Texas A&M Aggies: Sebastian Larue

Texas A&M WR LaRue to transfer

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
2:55
PM ET
Texas A&M freshman receiver Sebastian LaRue asked for his release and will transfer out of the program, the receiver confirmed to ESPN.com.

LaRue, who redshirted during the Aggies' 2013 season, was an ESPN 300 recruit who was a part of Texas A&M's eighth-ranked 2013 recruiting class. He was one of six receivers the Aggies signed in the 2013 class and he was rated the second-highest in the 2013 crop.

The Santa Monica (Calif.) High School graduate indicated in a text message that he plans to transfer to a school closer to home, though he's not sure where he'll land just yet.

"I just need to be closer to my family," LaRue said.

The story was first reported by GigEm247.com.

Coming out of high school, the 5-foot-11, 180-pound LaRue was an Under Armour All-American and a four-star recruit, ranked as the No. 74 overall player in the nation. He was the ninth-ranked receiver in the country and was known for his speed and playmaking ability, both as a receiver and as a return specialist.

LaRue was recruited by former Texas A&M secondary coach Marcel Yates, who recently left the Aggies to become the defensive coordinator at Boise State.

During his recruiting process, LaRue was originally committed to USC before decommitting roughly a month before national signing day. Washington State was also one of LaRue's finalists before he chose the Aggies.
The 2013 season is quickly approaching with Texas A&M players scheduled to report for fall training camp Aug. 4 and begin practicing Aug. 5. Much of the talk surrounding the Aggies this offseason is connected to its star quarterback, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. But there are several other aspects of the team to keep an eye on as the Aggies try to build on their 11-2 campaign in 2012. Here are five storylines to watch, not Manziel-related, for fall practice.

Freshman WR LaRue could make impact 

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
11:00
AM ET
When it comes to freshmen, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has never been shy about putting them on the field.

Going back to his time at Houston, Sumlin has long been a "best players play" coach, regardless of age or experience. If a player can help his team win and does the right things, that player will see the field.

Sebastian Larue
Tom Hauck/ESPNHSTexas A&M signee Sebastian LaRue could see the field early and often in 2013.
Last season, Texas A&M had several true freshman either start or contribute to the Aggies memorable 11-2 season. Cornerback De'Vante Harris and defensive end Julien Obioha both started large portions of the year. Others found themselves in the two-deep as contributors or spot starters, like receiver Thomas Johnson, defensive tackle Alonzo Williams and running back Trey Williams.

So it stands to reason that more than one freshman will have an impact this fall. But who will have the greatest impact?

Several true freshmen who have a chance to impact the Aggies are already on campus -- linebackers Reggie Chevis and Brett Wade, defensive tackle Jordan Points, cornerback Alex Sezer and receiver Ja'Quay Williams -- but for this exercise we'll look at only those who aren't yet on campus.

The candidates are still plentiful. At defensive tackle, the Aggies could use more depth. ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning and ESPN 300 defensive tackle Isaiah Golden are prime candidates to make an impact. ESPN 300 cornerback Noel Ellis is a tremendous playmaker in the return game and in the secondary, though the Aggies do have more returning starters in the defensive backfield than any position group on defense. At defensive end, the Aggies are searching for someone to help replace the production of Damontre Moore. Could Jay Arnold or Daeshon Hall help in that role next season? Perhaps.

But the one place where it stands to reason that there will be spots up for grabs and several incoming freshmen to battle for them is receiver. The Aggies only return one starter from last season's quartet (Mike Evans), so there are other spots up for grabs for takers.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Texas A&M Aggies spring wrap

May, 6, 2013
5/06/13
5:30
AM ET
2012 record: 11-2
2012 conference record: 6-2 (tied for second, West Division)
Returning starters: Offense: 6; defense: 6; kicker/punter: 1

Texas A&MTop returners

QB Johnny Manziel, RB Ben Malena, OT Jake Matthews, WR Mike Evans, DT Kirby Ennis, OLB Steven Jenkins, CB Deshazor Everett, S Howard Matthews

