- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
Texas A&M added to its already large and loaded 2013 recruiting class on Tuesday by landing a commitment from athlete Cameron Echols-Luper (Auburn, Ala./Auburn).
At Auburn, the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Echols-Luper is the starting quarterback and has led the Tigers to a 16-4 record and accounted for nearly 5,000 yards of total offense in the last two seasons according to head coach Tim Carter, but in College Station, Echols-Luper will likely play receiver.
With a 40-yard dash time in the 4.4-second range, Echols-Luper should fit in well in the Aggies' Air Raid-style offense. The scheme is designed to get the ball to playmakers in space and thrives on having speedy skill position players, like head coach Kevin Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury had at Houston.
Echols-Luper, who is the 28th commitment in Texas A&M's 2013 class, said the coaching staff's hope is to get him the ball anywhere.
"They really just said (I can play) all over because they're going to get playmakers the ball wherever they are," Echols-Luper said.
He brings plenty of athleticism as he has displayed both on the football field and on the track. In the AAU Junior Olympic Games in Humble, Texas, this summer, Echols-Luper finished second in the 200-meter dash (21.14 seconds), and sixth in the long jump (23 feet, 10 1/2 inches). He has also been clocked as low as 10.61 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He could fit in well as an inside receiver in the Aggies' offense.
If he does wind up at receiver, he'll join a talented incoming crop already committed to Texas A&M for 2013: Quincy Adeboyejo (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill), Kyrion Parker (Manvel, Texas/Manvel) and Jeremy Tabuyo (Honolulu, Hawaii/St. Louis School).
With the Aggies having four senior receivers on this year's roster (Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Kenric McNeal and Brandal Jackson) the incoming quartet will fill the need area from a numbers standpoint. It's not out of the question that the Aggies could add one more as they remain in the race for the nation's no. 1 receiver, Ricky Seals-Jones (Sealy, Texas/Sealy).
Echols-Luper has said that he plans to play football and run track at Texas A&M. The Aggies' success on the track (three consecutive national championships from 2009-11) certainly helped their ability to land Echols-Luper and Sumlin at Houston showed an openness to athletes wanting to participate in a second sport.
He'll also bring a strong understanding of the game and the college football culture with him thanks to his family ties. His stepfather, Curtis Luper, is an assistant coach at Auburn. Because of that, Echols-Luper has been around the players and coaches at Auburn, a fellow Southeastern Conference program, so it's unlikely that there will be many things that will take him by surprise when he steps foot onto the Texas A&M campus when it comes to football. He appeared to manage the recruiting process well, with a lot of maturity.
Because he has been around an SEC program he said it meant something to still be a part of that at the next level.
"I've been around the SEC for awhile," Echols-Luper said. "That's the conference I've grown accustomed to. It's a great conference."
In the end, Echols-Luper's desire to return to his home state of Texas combined with everything A&M has to offer that fit the wants on his checklist made the difference. The Aggies are hopeful that he'll be a difference-maker on the field when he arrives in College Station.
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