And the latest, and hopefully greatest, AggieYell Mailbag has dropped!
Q: Are we still in on “Bear” Alexander, or is he all-in on Georgia? (Erikjackson)
A: They’re still going to recruit him. When he committed I said the process wasn’t over for him, and I still think that. He could still end up at UGA, but schools are going to keep coming after him.
Q: What future do you see for the NCAA in college football, especially if the power 5 schools start making decision based on their own due diligence?
Do you believe Georgia and Alabama pay players to commit to their school? If so, why doesn't the NCAA do something about it, see Question #1. (Big Smoothie)
A: Is water wet? And why doesn’t the NCAA do anything about it? They’re scared, impotent, understaffed and deathly afraid of mutually assured destruction. It’s easier to act like you’re working than actually work.
Q: Kansas are searching for avail head coach. Do you think mike elko is leaving to take job at position or he stay other years? (AggieDog)
A: I think any coach who seriously looks at Kansas needs to have their head examined. It’s a little more palatable now that Jeff Long, the AD, has been shown the gate — what he did to David Beaty was unconscionable. But it’s still a disaster job: they pay no attention to the program — all the attention and money goes to basketball — they’ve had seven winning seasons in the last 31 years and none in the last 13; the only two coaches who had any semblance of success were fired. It’s a dead end. So no, I’m thinking Elko can do much, much better than KU.
Q: With Thomas and Sategna in the house, how many more WR slots you think the staff takes in this class?
What are the major targets for those slots?
Same kind of question for OL targets. We have two now (Williams/Erb) and took 6 last class.
A: They’ll take at least three more. It’s just a really good O-line class and even after 2021’s excellent haul, depth-wise they’re a bit short.
Did the staff make up ground in the recruiting of Bryce Anderson? We still in it? (Have Gun Will Travel)
A: He told Sam Speigelman his week that he’s taking his time. As far as A&M’s concern, that’s music to their ears. It means that the real positive feelings from Texas putting on the quick full-court press will evaporate and the Aggies can keep after him.
Q: I’m surprised the power 5 havent made a bigger deal about not having each conf champ in playoff. Or have they? If you have Oregon or USC, Ou or ISU, A&M and Bama and Georgia each with 1 loss in sec, OSU, clemson, seems 8 team playoff makes sense. Thoughts? (BubbleAg91)
A: It’s all going to come down to TV numbers and advertising revenue. If people continue to watch fewer and fewer bowl games because they have less meaning, then the networks will get mad. Then they’ll gripe to the Power 5, who will gripe to the CFP committee, who will gripe to the networks and they’ll renegotiate for eight teams. Got all that?
Q: Any interesting LSU's Cajun Mafia recruiting stories you can share? (Mexaggie)
A: Only if I want to get shanked, which I don’t. In the meantime, look up Our Lady of the Lake University in Baton Rouge.
Q: How do the coaches handle the "playing time" issue? When you have Bryce Foster, Shemar Turner, and most positions loaded with young talent.
You have teams like tu that can tell them, "we suck and need you to start immediately.” (Richard23)
A: Probably something like this: “Be patient. Your time will come. We’re going to win a lot of games now and a lot of games when you’re in the lineup. And, in the meantime, we’ll develop you to get ready for the league.”
Q: Allen and Anderson seem to be the two highest rated safeties in Texas according to the recruiting services, Who else in state do our coaches truly value at that position? What are your thoughts on Biddle and Kerr As far as prospects. (Agcatter123)
A: I don’t think you can limit it to in-state; they have a Rivals 100 4-star, Xavier Nwankpa, visiting next week. I know they like Biddle, but I’m not sure if Kerr would be someone they looked at as a safety or a wideout. Either way, I think he’s a Texas lean at this point.
Q: 1. Does Demas finish the year as all-team SEC?
2. Do you ever like people's posts on here? (will_da_beast)
Q: Hey Mark, as our football program appears to be headed in the right direction and after a season where we beat every SEC team we played except Bama, the next logical step in their progression would be beating Bama. What one position on offense and on defense would need to improve and in what way would they need to improve this year to give us the best chance to beat Bama this coming season? (For example, WR speed to open up a legitimate deep threat on any play to be able to keep up with a high scoring Bama offense.)
A: I think overall wideout play has to improve. They need guys who can not only get deep, but can get a step or two of separation on moderate routes against good competition. As for defense, the easy comment would be to say corner. But I don’t think it’s that simple. They need to get a better pass rush — someone with speed you can get Bryce Young moving and uncomfortable.