Key losses

LT Luke Joeckel, C Patrick Lewis, WR Ryan Swope, DE Damontre Moore, OLB Sean Porter, MLB Johnathan Stewart, FS Steven Terrell

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Johnny Manziel* (1,409 yards)
Passing: Johnny Manziel* (3,706)
Receiving: Mike Evans* (1,105)
Tackles: Damontre Moore (85)
Sacks: Damontre Moore (12.5)
Interceptions: Deshazor Everett* and Steven Terrell (2)

Spring answers

1. Johnny Football: The Aggies are in the rare position of returning the previous season's Heisman Trophy winner. Heading into his sophomore season, Texas A&M is hoping that quarterback Johnny Manziel can be even better than he was a season ago. This will be his second year in the offense and for quarterbacks who have played in this system, year two is typically a season in which they progress significantly as passers. That's one of Manziel's primary goals, even though he'll still run when the time calls for it. As long as he's healthy and playing well, things bode well for the Aggies.

2. Experienced secondary: Last season, the defensive backfield was young and inexperienced. This fall, there are still young players back there, but it is the most experienced unit on the Aggies' defense. Three of the four starters in the secondary from the AT&T Cotton Bowl are back: Deshazor Everett, De'Vante Harris and Howard Matthews. Junior Floyd Raven has moved from cornerback to free safety and appears to have the skill set (range and tackling prowess) to fit into the position well.

3. Loaded backfield: The Aggies have four good options in their offensive backfield for Manziel to hand off or throw to. Starting running back Ben Malena returns, as does Trey Williams, who returned kicks and received carries as a true freshman. Add to the mix a pair of transfer backs who sat out last season, Brandon Williams (Oklahoma) and Tra Carson (Oregon) and the Aggies have a quartet that gives them a multitude of options.

Fall questions

1. Front seven: The Aggies are looking for someone to replace the production that third-round NFL draft pick Damontre Moore brought last season. Moore led the team in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks a year ago. Also, with two senior leaders gone from linebacker (Sean Porter and Jonathan Stewart) Texas A&M not only has to replace the bodies but also the leadership. Because of injuries, the Aggies were thin up front in the spring but when all their key players return in the fall, it will ease at least some of those concerns. Keep an eye on names like defensive end Julien Obioha (who started opposite Moore last year), defensive tackle Alonzo Williams and linebacker Donnie Baggs as players who have a chance to see their contributions increase significantly this year.

2. New receivers: Only one starting receiver returns from last year's squad: Mike Evans. Four of the top six players in receiving yardage are no longer on the roster, including second-leading receiver Ryan Swope. So who will Johnny Manziel throw to? Keep an eye on guys like Malcome Kennedy, who caught a fourth-quarter touchdown against Alabama last season, Derel Walker, who had a strong spring game, Edward Pope, who was a star on the scout team when he redshirted last year and a host of recruits from the 2013 class like Ja'Quay Williams and ESPN 150 duo Ricky Seals-Jones and Sebastian LaRue. Developing other reliable pass-catching options is critical, so keep an eye on how they use the tight ends with newcomer Cameron Clear (6-7, 270) on campus.

3. Kicking game: One player who fans kept a close eye on this spring was kicker Taylor Bertolet. In his redshirt freshman season, the strong-legged kicker struggled with consistency, hitting just 13-of-22 field goal attempts and missing seven point-after attempts. With a new special teams coordinator (Jeff Banks) who has college punting and kicking experience around to guide him, the Aggies are looking for an improvement from Bertolet this fall. Also the Aggies are working in a new punter, Drew Kaser, who takes the reins after senior Ryan Epperson graduated.

