NCF On The Trail: Texas A&M Aggies

Adam McLean picked Penn State in April, but Ole Miss, Tennessee and others haven't stopped recruiting him, and his high school coach knows exactly why. DeMatha Catholic's 2016 class is shaping up to be one of the best ever in school history, and that's saying a lot.
A lot of talent has already come off the board, but there’s still quality at the top of the ESPN 300 that could give at least 10 teams a shot at the second-best class. Plus, Penn State's James Franklin continues to be the most talked about coach in the Washington D.C. metro area.

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The DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia) has developed into one of the most competitive areas in the country, so what recruiters do the best job in Washington D.C.? Plus, can Minnesota keep one of the top juniors in the country at home?


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Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and Texas A&M are trying, but it’s going to take a lot to get Penn State defensive tackle commit Adam McLean to change his mind. Plus, James Franklin's ability to spread the Penn State brand in Washington, D.C., was on full display Monday afternoon.

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UA jersey tour: Adam McLean

October, 13, 2014
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Adam McLean was presented with his Under Armour All America jersey on Monday in front of his classmates and teammates. The Penn State commit has been waiting for this day to come for quite some time, saying it’s an honor to be recognized as a player in the game.

There typically isn’t much news around a committed player when they receive their honorary jersey, but McLean said recently that he could have something new to report in the near future.

“I’ve been thinking about taking visits for a couple months now. I sat down with my athletic director and parents and I’m still committed to Penn State, but we think it’s best that I see what else is out there,” he said. “I’ve been committed for six months, so a lot of schools haven’t been talking to me, but I want to get back in touch with some coaches and just make sure my choice was right.”

Ole Miss and Texas A&M are schools McLean says he knows he would like to visit. Ole Miss recently jumped to the No. 3 spot in the AP poll, so there’s no surprise to see some interest, but the Rebels were also a part of McLean’s original top three.

He likely won’t take any visits until after his season, but schools including Michigan State, Florida State, Alabama and Miami also could be in consideration.

The Under Armour All-American has plenty of time to figure things out, so he isn’t in a rush. He also isn’t abandoning his commitment, but is looking to ensure he made the right choice the first time around.

What one player are you looking forward to competing against?: Whoever. I’m just excited to get up there and compete with the best.

If you could start a team with any other player in your class who would it be?: I would pick Taj Griffin. He has some speed. Get him on the outside and it’s a wrap. Speed kills, so I would go with him.

What was your earliest football memory?: I remember I had just turned 6, and I was playing for the ankle biters team. I was playing tailback and I scored four touchdowns in one game. Three different touchdowns I hit people with a stiff arm. I remember it like it was yesterday. After I got past that league I was always playing with guys older than me, so that was a good memory.

Which football player did you idolize or want to be like when you were a kid?: I wanted to be like Michael Strahan. I wanted to play defense like Strahan and I wanted to play offense like Mike Alstott. Freshman year I played linebacker, sophomore year I was a running back and defensive end, so it was around my sophomore or junior year that I got comfortable playing defense.

If you could take on any pro player in their sport who would it be?: Mike Tyson. I used to box, and it’s always been a passion of mine. I still do boxing training to work on my hands. When I was 12 I was going to fight in the 2012 junior Olympics on HBO. I was hardcore boxing, training with world champions. It got to where I needed to get serious about boxing or play football and I chose football. I dropped boxing and went to football full time.

Why do you wear your number?: I wear 42. No real reason, I just love the 40 numbers.

What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?: I’m a really good dancer. Hip hop, all kinds of dance. I can salsa. I think I just got it from my parents, they’re always dancing. As a kid I would always dance with my family and every school dance we would have I would always be the guy in the middle of the circle dancing. I was in a dance group for a little bit in middle school. Me and my friends started a dance group and we joined the talent show.

SEC's top recruiting visits 

October, 10, 2014
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There are once again some big games around the Southeastern Conference this weekend. The Auburn-Mississippi State game looks to be loaded with big-time visitors. Texas A&M hopes to bounce back with an impressive performance against Ole Miss this weekend in front of recruits. Here’s a closer look at some of the top visitors in the SEC this weekend.

Auburn at Mississippi State

With Mississippi State hoping to capitalize off its on-field success, the Bulldogs are planning to bring in several recruits this weekend. Jamal Peters, the No. 2-ranked safety in the ESPN 300 and a Mississippi State commit, is planning to attend. He’s still considering Ole Miss, so for the Bulldogs to get him back on campus is big.

