Texas A&M Aggies: #AskLoogs

#AskLoogs: Aggies 'building' on D

January, 24, 2014
Jan 24
12:30
PM ET
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Well, Texas A&M is not in a reloading mode yet. The Aggies are in "building" mode right now on defense.

This was a program that relied heavily on two freshmen along the defensive front in 2013 with defensive end Daeshon Hall and defensive tackle Isaiah Golden. This was not the positon coach Kevin Sumlin would have preferred to be in with these guys. In the 2014 class the Aggies currently have five defensive lineman committed, including No. 1-ranked DE Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), so depth and an upgrade in talent are being built in College Station. There is no magic wand to wave, however, to speed up the process. Sumlin knows that in the SEC high-powered offenses will only take teams so far. It’s similar to Bobby Petrino while at Arkansas. The good news is that Texas A&M has the ability to lure top-flight defensive personnel along the front and Arkansas couldn’t. The Aggies' defense is in development and they need to grow up fast as breaking in a new offense next fall will mean that the defense is going to have to be better. In order for Texas A&M to truly be a championship contender, it will have to improve greatly on defense which is why last year’s class and this year’s class have been heavy on that side of the ball.

#AskLoogs: Impact recruits in SEC

November, 15, 2013
11/15/13
12:30
PM ET
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So far, I believe there are several. Let’s start in the SEC West. Offensive tackle Cameron Robinson (West Monroe, La./West Monroe), an Alabama pledge, is sure to make an instant impact at one of the two tackle spots. Defensive end Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin) is a huge need for the Texas A&M Aggies and should have an immediate role. If Johnny Manziel bolts for the NFL, QB Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) could be thrust into immediate duty. Running back Roc Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford) is as big of a need as any for the Auburn Tigers and he is the right style of back.

In the SEC East, it is a little more muddy because there aren't as many immediate needs or impact guys committed just yet. For Tennessee, if Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech Senior) can stay healthy, he will play. In fact, several Vols could see immediate duty and they could also have up to 14 mid-year enrollees. Wide receiver Shaq Davidson (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney) at South Carolina. Defensive end Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla./Crestview) at Kentucky. And if Florida can hang on, there is no doubt that WR Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead Senior) and RB Dalvin Cook (Miami/Miami Central) will have roles with the Gators.
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Hmm. This is a tough question to answer without the finality of the 2014 class signing day to give me some concrete options to choose from. I’ll take a stab at a few teams that might fit the bill.

I’d argue that Auburn’s true freshmen have been as impactful as Ole Miss. RB Racean Thomas could continue this trend. Michigan could get significant production from WR Drake Harris, ATH Jabrill Peppers and DT Bryan Mone, and if they get Da'Shawn Hand, that could be big for them. All guys are need positions. Texas A&M, with DE Myles Garrett, QB Kyle Allen, ATH Nick Harvey -- and they could also end up with ATH Speedy Noil, too. If they stay committed, Florida could see a lot of offensive impact with the likes of RB Dalvin Cook (huge need) and WR Ermon Lane, too. Miami could be another on both sides of the ball.

However, if we were sitting here in February and assuming LSU closed like some are expecting with in-state talent, including RB Leonard Fournette, then I think you could see a lot of freshmen making an impact for the Tigers.

#AskLoogs: Losses in big games

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
12:30
PM ET
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In the case of Texas A&M against Alabama, that environment was a win-win for the Aggies as long as they didn’t get blown out. It almost came to that, but they rebounded which only added to the excitement and environment. There was so much buildup to that matchup that it would be impossible for a prospect to place more stock into the loss than they did in the atmosphere. By all accounts, the loss has had absolutely no effect on the prospects in attendance, thus would have no effect on the Texas A&M coaching staff either.

You always run the risk of an official visit backfiring especially for a highly anticipated matchup if you don’t perform well as a team, or worse, get throttled by an opponent, especially one you should beat. Those outcomes can be difficult to overcome. Keep in mind, a bad loss is followed by having breakfast the next morning with the prospects who witnessed the game the day before which can be an uncomfortable setting at times.

There has been a pretty big shift among coaching philosophies over the years about hosting prospects on official visits in-season on game weekends. Many are moving away from it because it can be very, very difficult to prepare a game plan and do what’s necessary to win the game and, at the same time, provide the attention to the prospect that is needed as well. Many are opting for the official visit after the season and in the month of January so that all their efforts can solely be devoted to the prospective student athlete without the pressure of winning a game.

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