Texas A&M Aggies: Christian Kirk

Nearly a year after getting officially offered by Texas A&M, ESPN 300 quarterback Kyler Murray sent Aggies everywhere into a frenzy when he ended much anticipation and gave the Aggies his pledge last week.

[+] EnlargeKyler Murray
Max Olson/ESPNKyler Murray's commitment could have sparked what could be a big 2015 class for Texas A&M.
If the events that followed are any indication, it will have been well worth the wait for the Aggies, who last week turned in a huge recruiting week.

Not only did they land Murray, the nation's No. 1 dual-threat quarterback and the second five-star prospect in the Texas A&M class, but it was followed the next day with a pledge from ESPN 300 receiver Kemah Siverand, a four-star player who had several other attractive options, including LSU, Ohio State and Texas just to name a few.

Murray's pledge could begin a domino effect that leads to the Aggies continuing to pick up steam in the form of commitments from other elite prospects.

ESPN 300 receiver DaMarkus Lodge and Cedar Hill (Texas) High teammate outside linebacker Richard Moore both indicated just hours after Murray's pledge that they'll announce their commitments on July 1. Texas A&M is in a good position to land both, so that will be worth keeping an eye on.

Five-star defensive tackle Daylon Mack, who had planned summer visits to Alabama and LSU, canceled those plans after Murray's pledge. The longtime Texas A&M commitment also showed up on Twitter in a maroon shirt with the hashtag "#WRTS", which Aggies have been using since the Murray pledge (the acronym stands for "We run this state").

Other ESPN 300 recruits, like linebacker Malik Jefferson and receiver Christian Kirk, no doubt took notice of Murray's pledge. Both have myriad elite options, and neither is likely to end the recruiting process soon. Having someone like Murray on board -- who is widely respected by his peers after winning two state championships at the highest classification of Texas high school football -- certainly can't hurt Texas A&M's chances.

But it's more than just about Murray's pledge for Texas A&M. In a grander scheme, the Aggies continue to recruit at a high level under coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff. The Aggies are now No. 2 in the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings, behind only Alabama. The Aggies are on pace for their second consecutive top-five recruiting class and third consecutive top-10 recruiting class.

While recruiting is often an inexact science, if a program consistently recruits at a high level and stockpiles talent, it seems to be only a matter of time until it leads to on-field results, and the Aggies have already gotten off to a solid 20-6 start in their first two SEC seasons.

There's still a long way to go until national signing day arrives for the 2015 class and much can change, but right now, the Aggies are sitting pretty and doing a solid job of keeping pace with their SEC brethren on the recruiting trail.

Meet No. 4 WR Christian Kirk 

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Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

Few high schools in the country could lose a player like D.J. Foster and have the excitement about the future not take a dip. In his senior season at Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.), Foster broke the state record by scoring 60 touchdowns -- one defensively -- as he rushed for more than 3,000 yards for the Sabercats on their way to back-to-back state titles.


REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Thirty athletes from the West region in the ESPN Junior 300 met at Redondo Union (Calif.) High School on Sunday morning for the first Nike Football Training Camp of the spring. With hundreds of recruits in attendance, it wasn't surprising that many of the top prospects coming into the event stood out.


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Off week comes at right time for A&M

October, 4, 2013
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- In 2012, Texas A&M wound up with no open date to break up its 12-game regular season schedule.

The Aggies' first SEC campaign saw them play 12 games in 12 consecutive weeks, thanks to a schedule change that moved their season opener against Louisiana Tech to their off week because of the threat of Hurricane Isaac.

[+] EnlargeKevin Sumlin
Scott Halleran/Getty ImagesCoach Kevin Sumlin is comforted by Texas A&M's two bye weeks this season.
This year, the Aggies (4-1, 1-1 SEC) actually get two Saturdays off, the first being this week. And according to head coach Kevin Sumlin, it's much needed.

"We've got five games in, we get a week off, which we need," Sumlin said. "There are some guys limping around after that [Arkansas] game. We've got to get healthy for this next stretch run."

Sumlin gave the team complete days off -- no practice, no lifting in the weight room -- on Tuesday and Friday. The Aggies practiced Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and will also practice on Saturday. But giving his team a couple of days to gather itself is important.

