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Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Aggies deal another blow to Texas on trail

By Max Olson

Now that he’s landed Hoza Scott and Ricky Seals-Jones, Kevin Sumlin might as well finish off the week by planting a maroon flag on the top of Chase Tower.

Hoza Scott
Class of 2014 linebacker Hoza Scott consistently said Texas was No. 2 on his list but the Aggies were too far out in front.
The celebration might be all too fitting. It is, after all, the tallest building in Texas and a 75-story behemoth towering over downtown Houston.

The man was introduced as Texas A&M’s new head coach exactly one year ago today, and already he has effectively declared he owns the city of Houston and its surrounding area in the recruiting game.

Scott made official on Wednesday what he’s been saying for months: He, like so many other elite prospects in this state, is ready to be an Aggie.

A 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker from La Porte, Texas, coveted by the best of the best, Scott became the marquee commit of the Aggies’ 2014 class and the fifth in a group that already features arguably the state’s top athlete, Lancaster’s Nick Harvey.

Scott’s pledge comes as no surprise, of course, but it does serve as a reminder that the new-look SEC Aggies can compete for anyone they want in this state. Landing Seals-Jones, the No. 1 ranked athlete who’d long had strong ties to Texas and LSU, only reinforced that on Monday. Scott is just as big a coup.

Mark it down as another strike for Sumlin and an A&M staff that has been racking up “YESSIR” after “YESSIR” -- the coach’s Twitter trademark -- in prolific fashion in recent months.

Texas, meanwhile, isn’t exactly throwing gutter balls. But the ball just isn’t rolling with a smooth, sharp hook like it once did.

While the Longhorns are busy worrying about hiring a new assistant coach and finding junior college transfers, Sumlin and his staff are only picking up more momentum.

Scott won’t hesitate to explain how the Aggies won the battle for his pledge. They showed the most love, plain and simple. Texas remained Scott’s No. 2 school seemingly throughout his recruitment, but the gap between leader and runner-up only widened this fall.

Some folks in La Porte argue Texas botched this recruitment, that Mack Brown and his staff should’ve come harder after Scott. In all likelihood, that might not have made any difference. It’s not as if Texas stopped recruiting Scott. A&M simply recruited Scott nonstop.

Of A&M’s 24 pledges from Texas recruits for 2013, 10 hail from the Houston area. Eight of them are ranked among the state’s top 100 prospects, including three in the ESPN 150.

That’s a fine start, and it’s to be expected from a coach who’d spent the past four seasons at the University of Houston. Landing Scott as the leader of his next class should only make Sumlin’s job in the area even easier.

Of course, Scott is only a junior. He won’t sign a letter of intent for another 14 months. If anyone has taught us that plenty can change in one year, it’s the Aggies.

Right now, though, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the recruiting machine Sumlin is building in College Station should be even more powerful by the time that day arrives.