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Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Early Offer: Texas-sized recruiting battle

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offering: There are plenty of great storylines to follow with the Class of 2015, but few will be bigger than the recruiting battles between new Texas coach Charlie Strong and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. At the frontlines of the battle between the two Lone Star State powers is Kendall Sheffield, the top ranked prospect in the state.

Sheffield has A&M, UT’s attention cornered
Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the college football recruiting battles. And no recruitment is bigger for both the Aggies and Longhorns in the 2015 class than No. 2 cornerback Kendal Sheffield (Missouri City, Texas/Marshall). The 6-foot, 170-pound Sheffield ranks as the No. 13 player in the country and the top recruit in Texas. Oklahoma and others are also in hot pursuit, but make no mistake at this point, it's a Texas-Texas A&M battle.

For the past two classes, Texas A&M and Kevin Sumlin have held the upper hand in the Lone Star State. But with Charlie Strong now in charge at Texas, there is a renewed sense of energy around the Longhorns program, and Strong knows to win big at Texas he has to win against A&M on the recruiting trial. And many observers believe that as Sheffield’s recruitment goes, so goes the recruiting momentum within the state.

“He’s a watershed recruit for both programs,” one Big 12 assistant that recruits Houston said. “Texas A&M runs the state now and basically gets about anybody they want, but I truly believe that can all change with one recruit. That’s as long as that one recruit is Kendall Sheffield.”

Quite a few recruiting writers have pegged A&M as the early team to beat. He’s visited College Station a lot early in the process, and is scheduled to visit again soon. There’s also word that both Sheffield and his father have a great relationship with Sumlin, so the Aggies have placed themselves in a good position. But it’s not over by any means. Sheffield has also been to Austin a number of times, and his teammate J.W. Ketchum is leaning toward Texas, so count on the Horns to be there until the end.

“It wouldn’t shock me to see this go on until December,” another source said.