"There are some teams where you don't want a week off," Sumlin said. "Like last year, you have some momentum, you feel like you're a hot team, you just want to keep playing. We need some time. We've got some guys that left Arkansas limping around. Anybody who saw everybody getting off that plane, there was some slow walking coming down that ramp, and it wasn't just because it was wet."

The time gives the Aggies a chance to see some injuries to key players heal up. Sophomore receiver Mike Evans left the Arkansas game briefly with an injury but returned to finish the game. Sumlin said he was fine with giving Evans the week off of practice since "I know what he can do." On the field and Evans has played injured before [last season he played much of the year with a nagging hamstring].

Neither he nor starting middle linebacker Darian Claiborne, who left the Arkansas game with a thigh bruise in the second half and didn't return, is likely to miss next Saturday's game at Ole Miss. The area where Sumlin is concerned is defensive tackle, where senior Kirby Ennis hurt his left knee against Arkansas.

"Kirby Ennis is a lot more serious than that, and we'll continue to evaluate that and figure out where he is by the end of the week," Sumlin said.

If Ennis is out for any extended period of time, it will likely mean more playing time for true freshmen defensive tackles Isaiah Golden and Hardreck Walker, both of whom have seen time on the field this year. Golden filled in for Ennis when he left the game last Saturday.

Sumlin also feels this team can benefit from a mental break, especially considering the fact he has more than 15 true freshmen who have seen the field this year.

"Everybody thinks about the physical strain of playing, but the hard part for the young players now is the mental strain, because it's stressful," Sumlin said. "You're in school and you've got the first barrage of exams, quizzes, those types of deals, and those guys are having to handle all that. For our team, the bye week comes at a great time. Not only physically, but mentally we needed this week."

The weekend without a game also offers a chance for the entire coaching staff to hit the recruiting trail. Sumlin and his nine assistants will watch prospects this weekend, including a group of four coaches (Sumlin, special teams coordinator Jeff Banks, defensive line coach Terry Price and quarterbacks coach Jake Spavital) that will head to Arizona to see some out-of-state talent, including a highly-touted quartet of Aggie targets: ESPN 300 quarterback and Texas A&M commit Kyle Allen, ESPN 300 defensive end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), ESPN 300 offensive tackle Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) and ESPN Junior 300 receiver Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro).

Chat wrap: How will RB B. Williams fit?

August, 16, 2013
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With about two weeks left until the start of the season, 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:

Jeremiah (Austin):How will Brandon Williams fit into the offense?

Sam Khan Jr.: Jeremiah, I think Brandon Williams is going to fit in really well. He's tall, fast and explosive. Has a chance to be a threat both carrying the football and as a receiver out of the backfield. He's been recovering from offseason surgery during preseason camp, but should be ready to go on Aug. 31. I think he's going to be a real asset to the offense this year.

Bilbo Baggins (the Shire): Hi Sam, I enjoy reading your blog.Who are you expecting to have a breakout season that people might not be talking much about now?

Sam Khan Jr.: Thanks for the kind words. I think someone who has the potential for a really good season that really isn't talked about much is defensive lineman Alonzo Williams. He found himself in the lineup late last season because the Aggies needed the depth but he started the Cotton Bowl and will start this fall. He has developed nicely and he's going to be a key piece of the Aggies' defensive success up front. I would not be surprised if he had a big year.

Gary (Ft. Worth): Is Kyle Allen an early enrollee? What are the chances he can flip Mark Andrews and bring Tucker and/or Kirk wiith him?

Sam Khan Jr.: Kyle Allen is planning on enrolling early. Andrews has family ties to Oklahoma, so I think it'll be pretty difficult to flip him. Casey Tucker's a hard read right now but the Aggies are in the mix. Christian Kirk -- the Aggies are in real good position with him, but he's not in a rush to commit. He probably won't decide until after this season, at the earliest. But they made a big impression on Kirk when he visited in March.
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The summer has been a busy one for 2015 ESPN Junior 300 receiver Christian Kirk.

