Texas A&M Aggies: Derrick Griffin

Early Offer: Wooing Dupre 

January, 20, 2014
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Monday's offerings: The nation’s No. 1 receiver visited LSU over the weekend, but it’s just the first part of his tour throughout the Southeast this week; Derrick Griffin is back in Texas after a short stint at a prep school, and it will help him get back on the recruiting map; and Nebraska’s loss is Kansas State’s gain.

Sense of relief for ESPN 150 TE Griffin 

February, 28, 2013
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Derrick GriffinSam Khan Jr./ESPNESPN 150 tight end Derrick Griffin (23), a Miami signee, flashes "The U" hand signal after scoring 31 points for Rosenberg (Texas) Terry High School in an overtime playoff game win over Houston Wheatley High School on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
MISSOURI CITY, Texas -- With the clock showing triple zeroes and the score in his team's favor, Derrick Griffin (Rosenberg, Texas/Terry) began streaking down the court at Buddy Hopson Fieldhouse, removing his jersey top and revealing an ear-to-ear grin in the process. He couldn't contain himself.

After celebrating for several minutes with his teammates and coaches, the Miami signee turned toward the Terry student section and connected his thumbs, with his fingers on both hands pointed skyward, forming the hand signal known as "The U."

It was as jubilant a moment as the dual-sport star has had in some time. For two weeks, Griffin was mired in uncertainty, not knowing where his athletic future lay. An ESPN 150 football prospect, Griffin did not sign with a college on Feb. 6 -- national signing day -- because he did not have a letter of intent to sign.


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GigEmNation signing day blog

February, 6, 2013
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Welcome to GigEmNation's live coverage of national signing day for the Texas A&M Aggies. We'll be with you throughout the day providing up-to-the minute updates on A&M's class of 2013.

Watch live coverage on ESPNU | 2013 Texas A&M recruiting class

(Read full post)

Positive signing day outlook for TAMU 

February, 6, 2013
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In a year's time, things have changed quite a bit for Texas A&M. Look no further than national signing day as evidence.

In 2012, much of the attention and concern regarding the Aggies' recruiting class heading into signing day was on whether the Aggies could hold on to one of their most notable commitments, ESPN 150 receiver Bralon Addison.

It didn't happen, as Addison flipped to Oregon and signed with the Ducks.

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Future uncertain for top TE Griffin

February, 5, 2013
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The future appears unclear at the moment for ESPN 150 tight end Derrick Griffin.

Texas A&M's recruiting class on Wednesday will not include the 6-foot-6, 228-pound prospect from Rosenberg (Texas) Terry. Griffin will not sign a letter of intent with the Aggies, according to his coach at Terry, Tim Teykl.

Teykl confirmed that Griffin has not received a national letter of intent from the Aggies, nor is he expected to. As for whether Griffin will sign with another school or a junior college on Wednesday or any time in the near future, Teykl is uncertain.

There have long been concerns about Griffin's ability to qualify academically, so the development does not come as a surprise.

As for Griffin's teammate, Texas A&M safety commit Victor Davis, he is expected to sign at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Teykl said.

Read the full story here

Scouts: LaRue complements Aggie WRs 

January, 25, 2013
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Texas A&M picked up its sixth ESPN 150 prospect Friday with the commitment of Under Armour All-American receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica), a one-time USC verbal.

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LaRue will fit nicely in Aggies' offense 

January, 25, 2013
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When it comes to fits, there might not be a better fit for ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) than Texas A&M.

Sebastian Larue
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comSmall and quick, Sebastian LaRue will fit nicely as a slot receiver in Texas A&M's offense.
Take a fast, dynamic receiver whose strength is making plays in space with the football in his hands in an offense that is geared to do just that and you have the potential for something great.

Once he arrives in Aggieland, LaRue, a former USC commitment, will be a slot receiver, most likely lining up at the 'Y' position, where senior Ryan Swope caught 72 passes for 913 yards and 8 touchdowns this season.

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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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TAMU commit Griffin focused on future 

January, 21, 2013
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ROSENBERG, Texas -- The first time Rosenberg (Texas) Terry basketball coach Michael Jackson saw Derrick Griffin, there were several things that went through his mind.

At the time, Griffin was an eighth grader, but his skills and athleticism were apparent. Though he was a football star, Griffin was also a basketball star and remains a dual-sport standout to this day -- a receiver for Terry's football team and forward for the basketball team, showing at times the ability to be dominant at both.


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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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U.S. Army Bowl: Monday notebook 

December, 31, 2012
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SAN ANTONIO -- ESPN 150 outside linebacker Mike Mitchell (Plano, Texas/Prestonwood Christian) isn’t big on speaking publicly. He’d rather let his game do the talking -- and it speaks volumes.

On Monday, the 6-foot-5, 222-pound linebacker officially confirmed that he will announce his college plans during Saturday’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Oregon, Texas A&M and Ohio State are his three finalists.


