Friday, February 1, 2013
Recruiting notes: Watch List S likes TAMU
By Sam Khan Jr.
Mesquite (Texas) West Mesquite safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner was one of a dozen prospects who attended Texas A&M's junior day on Sunday, and all indications are the trip was a positive experience for the ESPN Watch List prospect.
On Thursday night, Sumner-Gardner officially decommitted from Clemson, the school he had committed to back in June.
It wasn't an easy decision, but the timing is certainly noteworthy since the 2014 prospect is coming off the junior-day trip to Texas A&M, the same school where his teammate, 2013 safety Kameron Miles, is committed. And Sumner-Gardner wasn't alone on the ride down there, as another West Mesquite teammate, 2015 quarterback Chason Virgil, was invited and attended as well.
For the moment, Sumner-Garnder isn't naming a "favorite," but there's no question the Aggies are in the mix for the 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety.
"A&M was fun," Sumner-Gardner said of his junior day trip. "They have that home atmosphere. Everything felt like home, and it's a great place to be. Everybody's cool, Coach [Kevin] Sumlin, Coach [Marcel] Yates and Coach [David] Beaty. They're all real cool guys."
Sumner-Gardner will head to Waco, Texas, this weekend for a junior day at Baylor, then to Austin, Texas, on Feb. 10 for Texas' junior day.
Virgil said he could tell Sumner-Gardner enjoyed himself on the trip to College Station, Texas.
"Dylan loved it," Virgil said. "He had a really good time. He just loved it down there. He was talking about it all on the way back home and at school the next day. We talked to Kam about it, and Kam's trying to get him to go there. But Dylan really loved it out there."
Sumner-Gardner has offers from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Mississippi, TCU and Auburn in addition to Texas A&M and Clemson.
Virgil talks TAMU visit Speaking of Virgil, he was one of only two 2015 prospects invited to Texas A&M's first junior day of the year.
The 6-foot-1, 165-pound quarterback had offers from Clemson and Missouri coming into the week and picked up an offer from Nebraska this week. On his trip to College Station, Virgil liked a lot of what he saw.
"We got to see the campus, got to see what A&M is about," Virgil said. "They're about winning, and not just winning on the field, but winning in the classroom. Even when you're out of A&M you can still be part of it. They help you with jobs when you get out of football. We saw what new things they were getting there, like the new stadium. It was cool to see how A&M is building off of one year really. Just being able to go in there and see an SEC school and SEC program that was successful [was great]."'
Virgil had the chance to speak with the coaching staff, and in particular new quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital.
"It was a great conversation," Virgil said. "We just talked about how the offense was and if I had any interest in the offense. We got to know each other more. We really just got to know each other more."
Virgil said he definitely has interest in Texas A&M.
A 'great experience' for 2015 DT Mack The other 2015 prospect that made the trip was Gladewater (Texas) High School defensive tackle Daylon Mack.
The 6-foot-1, 310-pound prospect was making not only his first trip to Aggieland, but his first trip to a college campus during the recruiting process.
In addition to Texas A&M, Mack already has offers from Oklahoma, SMU, TCU, Texas and Texas Tech.
"It was a great experience," he said. "I really enjoyed it up there, getting to meet the coaching staff and Coach Sumlin. My parents had some academic questions, and they wanted to know what the campus lifestyle stuff was like, so they got those questions answers. It was a great trip all around for the family."
It went so well that Mack considered committing that day.
"I told them I was real big on A&M," Mack said. "I really wanted to go. They said 'take your time.'
"Me being a sophomore and not having visited any other colleges so far, that's really the only thing that stopped me from committing then," he said.
Mack said he's considering going to SMU's junior day on Feb. 16 and also to Oklahoma during spring break.
2014 Watch List OT enjoys Aggieland One 2014 prospect who took an unofficial visit to Texas A&M last week, though not on the official junior day, was ESPN Watch List offensive tackle Braden Smith.
Texas A&M has been recruiting 2014 OT Braden Smith hard, according to his high school coach.
Smith, a 6-7, 285-pound tackle from Olathe (Kan.) South, made the trip to College Station to visit the campus and see his sister Megan compete in the Mondo Challenge track and field meet, which was held at Texas A&M. Megan is a thrower at TCU.
The day before Megan threw, Smith got to spend the day touring the A&M campus and interacting with other prospects who were there on official visits.
"He enjoyed it," Olathe South coach Jeff Gourley said. "He got to meet some of the players down there and of course all the coaches and got to meet some of the commits from the 2013 class, and he had a good time. He enjoyed the experience quite a bit."
Gourley recently said Texas A&M was recruiting the highly-touted tackle as hard as any program in the country currently. Texas A&M offensive line coach B.J. Anderson stopped by Olathe South this week, Gourley said.
The trip was a chance for Smith to see A&M and what it had to offer.
"He had a chance to look at all of the facilities, and of course the coaches rolled out the red carpet and treated him real nice," Gourley said. "It met his expectations. He was expecting to have a good time, and he did. It's certainly nothing that he saw to detract from his thought process. Now he has a little better idea [of Texas A&M]."
Hall, Prevot remain as 2013 targets And while there has been plenty of activity and focus on future prospects, the Aggies are still paying close attention to the 2013 class. Coaches have been making the rounds to high schools and to prospects homes for in-home visits, including to two prospects they're still targeting, defensive ends Daeshon Hall and Torrodney Prevot.
Prevot, a USC commitment and ESPN 300 prospect, officially visited Texas A&M on the weekend of Jan. 25. He visited Oregon on the weekend of Jan. 18 and was scheduled to visit Notre Dame this weekend, but he did not make the trip to South Bend, Ind., according to Houston/Alief Taylor recruiting coordinator Cedric Hardeman.
With Prevot staying silent recently and not making public comments to the media about his recruiting, it appears he's headed for a signing day announcement. Alief Taylor's signing day ceremony is at 10:20 a.m. on Feb. 6.
As for Hall, a Washington commitment, he received an in-home visit from Aggies' defensive line coach Terry Price on Tuesday. Washington checked in on Hall on Thursday, and TCU is expected today. He confirmed that A&M, TCU and Washington are his final three and that his announcement will come on signing day at Lancaster (Texas) High School.
With their focus on Hall and Prevot and retaining their current commits -- including quarterback Kenny Hill, who could announce a decision any day now -- the Aggies won't be hosting any official visitors this weekend.