Also, my Arky friends seem to be very pleased with the Bama’s new OC. They think he could ruin even a Bama offense who just performed at its highest level. Are their optimistic views legitimate? (Aggie_in_NB)
A: It’s a good question. When Bill O’Brien was at Penn State, he got a reputation as a quality offensive mind. The Texans had periods where they were very good on offense. But it’s been a while since he was in college, he’s almost certainly going to try to fix what ain’t broke and I wouldn’t let him near an personnel transaction.
Q: It seemed like we had been recruiting wide receiver pretty well in past years. How did it become a priority this year? (TAMU-83)
A: I can think of a few reasons. First, Dylan Wright and Kam Brown both left. Hezekiah Jones has played a lot but not done much (and he’s draft eligible). Caleb Chapman has had repeated injury issues and could also head to the draft. Chase Lane has been in the lineup for a season, but after next year? Draft eligible. Ainias Smith very well could be gone after next year. They haven’t gotten any production — yet — out of Kenyon Jackson, Demond Demas, Moose Muhammad or Devin Price. So with the numbers game and the need to find production, they’ve got a real need at wideout again.
Q: Do u think the coaches felt like they hit a home run when Achane signed? What do you think his ideal playing weight will be? (ArmyTanker)
A: Oh, no doubt. Anyone who had watched him for any period of time in high school (even if it was just hudl highlights) knew he was legit. As for his playing weight, if he can get to around 200, I think that would be good for him.
Q: With the recent detail on Spring Football released, have they given you, the media, any indication on access? (84aggiect)
A: Nope, not yet.
Q: If Devin Morris declines to pay what are the implications? (H273)
A: I don’t think they’re that great, because he was already behind Erick Young and Antonio Johnson at nickel. If they need a cover guy there, it could open up an opportunity for Josh Moten.
Q: Are we becoming logjam U? (Richard23)
A: That would be a good thing.
Q: With Satengna committing (great pick up btw) and assuming we are going to take 4 WRs, who’s spot did he likely take? Jay Fair?
Also assuming that we would take Kojo and B. Thompson at any point. (DXB19)
A: I think Thompson is like McKinnley Jackson a couple of years ago — you make room. He’s in a separate category. Antwi is committing July 5 and A&M is in his top 5 (he dropped that list tonight); I think they lead for him. Chris Marshall is also out there and they’re in good shape with him, but he’s not committing for several months. So that puts the onus on Fair, but we’ll see how it all turns out. Thompson is no guarantee.
Q: How do you expect our WR group to perform after they were the weakest link last fall? I think that will directly impact the confidence and performance level of a young first-time starting QB. (Kyling)
A: I think they’ll be significantly better, and here’s why. First, guys like Demas will be much more comfortable in the system. You saw him getting playing time late last year and was WR 4 in the Orange Bowl. He’ll get more snaps if he’s ready; he’s too dynamic not to. Caleb Chapman will be back. Chase Lane will be fully healthy again. Moose Muhammad will have another year in the system. Shad Banks and Yulkeith Brown bring unique skill sets. That’s not even counting tight end. So, long story short, they should have a lot more options, and options who now have at least a year of experience under their belts.
Q: Do you know why the start of spring practice/game were all moved back 1 week later than originally scheduled? (Davidimy)
A: No, but considering the crap we’re still dealing with nationwide, I’ve got a hunch.
Q: Who in your opinion(or based on your insight/info) will be the next defensive commit? (Goodbull80)
A: I’ll play a hunch and say Julian Humphrey.
Q: How many seasons will it take Buzz Williams to right the men's basketball program? (Chuck70)
A: They need talent, point-blank. Next year they should start to really get some, with Cassius McNeilly finally making his debut along with two great guards, 5-star Manny Obaseki and 4-star Wade Taylor, who has had an awesome senior season. Ashton Smith provides some size inside, and so does JUCO transfer Jevonnie Scott. These are guys who can work around Emanuel Miller (should he return) and start to get things moving in the right direction. A lot depends on Hassan Diarra at the point. He didn’t have a very good freshman year in terms of distributing, and that’s got to improve. I think there will be an upswing next year, and then in 22-23, they’ll be good.
Q: Who would you rank as the top 5 most important recruits in the 2022 class? 2023? (Hogtide)
A: I’ll be straight with you right now: I have no idea about 2023 yet. That depends on a lot of different things. For 2022, I think they already have two of them in Conner Weigman and Malick Sylla. Harold Perkins is extremely important. Shemar Stewart wouldn’t fill a glaring need, but he’s an awesome talent. Same with Denver Harris, if you can get him.
Q: who would you want A&M to play in the near future- out of conference? (Mrdoctore86)
A: I wouldn’t mind taking a crack at Virginia Tech again. A home and home with them would be great.