Chat wrap: Aggies' OL should be fine

May, 3, 2013
5/03/13
5:00
PM ET
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. Here's an excerpt from the chat:

Kevin (Texas): Without Luke [Joeckel], will Texas A&M'S offensive line be as strong as last year's?
Sam Khan Jr.: I think it will take some time before they are that good. However, I think by year's end, the dropoff won't be very noticeable. Jake Matthews will make a great left tackle in my opinion and I think Cedric Ogbuehi has a lot of ability, so he could develop into a star at right tackle. And Mike Matthews at center will also be pretty good, I think. Jarvis Harrison is the lone player in the same position he was last year, so it stands to reason that he'll be better. The wild card is probably redshirt freshman Germain Ifedi. But playing right guard with his size (330+) should be just fine for the Aggies.

WaffleHouseAg (Plano): Which of the non early enrolled freshmen has the biggest impact next year?
Sam Khan Jr.: My guess is one of the two defensive tackles Isaiah Golden or Justin Manning. The Aggies were thin thin thin up front this spring (in part because of injuries) but they need all the depth they can get. I could see either of those guys in the two deep and getting into the rotation if they make quick progress this summer. I wouldn't be shocked to see any of these three offensive skill guys get on the field quickly either: LaQuvionte Gonzalez, Ricky Seals-Jones, Sebastian LaRue. I think you could see one or two of those guys have a role this fall.

Joel (Shreveport): What type of season do you see JFF [Johnny Manziel] having in 2013? Will he try to impress the NFL by staying in the pocket longer and throwing the ball downfield?
Sam Khan Jr.: I don't think he'll do that simply to impress NFL scouts -- he'll do that because it will be better for the Aggies and this offense if he becomes more proficient in the pocket. Is he still going to run? Absolutely. But the more hits he takes, the more of a chance you have of losing him. So the better he gets as a pocket passer, the more dangerous the offense becomes because then he won't have to scramble every time he tries to make a big offensive pass play. Also, year two in this particular offense is when a quarterback really takes off. See: Case Keenum, Geno Smith, etc. His grasp of it will be better and the Aggies will be better for it. So yeah, he'll do it, but not necessarily just to impress NFL scouts.
COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- In his first spring as Texas A&M's head coach, Kevin Sumlin hosted a night-time scrimmage open to Aggies fans, invited some of the top recruits in the state to come watch it, put it inside Kyle Field and dubbed it "Friday Night Lights."


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Hoza ScottMax Olson/ESPN.com2014 standout Hoza Scott headlines Texas A&M's class.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- With dozens of recruits inside the McFerrin Athletic Center for junior day and the 2013 Texas A&M Aggies about to hit the field for the first practice of spring football, music came from the speakers.

This isn't an uncommon practice in Aggieland. Since Kevin Sumlin took over as head coach, music has been a constant at practices to help keep energy and tempo high. In many ways, the first song of the spring seemed symbolic as Drake's "Started from the Bottom," kicked things off.

"Started from the bottom, now we're here."

The same could be said for the Aggies, in more ways than one. While not exactly at the bottom, many figured they wouldn't be anywhere near the top of the SEC. In their first season, the Aggies went 11-2, tied for second in the SEC West and will go into 2013 as potential preseason top-five team.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Position breakdown: Special teams 

February, 28, 2013
2/28/13
11:00
AM ET
While there was one area where inconsistency reigned, special teams overall were solid for Texas A&M in 2012.

The kick and punt coverage units were good, and the Aggies were solid in the return game, particularly on punt returns. Punting was an area where the Aggies were solid as well.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Introducing the class: Sebastian LaRue 

February, 21, 2013
2/21/13
2:00
PM ET
"Introducing the class" is a series in which GigEmNation conducts a Q&A session with each of the incoming recruits in Texas A&M's 2013 class to give readers a closer look at each recruit individually. Today, we visit with Santa Monica (Calif.) High School receiver Sebastian LaRue.

LaRue was an ESPN 150 prospect, ranked No. 74 overall nationally and No. 9 amongst receiveres. The four-star prospect stands 5-foot-11, 185 pounds and was committed to USC before reopening his recruitment in early January. He committed to Texas A&M on Jan. 25, just days after his official visit.

