Texas A&M Aggies: UCLA Bruins

The fall was quite busy for 2014 safety John Bonney (Houston/Lamar), who was part of a long, prosperous playoff run with his Redskins teammates all the way to the Texas Class 5A Division I state championship game.


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MILWAUKEE -- Sophomore center Diamond Stone (Milwaukee/Dominican), the No. 1-ranked prospect in the ESPN 25, and his father, Bob, sat down Thursday evening to discuss how Stone's game is progressing and where they are in the recruiting process.

Not surprisingly for the top player nationally in his class, Stone has an elite offer list a mile long but has a plan and is executing it to perfection.

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Texas A&M and UCLA linebacker target Isaac Savaiinaea received his honorary game jersey during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game on Thursday. Here's an excerpt from the story:

When Isaac Savaiinaea first encountered football, it was far from his favorite endeavor. As a 7-year-old who was introduced to the sport by his father, he didn't take kindly to defeat.

"My first four years of football were rough," Savaiinaea said. "We lost every game, literally. It was kind of discouraging and I wanted to quit."

He started his career playing on the offensive line, and he didn't particularly enjoy the way he was pushed around and hit by defensive players. By time he got to Honolulu Punahou School, he changed that, moving to the defensive side. Now he does the hitting and he does plenty of it -- enough to be recruited by quality college football programs across the United States.

"Getting put on my back every play wasn't too fun," Savaiinaea said. "I switched [to defense] my freshman year. I started to like it when I started getting the chance to hit people and not get hit."

The 6-foot-3, 231-pound inside linebacker and ESPN 150 prospect has had quite a successful last two seasons, which culminated Thursday when he accepted his game jersey during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game.

Read the full story here.

Savaiinaea decommits, A&M, UCLA lead 

November, 9, 2012
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There are two schools atop the list of ESPN 150 inside linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea (Honolulu Punahou School) and neither one of them is Stanford.

Savaiinaea, the No. 140 player in the ESPN 150, decommitted from Stanford on Thursday night. The 6-foot-3, 231 pound prospect confirmed to RecruitingNation via text message that he rescinded the commitment and that Texas A&M and UCLA are his top two choices.

The nation's fourth-ranked inside linebacker originally committed to Stanford in March, but came into the fall with the intention of visiting other schools. He took official visits to Texas A&M when the Aggies played Arkansas, to Notre Dame when the Irish hosted Stanford, to Stanford when the Cardinal hosted Washington State and to UCLA when the Bruins took on Arizona.

Savaiinaea indicated that he does not have any more visits planned and that he's likely to make his decision on where to go on national signing day in February.

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MISSOURI CITY, Texas -- When asked what to make of his senior season so far, one in which his team is undefeated, he has dominated on the field and colleges from all over the country have continued to recruit him, Deon Hollins Jr. could think of just one word.

"Perfect," he said.

It's not a bad way to put it.

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Deon HollinsTom Hauck for ESPN.comDeon Hollins Jr., a UCLA commit, has 13 sacks this season for Missouri City (Texas) Thurgood Marshall.
Each week, GigEmNation reporter Sam Khan Jr. will bring you five things he learned from watching high school football action in the Midlands region that week, including observations of Texas A&M commitments and targets and other players that catch his attention. Here's this week's installment:

1. Sealy (Texas) High School receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, who is Texas A&M's top remaining uncommitted 2013 target, showed off his athleticism and why he's such a coveted prospect. He only played about a quarter and a half because he suffered an ankle injury in the second quarter that took him out for the rest of the game. (Sealy's large halftime lead also likely contributed to the decision to keep Seals-Jones out of action the rest of the night, especially with critical games coming up for the Tigers.) But when he was in, he was terrific. He had four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown --- the touchdown catch involved Seals-Jones leaping over two defenders to grab the ball -- then he leaped to get an interception on the next play from scrimmage and high-stepped it into the end zone for six. He's down to just LSU and Texas A&M as his finalists and whoever lands him will get a gifted athlete with good size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) and a plethora of skills (offense, defense and special teams).

2. Rice is getting itself quite the running back in Sealy 2013 prospect Jowan Davis. He's small in stature (5-7) but built well (190 pounds) and is a strong runner. Like his teammate Seals-Jones, Davis has battled injuries this year and said after Friday's game that he finally feels 100 percent. He had 252 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries and he's still getting interest from a few other schools, but said he's solidly committed to Rice. The Owls will likely be happy with Davis if they indeed secure his signature in February.

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Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch felt good about Texas A&M. The Aggies were the first Texas program to offer the four-star prospect and they were in his top five when he narrowed down his list of schools.

But for now, it appears the Aggies won't be in the mix when Benenoch decides where he's going.

Caleb Benenoch
Max Olson/ESPN.comCaleb Benenoch has a top four of Texas, Oklahoma, Baylor and UCLA.
The 6-foot-6, 321-pound recruit, who had a final five of Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA, said that the timing won't match up for the Aggies to be in the mix when it's decision time for him. Benenoch told RecruitingNation last week that timing could be a concern because he wants to wait to make a decision after he takes an official visit to UCLA.

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Texas A&M has already done quite a bit of work in its 2013 class, scoring 28 commitments. With several targets and just a handful of spots remaining, time can be a factor as the Aggies look to close out their class.

Caleb Benenoch
Max Olson/ESPN.comCaleb Benenoch is planning more visits before he makes a decision.
For one of their remaining 2013 targets, Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes offensive guard Caleb Benenoch, time might play a role in how things play out. After his most recent game, a 33-23 win over Katy (Texas) Taylor on Thursday, Benenoch reiterated that he wanted to take official visits to each of his top five schools -- Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M and UCLA -- before making a final decision.

"I'm going to try to take an official to all of those schools at some point in time, because I'm not going to be able to visit UCLA until November, because of the way the season is," Benenoch said. "I'm going to try to take an official to Baylor, one to Texas and one to Texas A&M with my parents."

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Q&A: Aggies OL target Caleb Benenoch 

September, 12, 2012
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KATY, Texas -- Last weekend was both frustrating and memorable for Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes standout Caleb Benenoch.

Caleb Benenoch
Max Olson/ESPN.comCaleb Benenoch has narrowed his list to five schools.
The 6-foot-6, 321-pound Benenoch, who is ranked 19th nationally among offensive guards, aggravated a right high-ankle sprain injury he suffered in the preseason and couldn't finish his team's thrilling 45-42 triple-overtime win over Friendswood (Texas) Clear Brook.

But the win was memorable and the next day, Benenoch was in College Station, Texas, taking in the festivities as Texas A&M opened its Southeastern Conference era against Florida. GigEmNation caught up with Benenoch to get his thoughts on the trip and where he is in the recruiting process.

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