- Sam Khan Jr., ESPN Staff Writer
Call it, living up to his word.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has been adamant in wanting to reach beyond the Texas borders for recruiting. Texas will always be the Aggies’ priority, but Sumlin wants his staff to be able to extend themselves nationally.
But, all the way to Hawaii?
Earlier this week, the Aggies left Texas, SEC country and even the mainland to score a commitment from Honolulu St. Louis receiver Jeremy Tabuyo.
So how did the Aggies reach all the way to the Hawaiian Islands for a recruit? According to Tabuyo, it was a quick-moving process that began when Aggies' graduate assistant Byron Thomas spotted his film and reached out via e-mail to Tabuyo.
"I guess someone posted my film on Twitter and he saw it," Tabuyo said. "He was just telling me that I'm the type of player that they're looking for and that I have all the skills and the ability of playing in the SEC with them."
From there, Thomas took the film to receivers coach David Beaty and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury the next day. When Tabuyo called the coaches, he got some positive news.
"(They) just loved my film and they were fired up about me," said Tabuyo, who was third-team All-State in 2011. "(Beaty) told me 'We want you, so we're going to go talk to the head coach.'"
Next in the approval chain was Sumlin, who, like Beaty, Kingsbury and Thomas, liked what he saw. So on the third day of recruitment of the Hawaiian receiver, Tabuyo was offered a scholarship. The night before, Tabuyo was doing his homework on Texas A&M, trying to figure out if the Aggies would be a good option for him.
"I just researched about the school and read up on it," Tabuyo said of Texas A&M. "I spent the whole night thinking about it and I just talked to my family about it."
Before the Aggies showed interest, Tabuyo already had several offers. Hawaii, Utah, Kansas and Wyoming had offered while he was receiving heavy interest from Illinois and also hearing from Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State.
One thing that stood out about the Aggies was their Air Raid offense. At Houston, receivers Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier and Justin Johnson thrived in the system. All three at one point or another in their careers posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Also playing a role was the Aggies' new membership in the SEC.
"Playing in the SEC is big for me because I love the competition and I like to challenge other DBs,” said Tabuyo, who had 30 catches for 562 yards last season. “It should be a great experience and I should have a lot of fun over there."
After taking the time to think about it the night before, Tabuyo was ready to pledge the next day once he received a scholarship offer. Tabuyo hasn't yet visited Texas A&M but said he plans to do so after his high school football season wraps up in November.
It was a fast-moving three-day process, but one that Tabuyo will not soon forget.
"I think it's a blessing," Tabuyo said. "It got me to think a lot and to read all about the school and stuff. I stayed home thinking about it and talking about it with my family. I think in the end, I made the right decision."
5dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
6dEdward Aschoff and Greg Ostendorf