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December 17, 2013

Aggies pursuing handful of '14 offense options

With the dead period for the holidays and bowl games now underway, Texas A&M sits with 19 official commitments, including nine on the offensive side of the ball. With around six weeks to go until national signing day for the 2014 class, the Aggies are still looking at a number of options for the offense to go with a very respectable current haul. Here's a closer look:

Quarterback:

Offers: 5-star QB Kyle Allen (No. 1-ranked pro-style QB); 4-stars Justice Hansen (No. 7-ranked pro-style QB) and Brandon Harris (No. 5 dual-threat QB)

Committed: Allen

Comments: A&M is done here, and they should be. Hansen was the first offer and he came down to A&M and nearby Oklahoma before picking the Sooners; the Aggies then got in on Allen and Harris quickly and appeared to have the inside track on Harris before Allen pulled the trigger. With the best quarterback prospect in the nation committed to the Aggies, Harris eventually committed to LSU. A&M, OU and LSU all got who they wanted, but the Aggies appear to have gotten the best of the deal.

Running back:

Offers: 5-stars Leonard Fournette and Joe Mixon (No. 1 running back and all purpose back, respectively); 4-star; Varshaun Nixon (6th-ranked all puprose back); 3-stars Kevin Shorter (committed to Texas) and Terence Williams (committed to Baylor); 2-star Damian Richardson

Commits: Nixon

Comments: Fournette, Mixon and Richardson are all currently uncommitted, but the Aggies are not considered threats to land any of them; Shorter, who A&M actively pursued, may not play again due to a medical condition. Nixon was one of A&M's first offers in the '14 class and one their first commits, behind only Cedric Collins and Josh Walker. Nixon saw his stock rise during an excellent senior season and should be a good fit with Trey Williams, Tra Carson, Brandon Williams and James White in College Station.

Wide Receiver:

Prominent offers: 5-stars Malachi Dupre and D'haquille Williams (commited to Auburn); 4-stars KD Cannon (committed to Baylor), Speedy Noil, Mark Andrews (committed to OU), Armanti Foreman (committed to Texas), Frank Iheanacho; 3-stars Jamal Jeffery and Joshua Reynolds

Committed: Jeffery and Reynolds

Comments: With Jeffery, a Lufkin product, and Reynolds, a JUCO transfer, A&M is adding a slot receiver and a taller outside threat. Of the remaining prospects, Noil and Iheanacho are the ones truly on the Aggies' radar. Noil is down to A&M and LSU, but it may be tough to get the New Orleans Edna Karr product to leave the state. Iheanacho, from Houston Westside, has seen his stock skyrocket in recent months but most people believe A&M has the inside track on him.

Offensive line:

Major offers: 4-stars Braden Smith, Casey Tucker, Dontavius Blair (committed to Tennessee), Chad Mavety (committed to LSU), Zach Ledwik, Chris Brown (committed to USC), Jermaine Eluemunor, Avery Gennesy; 3-stars Koda Martin, Kealvin Davis, Nick Gates

Committed: Ledwik, Eluemunor, Gennesy, Martin, Davis and J.J. Gustafson, a 2013 commit who will enter with the 2014 class.

Comments: With the last members of the remarkable 2010 offensive line recruiting haul nearing the end of their time at A&M and a lack of overall depth, the Aggie coach staff recognized the line as an area of major concern early on and have attacked it with a vengeance. What they've put together looks like a group that could be potentially quick and athletic, even if some of them will need a year or more to be ready: Ledwik -- who went from unknown to a four-star in a matter of months with his excellent play -- JUCOs Eluemunor and Gennesy, Davis and Gustafson are all considered tackles by Rivals.com; Martin is labeled a tight end, but the coaching staff has told him his future is on the offensive line as well. The two JUCOs and Gustafson will be on campus for spring football, which will certainly be a boost for the Aggies.

Even a haul that is impressive in both numbers and quality, A&M has enough flexibility left in the 2014 class to continue to chase still more linemen. Smith (the nation's 5th-ranked tackle), Tucker (9th) and Gates (39th) are all still very much on the wish list. Smith, who is extremely tight-lipped, appears to favor TCU and A&M; Tucker is considered a heavy lean to Stanford. Gates, on the other hand, is likely down to Nebraska, Oregon and A&M, with all three about equal.


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