hicks is the No. 4-rated all-time Aggies recruit (since ratings began in 1999), behind Walter Nolen (2022), Myles Garrett (2014) and Reggie McNeal (2002).

Did they bolster the QB room? No

The Aggies have zero quarterbacks in the Class of 2023 after 4-star Eli Holstein (6-4, 222) decommitted. The Zachary, La., product eventually verbally committed to Alabama. The Aggies did nothing to bolster the QB room; not there, anyway. But there is still a plethora of quarterbacks in the transfer portal, if that’s the direction Fisher is looking toward.

If so, it would be for depth purposes. Haynes King, who won the starting quarterback job the past 2 seasons, has entered the transfer portal.

The Aggies appear to have found their quarterback of the future. Freshman Conner Weigman won 2 of 3 starts to end the 2022 season for a Texas A&M team that won only 5 games all year. He completed 12 of 18 passes for 155 yards and 2 TDs in a stunning 38-23 victory over No. 16 LSU to close the season.

For the year, Weigman threw for 896 yards and 8 TDs. In 132 passing attempts, he did not throw an interception.

Best position group: Offensive line

With a trio of 4-stars plus a 3-star, the Aggies bolstered this critical area. Chase Bisontis (6-5, 290) leads the way. The No. 2-rated interior lineman in the country, Bisontis is the top-rated recruit from New Jersey.

TJ Shanahan (6-4, 310) is the No. 7-rated interior lineman in the country and 30th overall recruit from Texas. From Austin Westlake, Shanahan committed in September. Additional commits include 6-8 tackle Colton Thomasson (4-star), from Smithson Valley in Spring Branch, Texas, and 6-7 tackle Naquil Betrand (3-star), from Pennsylvania.

Biggest need filled: RB

Yes, the Aggies needed a major facelift along both offensive and defensive lines. But with 1,000-yard rusher Devon Achane declaring for the NFL Draft, he left huge shoes to fill.

Enter 5-star RB Rueben Owens (5-11, 190). The El Campo, Texas, product is the No. 2-rated RB in the country and the No. 5 recruit out of Texas. The door is open for Owens to make an immediate impact at the position, where he will compete with Amari Daniels and Le’Veon Moss for playing time.

Biggest potential flip: 4-star WR Ryan Niblett

It would be a long shot, but the Longhorns commit from Aldine, Texas, does have an offer from A&M. Niblett is the No. 12 WR in the country, as well as the No. 13 overall recruit from Texas.

The highly sought-after recruit also has offers from SEC schools Alabama, Arkansas, LSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.

Final takeaways on this class …

There really was nowhere to go but down after last season, when the Aggies hauled in arguably the greatest recruiting class of all time. And considering the offseason controversy leading up to a very disappointing 5-7 campaign, it appears to be a hard fall for the program, both on and off the field.

Fisher recruited heavily in the trenches again, at least in comparison to other areas. Last year, he recruited 8 defensive linemen, more than any other position, and 4 on the offensive side. This year, it was an even split, with 4 recruited in each side, again the most of any position.

Fisher did well in the state, pulling in a pair of 5-stars and 6 4-stars from the Lone Star State. In comparison, future SEC rival Texas garnered 1 5-star and 7 4-stars.