As a senior, LaRue caught 51 passes for 868 yards and eight touchdowns while also rushing for 100 yards and a touchdown. He was an All-Ocean League first-team pick and an All-California Interscholastic Federation first-team pick by the Los Angeles Times. Here's our Q&A with LaRue:


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Position breakdown: Receiver 

February, 18, 2013
2/18/13
1:00
PM ET
One area that will be a point of focus for Texas A&M fans this spring and heading into the fall will be wide receiver.

Three of the top four receivers from 2012 [in terms of receiving yards] and four of the top six will not be back in 2013. Senior starters Ryan Swope (72 catches, 913 yards), Uzoma Nwachukwu (26 catches, 485 yards) and Kenric McNeal (19 catches, 265 yards) have all graduated and freshman Thomas Johnson (30 catches, 339 yards) withdrew from school in November and appears unlikely to return.

Mike Evans
Stacy Revere/Getty ImagesTexas A&M loses three of its top four receivers, but Mike Evans' 82 receptions for 1,105 yards is a good foundation to build around.
The good news for the Aggies is that their top receiver in terms of catches (82) and yardage (1,105) will be back: redshirt freshman and soon-to-be-sophomore Mike Evans.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Recruiting notes: LB Whitley in no hurry 

February, 15, 2013
2/15/13
9:00
AM ET
In the last three weeks, ESPN Watch List linebacker Zach Whitley Jr. (Houston/North Shore) has attended a pair of junior days and picked up a notable SEC offer.

The 6-foot-1, 220-pound inside linebacker attended Texas A&M's first junior day of the year on Jan. 27 then went to Austin for Texas' first junior day on Sunday.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

How the '13 class wants to be remembered 

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
10:30
AM ET
When it comes to expectations for this class of Texas A&M recruits, they couldn't be higher.

Talk to the Aggies' newest signees, who made their pledges official Wednesday, and it's clear how they want to be remembered by Aggies fans. They want to be the group that makes history at Texas A&M.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

McKinney, Beaty pay off for Aggies 

February, 7, 2013
2/07/13
8:00
AM ET
With the recent staff changes and the promotion of running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Clarence McKinney to offensive coordinator, it seemed fitting that the person who inherited the recruiting coordinator title from McKinney was receivers coach David Beaty.

Beaty and McKinney are two of a kind when it comes to recruiting. Both are former high school head coaches in major metropolitan cities (Beaty in Dallas, McKinney in Houston). Both have been in coaching for more than 15 years.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Coming into national signing day it was already clear that Texas A&M had hauled in one of its best classes in years, perhaps in school history.

When the dust settled and it added one more player to the fold -- four-star defensive end Daeshon Hall, who flipped from Washington to the Aggies -- that much was still true. Every A&M commit that received a letter of intent signed on the dotted line.

Once the fax machine at the Bright Football Complex stopped, the result was a top-10 class.

But A&M coach Kevin Sumlin made it clear, as a member of the Southeastern Conference, that this class can only be a beginning for Texas A&M if it wants long-term success.

"We're still playing catch up in the SEC," Sumlin said. "I just came from upstairs and on ESPN we're ranked eighth in the country in recruiting. Then I look up at the next page and we're like fifth in our league. We're getting there, but we still have a ways to go."

Sumlin is right -- Alabama (No. 1), Florida (No. 2), Mississippi (No. 5) and LSU (No. 7) all finished ahead of the Aggies in this year's ESPN class rankings. But the Aggies recruited on the level of the other SEC big dogs, thanks in large part to the success it had in year one in its new conference.

The Aggies finished with 32 total players -- 31 signees and one transfer. Nine players are already on campus taking classes and working out in preparation for spring football. The other 23 signed on Wednesday, with Hall's signature putting a cherry on top of the class.

There are many reasons that Texas A&M was able to pull in a class of this caliber.

(Read full post)

GigEmNation signing day blog

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
12:22
PM ET
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)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Fournette Runs Over Aggie On 22-Yd TD
LSU RB Leonard Fournette rushes 22 yards for a second-quarter touchdown in the Tigers' 23-17 win over Texas A&M.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

SEC SCOREBOARD

Friday, 11/28
Thursday, 11/27
Saturday, 11/29