The highlight of the summer for the Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro prospect came when Kirk made a trip to Beaverton, Ore., as one of only five 2015 prospects to participate in The Opening. Because of his schedule, he hasn't been able to visit as many colleges as he would have liked.


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WR Kirk getting attention nationwide 

July, 24, 2013
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video Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) was enjoying a family vacation when he got the good news.

The ESPN Junior 300 receiver assumed that he would have no plans for early July and was enjoying a family vacation on a lake with no cell phone service. But when he and his family returned to land and he turned his phone on, he saw multiple important messages. After returning a phone call, he got news that he eagerly awaited: he was invited to The Opening.


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2015 ESPN 300 targets: Texas A&M 

July, 16, 2013
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With the unveiling of the inaugural 2015 ESPN 300 on Tuesday, there are several names on the list that are desired by Texas A&M. One player the Aggies already landed and they're hard at work trying to get many of the below names on board. Here's a look at A&M's 2015 commit and top targets in the ESPN 300.

1. TE Jordan Davis (Houston/Clear Lake)
6-foot-4, 247 pounds
ESPN 300 rank: 219


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LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Wide receiver Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) is one of only five 2015 prospects invited to The Opening. The standout prospect is honored by the accomplishment and is looking forward to experiencing the event firsthand.

"It's definitely super special. I remember watching it on TV and now knowing it's a big-time deal. It's the top seniors in the country, so to be invited as a junior is an honor," he said. "All week I was posting it on Facebook and Twitter, like check me out on ESPNU. My parents will be back home having a viewing party, so I have a lot of support."

Kirk will have his family and friends watching him on TV throughout the week, but he will likely have a lot of college coaches watching as well. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound receiver already holds offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Florida State, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and more.

Those offers came in fast and while he doesn't yet have any favorites, there were a few offers that really caught his attention.


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Tales From the Road: Texas A&M 

June, 5, 2013
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Every Wednesday, Sam Khan Jr. will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing Texas A&M recruiting for the week.


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Allen commit gives Aggies momentum 

June, 3, 2013
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So much for losing momentum on the recruiting trail.

Any thoughts Texas A&M fans might have had about the Aggies losing their swagger when it comes to prospects likely had their faith restored on Monday afternoon as ESPN 150 quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) committed to the Aggies on Monday, A&M's second commitment in as many days.

Allen's commitment comes fewer than 24 hours after the Aggies landed Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes defensive end Jarrett Johnson, making for a big-time start to the summer camp season and putting the Aggies at a dozen commitments in the 2014 class.


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With the spring evaluation period fully underway, Texas A&M assistant coaches have been visiting high schools throughout the state and the country to check in on commitments, current targets and potential future targets in recruiting.

One of the most notable stops of the week occurred when Aggies' quarterback coach Jake Spavital stopped by Bossier City (La.) Parkway High School on Tuesday to see 2014 quarterback Brandon Harris.


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Kyle AllenErik McKinney/ESPNESPN Watch List QB Kyle Allen visited Texas A&M for its spring game.

While many of the recruits in attendance at Texas A&M's spring game this past weekend were in-state standouts, a trio of talented players from Arizona flew out to get an up-close look at Kevin Sumlin's program.

Two ESPN Watch List prospects -- quarterback Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) and defensive end Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) -- along with 2015 wide receiver Christian Kirk (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro) made the trip and, according to Kirk, came away very impressed.


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COLLEGE STATION, Texas -- Throughout their successful 2012 season, the buzz around Texas A&M football built each week. It crescendoed after the Aggies defeated Alabama and peaked when the Aggies' quarterback, Johnny Manziel, won the Heisman Trophy. They kept that buzz going with a resounding win over Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl.

That buzz has had a clear affect on Texas A&M recruiting and Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies' staff is doing what they can to ensure the buzz continues. In some instances, it's tricks or tactics that the Aggies use themselves, like when they trotted out a live disc jockey for the "Friday Night Lights" scrimmage last week.


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SPONSORED HEADLINES

No. 3 WR Christian Kirk Commits To Aggies
Recruiting reporter Erik McKinney joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to discuss wide receiver Christian Kirk's commitment to Texas A&M. Kirk is the Aggies' first ESPN 300 out-of-state verbal in 2015.
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