Thursday, February 7, 2013
How the '13 class wants to be remembered
By Sam Khan Jr.
When it comes to expectations for this class of Texas A&M recruits, they couldn't be higher.
Talk to the Aggies' newest signees, who made their pledges official Wednesday, and it's clear how they want to be remembered by Aggies fans. They want to be the group that makes history at Texas A&M.
ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning thinks the Aggies' 2013 class will win a national title.
"I would like for us to be remembered to be the first team to bring the national championship back to Texas A&M," Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning said of the feat he hopes will be accomplished for the first time since 1939.
That theme has been pretty consistent. ESPN 150 receiver Ricky Seals-Jones has said it. So has Manning. Recruits talk on Twitter about getting a "natty." After an 11-2 season in which the Aggies finished in the top 10 with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, the Class of 2013 has dreams of finishing a season ranked No. 1.
"I feel like we want to be remembered as one of the greatest," ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue said. "I feel like everyone is going to come in hungry. I think people are doubting some of us and some of us are a little underrated. We feel like we have a chip on our shoulder."
Basically, they want to prove that the 2012 season was not a fluke.
That drive is compelling, considering where the team was just one season before 2012. In the 2011 season, the Aggies came into the season with a top-10 ranking and limped to a 7-6 finish, well below expectations. Coach Mike Sherman was fired, and the Aggies were about to enter the nation's premier conference.
Kevin Sumlin took over and has overseen a culture change in Aggieland. The Aggies exceeded outsiders' expectations in Year 1 in the SEC, finishing tied for second in the SEC West and defeating BCS champion Alabama during the regular season in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"It's crazy, but this coaching staff has come in, they've done a great job," four-star defensive end Jay Arnold said. "Coach Sumlin has done a great job of getting the players behind him and believing. Right now everyone has a lot of faith in the program and I think that makes a big difference. That's why big things are going to happen.
"I think there's no doubt all of us want to win a national championship. That's all our goal coming in. I want to just be the player I can be and contribute to a national championship."