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January 23, 2014

Junior day a big opportunity for A&M

Texas A&M's junior day this upcoming Sunday promises to be the most loaded one ever. Even a few days prior to the event, the list of prospects coming includes the vast majority of the state's membership in Rivals.com 250 for 2015 which is loaded at defensive back, running back, and offensive tackle.

Even so, the highlight of the junior day…at least for A&M fans…will be the appearance of four star Allen quarterback Kyler Murray. Murray isn't rated as the top prospect in the state but he's probably the most productive and publicized of the group. He's led the Eagles to consecutive state titles and transitioned from more of a runner as a sophomore to devastating all around player as a junior…a 64% completion rate, 3,669 yards passing, over eight yards an attempt as a runner, and 65 total touchdowns. Murray already has offers from programs such as the Aggies, Texas, Clemson, and Ohio State and is the focus of the programs' effort to land a quarterback in the 2015 class.

The Aggies already have two four star running backs committed in 2015 in Katy's Rodney Anderson, a physical runner with great balance who was the feature back on a state finalist, and Splendora's Jay Bradford who has reportedly ran sub 4.4 forties. Anderson is an all around back who can block, catch, and handle the ball 20 times a game while Bradford is a game breaker. However, A&M is also bringing in Longview waterbug J'Mychal Hasty who can play other positions such as cornerback or slot receiver. Hasty is also a member of the Fab Five group started by Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack. Hasty has an A&M offer and although Mack is pushing him to commit he said in a recent interview that he would like to visit Oklahoma State and Texas Tech. Cedar Hill running back Aca'Cedric Ware rushed for 1,270 yards last season while splitting time. He topped off his junior year with 124 yards in Cedar Hill's state championship game win over Katy.

A&M also has a commitment coming in for junior day at receiver in the form of Clear Lake four star Jordan Davis. At 6 foot 4 and 250 pounds, Davis can project as an in line tight end but lines up outside in high school and uses his size and hands to overmatch defensive backs. He committed to national champion Florida State early on before flipping to A&M prior to the start of the 2013 season. Four star receiver Demarkus Lodge (72 catches and 22 touchdowns in 2013) from Cedar Hill is widely considered the best in the state for 2015and has been offered by the world….Auburn, LSU, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and UCLA. Aledo receiver Ryan Newsome played for a state title and although undersized has tremendous quickness and also is an accomplished kick returner. Newsome has offers from Baylor, Clemson, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech, and UCLA. Allen receiver Jalen Guyton is rated as a three star prospect but averaged a whopping 25 yards a reception to go with 13 touchdowns last season as a deep threat for Murray.

The offensive line contingent includes two four stars that have been offered by the Aggies, Rockwall Heath's Trevor Elbert and Mesquite Horn's Connor Dyer. Elbert has a huge upper body while Dyer has great flexibility and quickness for a guy his size. Dyer has been offered by programs such as Stanford and UCLA while Elbert has been offered by Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech. Elbert has A&M and Alabama in his top two. A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was by both schools this week prior to the junior day visits. In addition, another offer went out at the position this week to Spring Westfield's Toby Weathersby who is 6 foot 5 and 280 pounds. Weathersby currently lists Oklahoma as his leader but he hasn't been to A&M and although a three star he sports a nice list of offers…Florida, Oklahoma, and Wake Forest in addition to the Aggies. Also in attendance is Allen's Greg Little, a 6 foot 6, 288 pound offensive tackle who is already considered the best prospect in the state for 2016 and sports offers from the Aggies, Baylor, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech.

The defensive side of the ball is highlighted by Gladewater four star defensive tackle and A&M commit Daylon Mack. Mack was the best lineman at the Dallas area Rivals camp last spring and was one of the few underclassmen invited the Rivals.com five star challenge in Chicago last summer. He's a powerful force not just on the field (where he uses his quickness and natural strength to great advantage) but also off the field as he is the acknowledged leader of the "Fab Five" in the 2015 class which includes Mack, Hasty, Whitehouse safety Justin Dunning (already committed to A&M), Sulphur Springs' Larry Pryor, and Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson. Skyline linebacker Anthony Wheeler has offers from Baylor, Michigan, Michigan State, Texas, and the Aggies and has started since his sophomore year. In addition, Jefferson himself may attend and he was the hit of the Rivals.com Underclassman's Challenge last summer. He has good size at 6 foot 2 and 215 pounds, can run with running backs in coverage, and is also an accomplished blitzer off the edge.

Finally, the Aggies are welcoming Dunning (a four star), Gilmer corner Kris Boyd (four star), Pryor (four star), and Nacgdoches 2016 safety Brandon Jones. Jones is widely regarded as the best safety in the 2016 class and has already been offered by A&M. Dunning is a big centerfielder who could grow into a linebacker and sported offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas, and Oklahoma prior to his commitment. Boyd is a lockdown corner with offers from the Baylor, Texas, and Oklahoma and is close to Mack. He is expected to receive an offer from A&M this weekend. Pryor has offers from LSU, Texas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and the Aggies among others and there's a chance that he shuts it down and commits to A&M this weekend.

A&M's needs going into 2015 coincide with the positions that are among the deepest in the state, especially defensive back and running back. The Aggies are also hosting the first junior day in the region ahead of Oklahoma (which has one on February 1) and Texas (February 22). With A&M already off to something of a head start in recruiting this class, it shapes up to be the official kickoff on what should be another top ten class for the Aggies.

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