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Help is on the way: SEC 

October, 8, 2014
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Almost midway through the season and teams such as Arkansas and Texas A&M have shown the obvious strengths of their teams with their running backs and wide receivers, respectively. But in most cases every team has an apparent weakness, too. Here’s a closer look at how each team in the SEC will address its needs through recruiting.


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Want to impress a star recruit? Make an entrance at his game like Kevin Sumlin does in the Swagcopter or James Franklin in The Flyin' Lion. Plus, this year’s Red River Rivalry has lost some of its luster with recruits.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: SEC 

October, 7, 2014
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As always there was a ton of recruiting news from around the Southeastern Conference. Ole Miss, Kentucky and Auburn impressed several recruits with their big wins on Saturday and there were a few new offers in the SEC over the weekend. Here’s a closer look at the top recruiting news from around the conference.


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Vols RB commit Alvin Kamara is drawing comparisons to a former four-time Pro-Bowl selection after his fast start. Plus, Michigan seemed to be in great shape for ESPN 300 DE Keisean Lucier-South, but now the Wolverines’ chances are fading quickly.

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Juco recruits to watch: SEC 

October, 6, 2014
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Generally SEC teams build their football programs by recruiting the top high school prospects in the country. Sometimes, however, the prospects don’t have the grades to qualify, there are transfers from other programs, or they just slip through the cracks and try to go the junior college route instead of signing with a lower level school. With the debut of the 2015 Juco Watch List, the SEC has 17 prospects already committed who are on the list.


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Best of the visits: SEC

October, 5, 2014
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From the Ole Miss win over Alabama to Kentucky’s big come-from-behind win over South Carolina, there were some incredible games around the SEC over the weekend. Several prospects attended the games, while others watched on television and used social media as a platform to share their experiences. Here's a look at some of the top social media posts from the weekend around the SEC:

Five-star defensive end CeCe Jefferson took a visit to Ole Miss for its huge 23-17 win over Alabama. Jefferson tweeted out a few different photos of his experience in Oxford, Mississippi. Florida, Alabama and Florida State seemed to have been the favorites for Jefferson, but Ole Miss certainly helped its chances of landing the talented pass rusher.

 
The nation’s No. 2-ranked outside linebacker, Roquan Smith, also visited Ole Miss this weekend. The four-star athlete tweeted out a picture of himself on the sidelines at the game. Ole Miss has made a big run at the talented prospect.

 
ESPN 300 wide receiver Ryan Newsome took a photo of Katy Perry, who was also on the sidelines for the Rebels' big win.

 
Auburn hosted several key visitors for its big 41-7 win over LSU on Saturday. ESPN 300 linebacker Jeffery Holland was on hand and tweeted out a few different photos and videos of his experience, including one of himself alongside five-star defensive tackle Trenton Thompson.

 
Despite losing 10-9 to Florida on Saturday, Tennessee still had some big visitors on campus. ESPN 300 defensive end Ricky DeBerry tweeted out a photo of the field at Tennessee and recent defensive tackle commit Shy Tuttle tweeted out a photo of himself and a friend.

 
Kentucky had a thrilling come-from-behind victory over South Carolina on Saturday night, and several recruits were in attendance. Three-star defensive end Kengera Daniel tweeted a photo of himself along with Kentucky true freshman Kendall Randolph.

 
The No. 1-ranked running back in the ESPN 300, Damien Harris, has been to Kentucky numerous times over the last several months. He was once again in Lexington for Saturday's game. What seemed like a long shot for Kentucky is now seeming like a real possibility of landing this elite athlete.

 
Mississippi State safety commit Jamal Peters was impressed with how well the Bulldogs played against Texas A&M on Saturday. After the thrilling win, it was announced that ESPN’s "College Gameday" would be in Starkville next Saturday for Mississippi State’s game against SEC West opponent Auburn.

 
Big Ten teams need to find a way to increase athleticism through recruiting and Wisconsin is working hard in Florida to make that happen. Plus, UCLA quarterback commit Josh Rosen continues to be the gift that keeps on giving for the Bruins on the recruiting trail.


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Auburn hasn’t been given too much of a chance to land coveted receiver Christian Kirk, but the Tigers’ chances are better than most think. Plus, Michigan lost a key defensive recruit, and don’t be surprised if more are to follow.


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A rival recruiter believes Kevin Sumlin’s not-so-subtle message to former Texas A&M pledge DaMarkus Lodge could come back to haunt the Aggies. Plus, one of Florida’s top defensive commitments appears to be looking around.


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