A&M with recruiting edge over OU in 2013 

December, 12, 2012
Oklahoma is 10-2 on the season and Big 12 co-champions. The Sooners have a strong history and winning tradition.

But try telling that to Class of 2013 recruits. Because right now, Texas A&M is where it’s at.

[+] EnlargeDerrick Griffin
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comThe nation's top tight end, Derrick Griffin, was one of the Sooners' earliest offers in the Class of 2013.
Want proof? Two OU commits (RB Keith Ford and LB Jordan Mastrogiovanni) have offers from the Aggies. Conversely, OU has offered 10 of A&M's commits.

None bigger or more polarizing than ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball). It was a sign of the times when Manning chose A&M over OU last week despite all his familiarity and connections with the Sooners program.

Here is a look at those 10 Aggies commits with OU offers and how their recruiting breakdown played out. GigEmNation’s Sam Khan Jr. also stops by to say how solid their commitment is to A&M at this point.

TE Derrick Griffin (Rosenberg, Texas/Terry, 6-6, 228, ESPN 150)

Griffin was one of OU’s first offers for the class. The Sooners targeted him early, but it simply didn’t matter. Once Texas A&M got in the game and showed real interest, there was no real battle. Griffin wanted to be an Aggie and will be an Aggie.

Khan’s take: Griffin kept his options open throughout the fall but once the Aggies showed success in the SEC, Griffin's commitment strengthened. He said Alabama and LSU are still contacting him but he said he feels real good about the Aggies. I don't expect that to change.

DT Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball, 6-2, 275, ESPN 150)

The ultimate gut-punch. No other way to describe it for OU. The Sooners thought Manning was in the bag, thought there was no way he would venture elsewhere. But Texas A&M kept up the pressure, kept showing how much it wanted the OU legacy. In the end, that determination paid off.

Khan’s take: He's solid right now since he's fresh off the announcement, but it wasn't an easy decision for him and I would never say never with Manning. At times, he seemed conflicted about the entire process as he neared his original decision date in October, which he pushed back. Some of his public words were about keeping everyone guessing, but he also seemed generally stressed about the process and undecided not knowing who to "trust" in his words. Could he second-guess himself? I doubt it happens and don't think he'll change his mind since his decision came roughly two months before signing day, but I'd never rule anything out with Manning. The good thing for A&M is he trusts their coaches.

ATH LaQuvionte Gonzalez (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill, 5-10, 148, ESPN 150)

OU offered first, but it became clear Gonzalez wanted to head to A&M. The Sooners tried to get him up for a junior day visit but it never panned out. Not much longer, he was committed to the Aggies. Light in frame, Gonzalez is an explosive talent.

Khan’s take: Gonzalez is solid as is his Cedar Hill teammate, Quincy Adeboyejo. He regularly tweets about the Aggies and seemed genuinely excited about Johnny Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy. That being said, with Ricky Seals-Jones' recent commitment there are potentially eight players in the class that could wind up at receiver. That has to have some of them, including Gonzalez, thinking.

DT Isaiah Golden (Carthage, Texas/Carthage, 6-2, 302, ESPN 300)

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