Texas A&M Aggies: Brandal Jackson

Signing day primer: Texas A&M 

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: There are three key need areas for Texas A&M in this recruiting class: defensive tackles, linebackers and receivers. The defensive tackle need stems from the Aggies' scheme switch. The 2010 and 2011 seasons were spent in a 3-4 alignment, and recruiting was tailored to that. Once Kevin Sumlin arrived and hired Mark Snyder as his defensive coordinator, the Aggies switched to a 4-3, meaning another defensive tackle on the field, meaning more were needed. At linebacker, the Aggies say goodbye to a pair of senior leaders, Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart, both of whom were starters. The other starting linebacker, Steven Jenkins, will be a senior this season. At receiver there are several contributors leaving as well. Ryan Swope, Uzoma Nwachukwu and Kenric McNeal were all seniors. Thomas Johnson, a true freshman who appeared in 10 games and was one of the gems of the 2012 recruiting class, withdrew from school and might not return. There's another scholarship spot at the position in the form of Brandal Jackson, who was on scholarship but not part of the 105-man roster at the start of fall camp.

Help is on the way: At defensive tackle, A&M scored commitments from ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Isaiah Golden. Three-star prospect Hardreck Walker and three-star Jordan Points (who is already on campus) round out that group. There are six linebackers in the class, led by ESPN 300 ILB Jordan Mastrogiovanni. Three are already on campus and enrolled: Brett Wade, Reggie Chevis and Tommy Sanders. At receiver, the Aggies have plenty. Ricky Seals-Jones tops the list, prep school standout Ja'Quay Williams is already in school, and there's a pair of three-star receivers as well. Not to mention, No. 1 tight end prospect Derrick Griffin would be a receiver at A&M if he makes it in, and athlete LaQuvionte Gonzalez likely would be an inside receiver.

Other key commits: A pair of Under Armour All-Americans, guard Joas Aguilar and cornerback Noel Ellis, plus a U.S. Army All-American, safety Kameron Miles, round out a group 10 prospects that are among ESPN's top 300. Two quarterbacks are in the class (Kohl Stewart and Kenny Hill), but it's worth keeping an eye on them as Stewart is a potential high MLB draft pick and Hill took official visits to Baylor and Kansas State. Eight early enrollees in the class are already on campus (Chevis, Points, Sanders, Wade, Williams, Cameron Clear, Alex Sezer and Jeremiah Stuckey), and there are plenty of promising three-star commits, including guys like cornerback Tavares Garner and outside linebacker Darian Claiborne.

Other key targets: There aren't a ton of targets left for the Aggies at this point. Their focus is on a small handful of guys. Adding a defensive end would be ideal for the Aggies, and they're pursuing Washington commit Daeshon Hall and USC commit Torrodney Prevot in that regard. Hall visited recently, and Prevot could soon. They are also still looking at another receiver. Former USC commit Sebastian LaRue is one of those targets, and he was in on an official visit recently. They are also looking at Florida State commit Levonte Whitfield, who said he plans to officially visit Feb. 1.

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Focus on '14: Receivers/tight ends 

November, 6, 2012
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GigEmNation is taking a weekly position-by-position look at the 2014 recruiting class as it relates to Texas A&M, whom the Aggies are targeting, as well as 2013 commits and who on the roster will graduate. Today, we look at receivers and tight ends.

