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Thursday, June 19, 2014
Scout's take: WR Lodge to Texas A&M

By Tom Luginbill

Top wide receiver DaMarkus Lodge has joined Texas A&M's impressive 2015 class. Here’s what the Under Armour All-American adds to coach Kevin Sumlin's squad:

What he brings: Most of A&M’s guys are on the smaller size with the loss of Mike Evans. Lodge has size and is a smooth, long-striding prospect who is elusive and glides to top speed. He has deceptive long-field speed and is a savvy, precise route-runner for a younger player. Lodge comes off the line with purpose and has a plan. Ball skills are a strength. Lodge does a nice job of securing balls thrown outside of his frame and rarely allows the football to get into his frame. He extends and plucks with confidence and strong hands and can play in the slot or on the outside.

How he fits: He is the complement to the guys currently on the roster. He is better vertically than after the catch, which is not to say he does not make things happen with the ball in his hands. In fact, he is deceptively productive on underneath catches, but his size/speed ratio and ability to set up DBs on deep routes is strong. Lodge could be a mismatch for safeties/OLBs and some nickels out of the slot.

Reminds us of: Jaz Reynolds, Oklahoma. Both players have deceptive range, speed and athleticism. They aren’t just jump-ball guys.

How class is shaping up: Texas A&M has been on a roll over the last two classes due to its on-field success and SEC affiliation. The class is headlined by Kyler Murray, the nation's top QB and No. 14 overall recruit. Five-star defensive tackle and No. 15 overall Daylon Mack is the co-headliner, and he is joined by No. 143 Larry Pryor Jr. and four-star Justin Dunning. Offensive line is a position of need, and No. 201 Trevor Elbert and No. 242 Connor Lanfear are key pledges. As flashy as skill guys are, it will be the trenches, particularly on defense, that determine the long-term fate of the Aggies.