Aggies bring in highly-touted class to fill needs
FEB 05, 2014 7:02p ET
That doesn't mean the Aggies didn't try Wednesday on National Signing Day.
Led by the signing of the top defensive end, quarterback and wide receiver prospects in the country, A&M hauled in the No. 6-ranked recruiting class according to Scout.com.
"This is a class that addresses our needs across the board," Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We have a plan of how we want to do things. We've lost some very, very talented players offensively this year. We've got to replace those. We had a depth issue last year on defense. I think the first attempt this year was for us to address those needs from an offensive line standpoint and our defensive front seven, really our complete defense."
The Aggies inked 22 players Wednesday, including 11 for a much - maligned defense. One of the signees -- Dallas Skyline defensive Cedric Collins - won't play because of a spinal condition but A&M still opted to honor his scholarship.
Arlington Martin's Myles Garrett, the No. 1 defensive end in the nation, leads that unit and is the only five-star recruit on the defensive side of the ball. Eight of the other defensive signees were four-star selections, including four on the defensive line. Seven of the 11 defenders the Aggies signed were either linemen or linebackers.
Garrett, a 6-5, 250-pounder, may be the best defensive player in the country. That's huge for an A&M defense that ranked 109th nationally in total defense.
"Really good," Sumlin said of Garrett. "He's explosive. He's right at 260 now. He took off his shirt after a (basketball) game and he looks like he has a Batman costume on."
The biggest name on offense is quarterback Kyle Allen. The 6--3 Allen, who is from Scottsdale, Ariz., is the No. 1 QB prospect in the nation. Allen has already enrolled at A&M in a bid to get accustomed to Sumlin's offense and help his cause in wide--open quarterback race.
With the early departure of Manziel, Allen is competing against sophomore Kenny Hill and senior Matt Joeckel.
"Kyle he's a very accomplished quarterback," Texas A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital said. "He's more of a pocket passer. He's got a very quick release and a strong arm. The kid is athletic enough to keep a play alive. We're pretty fired up about Kyle."
While Manziel's favorite target is gone in Evans, the Aggies beat LSU for the services of wide receiver Speedy Noil. Noil, who also enrolled in January, is the No. 1 receiving prospect in the country. The five-star prospect chose A&M over LSU.
The Aggies also added six offensive linemen, and three of them have already joined the program. That's big because the Aggies have depth issues up front and it helps that two of the three (Jermaine Eluemunor and Avery Gennesy) are coming from junior-college programs and could make an early impact.
"It was important for us to get the offensive line junior college guys in here midyear" he said. "It's hard to play that position coming in just in the fall. Now you've got two sets of practices to get a couple of those guys ready to go."