[+] EnlargeK.D. Cannon
Max Olson/ESPN.comESPN Watch List receiver K.D. Cannon is one of the most sought-after players in Texas.
2013 commits: Derrick Griffin, Rosenberg (Texas) Terry; Quincy Adeboyejo, Cedar Hill (Texas) High School; Kyrion Parker, Manvel (Texas) High School; Jeremy Tabuyo, Honolulu St. Louis School. Two athlete commits -- LaQuvionte Gonzalez of Cedar Hill and Cameron Echols-Luper of Auburn (Ala.) High School -- are also possible receivers

Receivers and tight ends who will graduate: Brandal Jackson, Michael Lamothe, Kenric McNeal, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Ryan Swope

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Texas A&M went through its second practice of the fall on Saturday evening at the Coolidge Practice Fields and there were plenty of nuggets dispersed by coach Kevin Sumlin, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and defensive coordinator Mark Snyder after practice to chew on. Among them:

" Snyder said sophomore defensive back Deshazor Everett has been working exclusively at cornerback so far. Everett, a 6-foot, 176-pound athlete from DeRidder, La., has the ability to play both cornerback and safety. Snyder said the time will come for Everett to work at both, but for now the staff is giving him a chance to win the starting job at one of the corner spots.

"We're trying to figure out if he's going to be our starting corner," Snyder said. "At some point in time though, he's going to have to become a dual player for us, especially when we go to nickel, so hopefully we can get that done. But for right now, we're keeping him at corner to see if he can win that spot."

Kliff Kingsbury
Ray Carlin/Icon SMIAggies offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury has been impressed by redshirt freshman receiver Mike Evans.
" One player who has caught the eye of Kingsbury is redshirt freshman receiver Mike Evans. The Galveston (Texas) Ball High product is 6-5, 218 and spent most of his high school career on the hardwood playing basketball before electing to try football as a senior in high school. Kingsbury likes Evans' progress.

"He's been really impressive," Kingsbury said. "We kick ourselves because we didn't offer him a scholarship at the University of Houston, which is unbelievable to me. But for a guy who has only played two years, he's really bought in. And the work at it since we got here day one and now is night and day, and he's really done a good job and I expect big things from him."

" Nobody has stepped to the forefront quite yet in the quarterback battle, according to Kingsbury. With the team working out without pads in the first two days, Kingsbury has had positive takeaways from the group.

"I think they all worked hard this summer and they're competing just like they did in spring," Kingsbury said. "So we'll keep rolling and we'll find a starter."

A few personnel notes:

  • Michael Lamothe and Nehemiah Hicks are competing at the tight end spot, but the position is a tad thinner now, as junior tight end Hutson Prioleau has left the team. Sumlin said the two met Friday and Prioleau decided that he will no longer play for the Aggies, but he will remain in school."We sat down and talked about it and he's decided that that's it for him," Sumlin said. "He's going to stay in school and graduate."

    Prioleau, a 6-4, 251-pound athlete from Fort Worth (Texas) All Saints Episcopal, caught 14 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown last season as a sophomore while playing in all 13 games, including three starts. He was a second-team All-Academic Big 12 selection as a redshirt freshman in 2010.
  • Freshman defensive lineman Alonzo Williams participated in practice with the team for the first time on Saturday. Williams, a 2012 signee out of Long Beach (Calif.) Polytechnic, will participate in workouts while the staff awaits word from the NCAA regarding his eligibility. The school has applied for a waiver on his behalf to allow him to participate while the NCAA completes its process.
  • Senior receiver Brandal Jackson is not a part of the 105-man roster that is participating in camp, Sumlin said. Sumlin did not say why."He's still on scholarship and he's still on the team but he has not invited into camp to start with with the 105," Sumlin said.
  • Sumlin said redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has continued to do what the staff has asked of him to participate with the team in practices in the wake of his June arrest on charges of fighting and and possessing a fake ID while in the Northgate bar district."We've been handling that, like I said, internally," Sumlin said. "He has some things that he has had to accomplish so far to even get back to practice. He's taking care of those and he has some more things that he's got to do to continue to stay in good graces. So that's where we are with that."
As fall practice and the 2012 season approaches, GigEmNation will take a look at where the Aggies stand currently and in the future at each position group. Today, we glance at the receivers and tight ends.

Current
Starters: Mike Evans, Michael Lamothe, Kenric McNeal, Uzoma Nwachukwu, Ryan Swope


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