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Thursday, April 11, 2013
TAMU offer problematic for Teuhemas

By Max Olson

Going into their visit to Texas A&M, Keller (Texas) High brothers Sione Teuhema and Maea Teuhema have made it perfectly clear they’re a package deal. Maea, the 2015 offensive lineman, is going wherever his brother, a 2014 defensive end, signs.

Maea Teuhema, Sione Teuhema
Brother Maea (left) and Sione Teuhema already have several big-time offers.
On Wednesday, the Aggies tried selling the two on a different way to package that deal. As much as they enjoyed the visit, they weren’t thrilled by the proposal.

“It was everything we expected and hoped for it to be,” said guardian Robert Taliaferro. “We knew it was probably going to come down to three schools, with A&M being one of them. Their facilities are in the top two that we’ve seen. Liked the coaches, liked everything.

“And then we meet with Coach [Kevin] Sumlin and he lays out a plan. The plan included Sione sitting out a year.”

Texas A&M offered a scholarship to Maea, but only a grayshirt to Sione. Should they choose the Aggies, Sione would not enroll at the school until after the 2014 fall semester. Maea would then graduate from Keller a semester early.

The effect? The Teuhemas would arrive in College Station at the same time, bridging the one-year gap between them. It’s an intriguing possibility, but certainly not one that is putting A&M on their short list of favorites.

“No other school has brought up the word 'redshirt,' " Taliaferro said. “Me and Sione had talked about the possibility of him redshirting, but what we don’t like is the grayshirt, which leaves him at home for nine months.”

Had the brothers both been offered full, no-strings-attached scholarships, their guardian said Texas A&M “would’ve been very, very high on our list.” But the proposal is problematic.

The fact that Texas and Oklahoma didn’t hesitate to offer both Teuhemas makes the A&M deal a difficult one to agree with. And, just as importantly, the Aggies are hesitant because they have other plans at defensive end for 2014.

Texas A&M is one of the favorites to land ESPN Watch List defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/Martin) and is the frontrunner for Jarrett Johnson (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes). ESPN Watch List end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) is visiting College Station this weekend and already holds an offer.

The issue in this case isn’t Maea. Texas A&M is seriously interested in the 6-foot-5, 335-pound sophomore tackle. Finding a spot for his older brother, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound junior, isn't going to be easy for the Aggies.

“It would take an incredible amount of family discussion and praying for that kind of a decision to be made,” Taliaferro said. “I believe there is a different decision that would require a whole lot less discussion to be made. But it’s not my decision, all I can do is educate them.”

No matter how the visit had played out, the Teuhemas were not going to commit. They plan to visit LSU this weekend, and that will likely be their final unofficial visit before they reach a decision together in late May or June after Keller’s spring practice session ends.