Texas Longhorns: Texas A&M Aggies

Getting to know DaMarkus Lodge 

April, 17, 2014
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video 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.

DESOTO, Texas -- With all the multiple camps, combines and special events happening each spring, DaMarkus Lodge chooses not to be a regular on the circuit.

It’s not that Lodge is against them, or that he thinks he’s above them. The ESPN 300 receiver has simply prioritized his life as a student-athlete. The camp circuit happens to be a middle-of-the-pack priority.


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Getting to know Kyler Murray 

April, 11, 2014
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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.

DESOTO, Texas -- When describing quarterbacks, there are certain words and terms that are often used.

Those often heard are winner, clutch, leader, resilient, precise, competitive, field general, accurate, playmaker, calm, cool and collected, among others.

In the case of Under Armour All-America quarterback Kyler Murray, they might all apply.


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Houston NFTC notebook 

April, 6, 2014
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HOUSTON -- On-again, off-again rain couldn’t put a damper on the Houston Nike Football Training Camp on Sunday, and three athletes -- safety Deionte Thompson, tight end Jordan Davis and offensive tackle Jerry Tillery -- earned golden tickets to compete at The Opening this summer in Oregon.

Seven players left The Kinkaid School practice facility with MVP honors at their respective positions: Skyler Bonneau (quarterbacks), Remus Bulmer (running backs), Gary Haynes (wide receivers), Erik McCoy (offensive linemen), Nikolas Daniels (defensive linemen), Spencer Choka (linebackers) and Deontay Anderson (defensive backs).


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Dallas NFTC superlatives 

April, 6, 2014
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DESOTO, Texas -- The Dallas area was the seventh stop in the 2014 Nike Football Training Camp tour. As is annually the case, this stop brings out a bevy of talented prospects from the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

Despite a chilly day and track meets that kept some talented prospects from attending, the group of talent on hand eclipsed a number of other stops due to sheer numbers of prospects with FBS and BCS offers on hand. Here are some of the event’s most notable performers in the RecruitingNation NFTC awards.


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Texas Relays recruiting notebook 

March, 30, 2014
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AUSTIN, Texas -- The state of Texas’ top track athletes descended on Austin this weekend to compete in the annual Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays on the campus of the University of Texas, and the field of competitors included several touted 2015 and 2016 recruits. Here’s an update on where a few of them stand in their recruitment.

RB Jones wants to travel

The battle for Ronald Jones II, one of the state’s top running back recruits out of McKinney North, rages on as he should be hitting the road in the next few months.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: As the center of an intense recruiting battle between Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Texas and Texas A&M, a four-star linebacker will lean on those close to him when it comes time to make a decision; and two future SEC opponents took turns testing each other at Sunday’s Atlanta Nike Training Camp.


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Texas A&M's recent recruiting momentum received another positive bump on Friday night when the Aggies landed a 2015 prospect who was committed to a rival.

The Aggies scored a commitment from 2015 offensive tackle Connor Lanfear, previously a Texas commitment, on Friday. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior from Buda (Texas) Hays Consolidated was making an unofficial visit to College Station.

[+] EnlargeConnor Lanfear
Max Olson/ESPNJunior offensive lineman Connor Lanfear was all about Texas last summer, but he committed to Texas A&M on Friday.
Lanfear, who committed to Texas on June 9, 2013 to the Longhorns' previous coaching staff, made his second unofficial visit to Aggieland in as many months. He was at the Aggies' first junior day on Jan. 26 and returned Friday for the first day of Texas A&M spring football practice.

The three-star prospect, who also had offers from Florida State, Oklahoma, Baylor and Miami, is the ninth commitment in Texas A&M's 2015 class.

"A&M really fits my personality," Lanfear said. "I mean, they have horses 500 yards from Kyle Field. That’s me. I grew up in the middle of a pasture. A&M is country and folks are up front and friendly out there."

Lanfear is the third player this year who committed to Texas A&M after being previously committed to Texas. In January, senior outside linebacker and ESPN 300 prospect Otaro Alaka and senior defensive tackle Zaycoven Henderson both flipped from Texas to Texas A&M. Henderson enrolled in classes at Texas A&M in mid-January and Alaka signed a letter of intent with the Aggies on Feb. 5.

