Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Team Recruiting Countdown: No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies

No. 18 Texas A&M Aggies (Big 12 No. 4)

2008 Haul: 24 signees, 2 Athlon Consensus 100

Scouting Report:

The biggest issue in College Station in 2008 will be the switch in offensive philosophy. The power option attack of Coach Franchione had a tough time recruiting certain positions that involved the forward pass – wide receivers, quarterbacks etc. That should no longer be an issue for the Aggies. Mike Sherman steps in with a 10-plus win-per-season NFL resume and a love of the West Coast offense. It paid off immediately.

Playmakers on the outside have been missing for the Aggies for sometime but they addressed that by stealing big Jeff Fuller (McKinney, Texas) from Oklahoma and landing Derrick Hall (Beaumont, Texas). The future of the quarterback and running back spots are secure as Sherman landed quarterback Tommy Dorman (North Richland Hills, Texas) and Cyrus Gray (DeSoto, Texas). Dorman is more of a drop back passer and will fit the new offensive system in College Station once Stephen McGee graduates. Gray is a home run threat and will be a star in the Big 12.

The other main area of concern for Texas A&M was the defensive front. This class surely has added depth to the defensive line as the Aggies landed eight D-line prospects (three tackles, five ends).  Big tackle Roderick Davis (Aldine, Texas) and the explosive Andrew Wolridge (Lexington, Texas) headline this group of defenders. Kyle Mangan (Brenham, Texas) leads a group of three linebackers headed to A&M.

All but two of the 24 incoming freshman are from the state of Texas. JUCO defensive end Matt Moss (El Cajon, Calif.) and the versatile athlete K.J. Williams (Norman, Okla.) are the only two prospects in this class not to play their most recent football in the state of Texas.

Top Prospect: Cyrus Gray – RB – DeSoto, Texas (5-11, 185) AC100 No. 61

Gray is quite the opposite of his counterpart Jonas Gray. Cyrus is about 30 pounds lighter than Jonas and is more of a speed back rather than a power runner. He lined up predominately as a quarterback, taking the shotgun snap and running with the ball. His natural open-field running ability is outstanding. He shows great vision and cut-back ability, exploding into creases and slashing through defensive front sevens. He can be a home run threat from the running back position.

For a speed back, Gray is very comfortable between the tackles. He uses his explosion and vision to find holes and squeak through with great quickness. Because he is smaller in stature, though, his penchant to run with a mean streak will catch up to him in college. Gray is a hard worker in the weight room, so he should be able to strengthen his lower body. An aspect he will have to improve, if he expects to run with the same intensity that made him so successful in high school.

Best of the Rest:

Jeff Fuller – WR – McKinney, Texas (6-4, 205) AC100 No. 92
Rod Davis – DT – Aldine, Texas (6-2, 300)
Derrick Hall – WR – Beaumont, Texas (5-11, 200)
Andrew Wolridge – DE – Lexington, Texas (6-3, 240)
Tommy Dorman – QB – North Richland Hills, Texas (6-3, 205)

Sleeper: Anthony Hyde – OT – Colleyville, Texas (6-6, 290)

Coach Fran and his running attack always required smaller, more athletic offensive lineman. With the implementation of the West Coast offense, a big-time left tackle is a necessary commodity. Hyde is just that. He has ideal left tackle size and is surprisingly athletic. He has the frame to add weight and strength while still maintaining his quick feet. He will need to adjust to playing in a pro-style offense as he used very unusual splits and formations in high school.

No comments: