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Sunday, January 6, 2013
Recruiting activity reflects A&M's stature

By Sam Khan Jr.

Sunday was a busy day for Texas A&M recruiting.

The Aggies welcomed one commitment, ESPN 300 inside linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, while seeing another leave the class, three-star receiver Quincy Adeboyejo.

Both are reflective of Texas A&M's significant success in its inaugural Southeastern Conference season.

Mastrogiovanni, who originally committed to Oklahoma on June 14, is a sign of the positives of that success. After going 11-2 and blowing out Oklahoma 41-13 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, the Aggies have established themselves as a force and Mastrogiovanni became the second ESPN 300 prospect to commit to the Aggies in as many days, with receiver Tony Stevens (Orlando/Evans) doing so on Saturday at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Texas A&M's staff continued to keep in touch with Mastrogiovanni even after he committed to Oklahoma and was able to secure an unofficial visit from him on Oct. 20 when Texas A&M hosted LSU. It didn't hurt that Mastrogiovanni's teammate at Dallas Jesuit, J.J. Gustafson, is an Aggies' commit.

The combination of the coaching staff, the game-day atmosphere that Kyle Field provides, the facilities and resources Texas A&M has plus the chance to succeed in the nation's premier football conference is an enticing combination to present to recruits. Players are jumping at the opportunity to come on board with the Aggies, and Mastrogiovanni and Stevens are the latest examples.

After his visit for the LSU game, Mastrogiovanni was impressed by the game-day atmosphere and the 12th Man.

"I've heard so much about how loyal the fans are to their team, and that proved to be true," he said. "When it became obvious that LSU was going to get the win there in the last couple of minutes, I didn't notice any of the fans leaving, which was pretty cool. They proved themselves to be really loyal team, so I found that to be a pretty special quality, what the fans did to the players."

One of the drawbacks to success manifested itself in the decommitment of Adeboyejo, one of the earliest commitments in the class. The Cedar Hill (Texas) High School receiver announced his commitment the same day as his high school teammate, ESPN 150 athlete LaQuvionte Gonzalez, back in March.

But as interest in Texas A&M soared among recruits nationally and they Aggies have addressed a position of need -- receiver -- Adeboyejo increasingly felt like another school would be a better opportunity.

“I just felt like I’d have a better opportunity to play early in another system,” Adeboyejo told RecruitingNation's Damon Sayles. “At A&M, felt like they wanted me, but I needed to play for a system that needed me.”

Before Adeboyejo's decommitment, as many as nine players in the class projected to play receiver. That number now sits at eight while Adeboyejo weighs his possible options, which include Texas Tech, Oklahoma and TCU.

When recruiting classes swell and there are a large number of players at a certain position, it's natural for players to be concerned about the opportunity for playing time. If they feel there are better options out there and early playing time is a priority, decommitments will happen.

As for Adeboyejo's teammate, Gonzalez, Aggies fans don't have a reason to worry about him. Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire said Adeboyejo's decision does not affect Gonzalez's commitment to Texas A&M, and Adeboyejo reiterated that on his Twitter account, tweeting on Sunday night, "No Me decommiting does not affect Quiv, he is Solid."