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Surge continues for A&M with Seals-Jones 

December, 10, 2012
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Ricky Seals-JonesMax Olson/ESPN.comRicky Seals-Jones is No. 13 in the ESPN 150 and is ranked as the No. 1 athlete.
SEALY, Texas -- Life has been pretty good for Texas A&M lately.

The Aggies concluded a 10-2 regular season, their first in the Southeastern Conference, on Nov. 24 and finished the regular season ranked in the top 10. They earned a berth in the AT&T Cotton Bowl to play Oklahoma. Since the season ended, they scored commitments from the state's No. 1 defensive tackle (Justin Manning), a standout prep school receiver (Ja'Quay Williams), a junior college tight end (Cameron Clear) and two 2014 ESPN Watch List prospects (Nick Harvey and Shaun Nixon).

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TAMU recruiting momentum continues 

December, 6, 2012
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videoLanding Dallas Kimball defensive tackle Justin Manning is hardly the start of a wave of momentum for Texas A&M on the recruiting trail, but it is without question one of the biggest signs of it.

Whatever a recruit has on a list of wants in a football program, chances are the Aggies can fulfill it. With a winning season in the country's premier football conference, the possibilities seem endless. The energy Kevin Sumlin, Johnny Manziel and the Southeastern Conference membership has injected into the program has the Aggies thinking big and it's catching the attention of the top recruits around the state of Texas, with Manning being the latest to jump on board.

[+] EnlargeJustin Manning
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJustin Manning is the top defensive tackle in Texas.
The ESPN 150 defensive tackle, who is ranked eighth at his position in the country and is the 12th-best prospect in the state, committed to Texas A&M during a ceremony on Thursday afternoon at Kimball High School. The four-star prospect is the No. 88 player in the ESPN 150 and is the fifth player in the ESPN 150 to commit to Texas A&M.

The acquisition of Manning gives the Aggies 33 commitments in their 2013 class. Included in that list is Texas' No. 1 tight end prospect [Derrick Griffin], the state's No. 1 quarterback [Kohl Stewart], the No. 1 offensive guard [Joas Aguilar], the No. 1 safety [Kameron Miles] and now the No. 1 defensive tackle in Manning.

Let that sink in for a minute. The Aggies have the state's top-ranked 2013 recruit at five different positions. They could make it six if they close on Sealy (Texas) High School athlete Ricky Seals-Jones, a former Texas commit who is considering only LSU and Texas A&M currently.

Manning, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound prospect, was long considered an Oklahoma lean. His older brother, DeMarcus Granger, was a defensive tackle at Oklahoma. It was thought that Manning would follow in his brother's footsteps.

But the Aggies persisted. Texas A&M receivers coach David Beaty, who has been a force in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the Aggies, built a good relationship with Manning and the defensive tackle began to build one with his future defensive line coach, Terry Price, when he took his official visit in September. The key word for Manning throughout his recruitment has been "trust" and the A&M coaches have clearly earned Manning's.


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Griffin, Davis like what they see from A&M 

November, 21, 2012
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DEER PARK, Texas -- Back on Oct. 20, Rosenberg Terry teammates Derrick Griffin and Victor Davis were all smiles as they sat at Kyle Field.

The two Texas A&M commitments were among dozens of recruits in College Station, Texas, that day to watch the Aggies host LSU. Since that time, both have returned their focus to their high school team, helping the Rangers get to the Texas Class 4A Division II playoffs.

[+] EnlargeDerrick Griffin
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comTight end prospect Derrick Griffin says he 'more solid' in his commitment to Texas A&M.
During a season in which Terry suffered injuries at multiple key positions, the Rangers have endured and Griffin, Davis and co., won their first-round playoff game Thursday, defeating Baytown Goose Creek Memorial 47-35 at Deer Park High School's Abshier Stadium.

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Aggies beef up frontcourt with PF Miller 

November, 20, 2012
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Power forward Tavario Miller (Houston/Wheatley) has committed to Texas A&M over interest from South Carolina and Tulsa, giving Aggie coach Billy Kennedy his third pledge of the early signing period. At College Station, Miler will join fellow frontcourt standouts Davante Fitzgerald (Stone Mountain, Ga./Tucker) and Derrick Griffin (Rosenberg, Texas/Travis), an elite football prospect who is also expected to play basketball.

Miller confirmed his commitment via text late Monday night, citing playing time, athletic facilities and player housing as some of the deciding factors in his decision.

The 6-foot-8 forward is a power forward who plays extremely hard on both ends of the floor. He has a terrific motor and his energy and effort is something that usually puts a smile on a coach’s face. Miller runs the floor and is an above-the-rim finisher with his explosive athletic ability. He is a consistent high volume rebounder with a knack for chasing down balls in and out of his area and putting points on the board via tip ins and tip dunks.

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