The Aggies now have two offensive tackles in their 2015 recruiting class. Lanfear joins ESPN Junior 300 prospect Trevor Elbert. Lanfear said the Aggies' membership in the SEC was a big factor in his decision.

"Texas A&M being in the SEC -- that’s a very big pull to me," Lanfear said. "It’s playing against the best of the best. I heard something like more than half the players that declared early for the draft came out of the SEC. That’s a large pull for me."
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offering: There are plenty of great storylines to follow with the Class of 2015, but few will be bigger than the recruiting battles between new Texas coach Charlie Strong and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin. At the frontlines of the battle between the two Lone Star State powers is Kendall Sheffield, the top ranked prospect in the state.


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Top position classes: DL 

February, 14, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
Texas A&M went into the 2014 class knowing that size and athleticism was an absolute must on its defensive front. And Kevin Sumlin and staff delivered on those glaring needs. Leading the way is No. 1 defensive end and five-star player Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), who has the size, speed and power combination to be a difference-maker early on next fall. The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Garrett is joined at defensive end by ESPN 300 No. 203 Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), and high three-star Jarrett Johnson (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes), who has a nonstop motor. While the Aggies have some talented young defensive tackles, continuing to add size and athleticism to the interior was a must. No. 150 DeShawn Washington (Nederland, Texas/Nederland) and four-star early enrollee Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) add disruptive explosiveness and athleticism.

The Aggies had the nation’s best defensive line class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:


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Early Offer: 2015 begins now 

February, 7, 2014
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: The ink was barely dry on the letters of intent for 2014 class when one of the best for the 2015 class came off the board; and what schools and recruiters have jumped out of the gate with success with players that won’t sign for another 360-plus days.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Steve Sarkisian and USC landed a major building block for their future this past weekend when a blue-chip 2015 quarterback committed; a longtime Texas commit flipped to rival Texas A&M on Sunday; and a five-star cornerback said he will narrow his list to four schools early this week.


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Three-star 2015 offensive tackle Connor Lanfear (Buda, Texas/Hays) caught many by surprise on Sunday with his decision to attend the first junior day at Texas A&M. He was rewarded for that move with a scholarship offer. So what's next?


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ESPN 300 LB Alaka flips to Texas A&M

January, 26, 2014
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ESPN 300 linebacker Otaro Alaka (Houston/Cypress Falls) made it official on Sunday night: He’s going to Texas A&M.

The longtime Texas commit made his final decision and became the 22nd commitment of the Aggies’ No. 2-ranked recruiting class after a weekend of careful consideration.



Alaka committed to Texas in April but reconsidered his options after former Texas coach Mack Brown resigned. He took an official visit to College Station last weekend and hosted both Kevin Sumlin and Charlie Strong for in-home visits on Thursday.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound linebacker spent three days going back and forth, weighing his two final options. In the end, Cypress Falls coach Kirk Eaton said the decision came down to the relationship Alaka had built up with the Texas A&M staff over the last year. Linebackers coach Mark Hagen and special teams coach Jeff Banks joined Sumlin on the in-home visit.

The No. 187 ranked recruit in the ESPN 300, Alaka will play outside linebacker for the Aggies and has been told he can contribute immediately. He joins Josh Walker (Gilmer, Texas/Gilmer) as the second linebacker pledge in the class.

With the addition of Alaka, A&M now has verbal commitments from 11 members of the ESPN 300. Alaka is the fifth recruit to decommit from Texas following Brown's resignation.
ESPN 300 linebacker Otaro Alaka (Houston/Cypress Falls) just wants this process to end.

He’s down to Texas and Texas A&M and believes his final decision should come in the next few days.

"It just depends on how I’m feeling," Alaka said. "It might be two or three days. It’s just going to take a lot of thinking, a lot of praying.”


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Shifting power: Texas 

January, 23, 2014
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Texas A&M has gone through and overcome a major case of the “you can’ts.”

You can’t leave the Big 12 and compete in the SEC.

You can’t win with Kevin Sumlin, a coach off a successful stint at Houston in mid-major conference play.

You can’t outrecruit your archrival Texas. You can’t win. Period.

For every negative critique, Texas A&M has managed to silence the doubters. With everything positive that’s happened with the Aggies the last two seasons, this year’s recruiting class may be the biggest accolade next to winning back-to-back bowl games under Sumlin. With 21 commits – including 10 ESPN 300 players -- Texas A&M has the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation, just behind Alabama.


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