Texas A&M Aggies: 2013 Cotton Bowl

Recruits impressed by Manziel 

January, 9, 2013
1/09/13
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Ed ParisWilliam Wilkerson/ESPN.comCommit Ed Paris enjoyed watching Johnny Manziel in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel wowed fans and observers with his performance in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, leading the Aggies to a resounding 41-13 win over Oklahoma.

The same can be said for recruits who watched the game.

Film Review: Cotton Bowl edition 

January, 7, 2013
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Johnny ManzielMatthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsTexas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel scrambles for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

Texas A&M capped off its memorable first season as a Southeastern Conference member with a dominant 41-13 win over No. 11 Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Friday. The win gave the No. 9 Aggies an 11-2 record for the season and assured that they will finish with a top-10 ranking for the first time since 1994. Here's a look at three plays that helped the Aggies finish on the winning side against the Sooners:

Situation: Texas A&M ball, third-and-9 at the Oklahoma 23 (12:33 left, first quarter).
Score: Texas A&M 0, Oklahoma 0.

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The wave of momentum Texas A&M has in recruiting right now has seemingly become a tsunami, especially considering the Aggies' latest pull.

Jordan Mastrogiovanni
Bob Przybylo/ESPN.comESPN 300 linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni will join his teammate J.J. Gustafson in College Station.
ESPN 300 linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, who has been committed to Oklahoma since June 14, has flipped his commitment to Texas A&M. The four-star inside linebacker confirmed the news to GigEmNation via text message on Sunday.

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound prospect from Dallas Jesuit is the No. 7 inside linebacker in the nation. He will join his high school teammate, J.J. Gustafson, a four-star offensive tackle at Dallas Jesuit who is also committed to Texas A&M.

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What a difference a year makes.

No. 9 Texas A&M closed the book on an impressive season with a 41-13 rout of No. 11 Oklahoma on Friday in the AT&T Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

It is win No. 11 for the Aggies (11-2), the first time they've accomplished that feat since 1998, when they went 11-3. Let's look at the ups and downs of the night for Texas A&M:

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Texas A&M 31, Oklahoma 28

I don't expect this to be as high scoring as some might think because of the bowl season layoff. With Texas A&M, it also must be taken into account that there's a new playcaller: running backs coach Clarence McKinney is taking over those duties in place of former offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, who is now the head coach at Texas Tech. Since he has been in the offense for five years under head coach Kevin Sumlin, I think McKinney will do just fine in that role, but there certainly will be an adjustment. Across the field, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones has the best resume of any quarterback Texas A&M has seen this year, so he will be a challenge. The Aggies' formula of aggressiveness on defense that has led to a good pass rush and a quality third down defense will have to continue if they want to slow down this high-powered Oklahoma offense. I think Damontre Moore goes out with a bang in his last game as an Aggie, leading the charge for the unit and Johnny Manziel shows very few effects from his post-Heisman Trophy publicity tour and plays an overall good game.

Player to watch

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GigEmNation's Sam Khan Jr. took questions from fans on Twitter for a mailbag in advance of today's AT&T Cotton Bowl clash between Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Here it is:

From Manziel Fan Club (@JFFootball2): Who do you think replaces EZ [Uzoma Nwachukwu] and Ryan Swope next year as starters. And [what will be] the role of Tra Carson and Brandon Williams next year?

[+] EnlargeJohnny Manziel
John David Mercer/US PresswireQB Johnny Manziel has had a whirlwind month since winning the Heisman Trophy.
Sam Khan Jr.: I think Malcome Kennedy's emergence throughout the season means he'll certainly be a candidate to take Swope's role next season. The Aggies have a ton of receivers coming in the current recruiting class but I think Kennedy has already proven that he deserves time on the field and as long as he continues to show progress in the spring, summer and fall camp, it should be his job to lose. As for Nwachukwu's spot, I imagine Sabian Holmes, Ed Pope and Derel Walker are all possibilities. They're all young and unproven but they all have ability. That could also be a spot where one of the new recruits has a chance to fight for a job, perhaps someone like Ja'Quay Williams or Ricky Seals-Jones. As for Carson and Williams, my guess would be that Williams steps into a role similar to what Christine Michael had this year as the secondary back and a guy who can go between the tackles or hit the outside. I expect Ben Malena will still be the starter next year. Williams has a ton of ability though and if he can hold on to the football, I could see him push for a decent amount of carries. He's an explosive player. Carson, with his big body, my guess is he could have a role as a short-yardage guy.

From Rusty Woolley (@RWoolley7780): Is Johnny Manziel still wearing a knee brace after the injury scare against Mizzou? Has he said if there are any lingering concerns?

Sam Khan Jr.: The knee doesn't seem to be an issue. Manziel didn't appear to have a knee brace on during the open-to-the-media portion of Sunday's practice (practices since then have been closed) and I haven't heard anything said about it. It wasn't deemed serious at the time and it shouldn't be a factor come game time.

From Brian (@vonderlic): Are there any Army All-Americans or Under Armour All-Americans that you expect to commit to A&M? I've read comments from people speculating.


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Sumlin, Stoops, cross paths again

January, 3, 2013
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With the AT&T Cotton Bowl fast approaching, SoonerNation's Jake Trotter takes a look at the relationship between the team's head coaches, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops and Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin.

Sumlin, who is in his first year at Texas A&M, worked for Stoops as an offensive assistant from 2003-2007 before leaving to take his first head coaching job at Houston. Stoops dished an assist to Sumlin with a phone call, giving him a ringing endorsement to then-Houston athletic director Dave Maggard. Later, Maggard hired Sumlin and the rest is history, as he led the Cougars to great success and is doing the same so far at Texas A&M.

Read the full story.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has had a busy December.

This is no secret to Aggies fans or anybody who follows the 20-year-old redshirt freshman quarterback on Twitter. Manziel, who became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy on Dec. 8, has been all around the country since the regular season ended, from award shows in Orlando and New York City, a talk show in Los Angeles and NFL and NBA games around the state of Texas.

He started the month attending TCU's season finale against Oklahoma in Fort Worth, followed by the Cowboys-Eagles game the next day at Cowboys Stadium. The next week was full of award-show festivities in Orlando and New York then on Dec. 10 he read the "Top 10" list on The Late Show with David Letterman.

After attending Texas A&M's annual football awards banquet on Dec. 14, he headed to Los Angeles for a guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Then came back-to-back NBA games at Toyota Center (Houston Rockets vs. Philadelphia 76ers) and American Airlines Center in Dallas (Mavericks vs. Miami Heat).

He capped off the whirlwind with another appearance at Cowboys Stadium for the Saints and Cowboys, then played golf the next day with the Jonas Brothers.

"I have been enjoying it," Manziel told reporters at AT&T Cotton Bowl media day on Sunday. "I have been enjoying all the stuff that has come with it. I am a big sports fan. All of you know about going to the basketball game and the football game. It is just something that I enjoy. People just didn’t know I went before, but I still went but people didn’t care to write about it."

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HOUSTON -- Texas A&M has plenty of pass catchers in its 2013 class.

As one of the points of emphasis for the Aggies in their current recruiting haul, as many as eight different commitments could wind up as receivers for the Aggies (four receivers, three athletes and a tight end).

[+] EnlargeKyrion Parker
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comThree-star Kyrion Parker is the No. 90 receiver in the nation and the No. 105-ranked prospect in the state of Texas.
Manvel (Texas) High School receiver Kyrion Parker is not concerned about the numbers game. He said so this week at the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl, where he and high school teammate and fellow Texas A&M commitment Tavares Garner are participating for the American team along with four other Aggies commits.

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