Texas A&M Aggies: Joe Mathis

SAN ANTONIO -- Wednesday was a day off for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl teams. Instead of working out and participating in drills, the players took in visits around the city -- including a stop at the Alamodome for photo opportunities and to see their game apparel -- and used the day to recover from two days of practice.

The teams will return to the fields on Thursday in arguably the most important practice of the week. Here are five things to keep an eye on for Thursday’s practice:
GigEmNation writer Sam Khan Jr. chatted with readers on Friday about Texas A&M football and recruiting. Here's the full transcript of the chat. The Aggies begin a three-game SEC road stretch on Saturday night when they take on Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

GJ (West Houston): It seems to me like DaMontre Moore is getting a bit overlooked by some of the media. I've seen some lists for SEC DPOY that didn't even have him in the top three. Seems absurd considering he has been the most productive DL in the country so far.
Sam Khan Jr.: GJ, there's a lot of talent in the SEC, but if Moore is not in the top three of someone's vote for SEC Defensive Player of the Year, it's my opinion that they aren't paying close attention. You could argue competition level for some of his production, but two of his best games this year came against the Aggies' two toughest opponents: Florida and LSU. I don't see how he can't be considered a frontrunner for that award. He has played at an extremely high level and honestly, right now, he's playing like an early round NFL draft pick. I know that our draft experts at ESPN have certainly kept their eyes on him because of the way he has played.

Evan (CS): It seems like A&M has about four remaining HS guys (Manning, Mitchell, RSJ, and Savaiinaea) that they are still going after to wrap up this 2013 class. Is there anyone else that has been kept under wraps that they're still pursuing and do you think they land any of these four?
Sam Khan Jr.: Of the high school 2013 guys there are some others besides those four that they're still pursuing. Mackensie Alexander, a five-star cornerback from Florida, is one of them. He was at the LSU game last week and still has other visits to take but he's one they're chasing. Also, Oklahoma LB commit Jordan Mastrogiovanni is one they're still recruiting. He also attended the LSU game. Another name of someone who will visit later in the year is Upland (California) DE Joe Mathis. As for the four you mentioned, I do think they land one or two of those. I'd guess Ricky Seals-Jones is one of the ones they land and if I had to guess another, I'd flip a coin between Manning and Savaiinaea (I'll say Manning).

Rene (College Station): Chances A&M puts three guys in top 15 in this year's draft? (Moore, Joeckel, Matthews)
Sam Khan Jr.: I'd say it's unlikely all three happen to go that high. First, I'm not sure that all three will declare for the draft. But if we are to assume that all three declare, I think it's possible all three are first-round picks, but not necessarily top 15. I think the two tackles are in good shape to go high. I would like to see more draft experts evaluate Moore, because it's kind of difficult to gauge where scouts sit with him right now. Clearly, he's winning a lot of supporters because of his play. How that's balanced out with last year's performance, size, then whatever he would do at things like the combine are all things that would factor into whether he could vault that high. But I don't see why, if the season ended today, he couldn't be someone picked in the top couple of rounds.
Four-star defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) is one of the more sought-after uncommitted defensive prospects in the West, and the 6-foot-4, 255-pound standout will give two schools a chance to make a big impression in the coming weekends.

[+] EnlargeJoe Mathis
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJoe Mathis will take an official visit to USC this weekend for the Washington game.
Mathis originally committed to Washington during his junior season, but pulled back on his commitment shortly afterward. Now, with the Huskies still in pursuit, he plans to take an official visit this weekend when they host the USC Trojans. It will be the first official visit for Mathis.

"I want to see if I like it there and if it feels like family, if I can relate with the players and have a good time," Mathis said. "I want to see if it feels like I can stay there for four years."

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DE Joe Mathis has visits in mind 

August, 28, 2012
8/28/12
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UPLAND, Calif. -- Defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) didn’t shy away from competition this offseason, even though he might have had a reason to. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound lineman said he fractured a bone in his foot back in April, but pushed through the injury this summer and took part in several camps.

“Eventually, I had to stay off of it for three weeks, ice it and all that,” Mathis said. “It was pretty painful to play with that. I played on it and made it worse, but I’m back now.”

Mathis is back in several ways. After getting up to 270 pounds, Mathis put in some serious work this summer.

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