Texas A&M Football: Was money really a factor for Aggies’ 2022 class?

Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M football Mandatory Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports /

For many fans, the Texas A&M football team’s 2022 recruiting class was written off as a one-time occurrence. After a rumor was spread on a message board that Aggie boosters paid upwards of $30 million in NIL deals to bring in such a talented class, the college football world began to show disrespect toward A&M’s program.

But is this rumor even realistic?

For starters, it was spread by a user by the name of SlicedBread. If we trusted the sports world’s most precious information to people with names like that, we’d still be on the Stone Age. At this point in time, the rumor is completely obsolete — Jimbo Fisher has silenced doubters and many coaches have come to his defense.

Despite Texas A&M football HC Jimbo Fisher’s clarification, did NIL play a factor in the Aggies’ 2022 class?

Jimbo Fisher outwardly denied the $30 million price tag that “SlicedBread” put on the Aggies 2022 recruiting class. That much shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise — the source never seemed truly trustworthy and it seemed more speculation-based than anything else.

That said, it isn’t unrealistic to be searching for a reason behind the Aggies’ significant jump into the top spot in 247Sports’ recruiting rankings. Just take a look at A&M’s past few recruiting classes without NIL compared to the 2022 class, which was the first to have the full impact of the new college football rules.

  • 2019: Avg. Rating (.9085), Natl. Rank (4)
  • 2020: Avg. Rating (.9111), Natl. Rank (6)
  • 2021: Avg. Rating (.9170), Natl. Rank (8)
  • 2022: Avg. Rating (.9477), Natl. Rank (1)

While Jimbo Fisher has been constantly improving the averaging rating of the players in his recruiting classes, his national ranking dropped from year-to-year in every full recruiting cycle. So what allowed him to make the jump up to the top spot in the SEC, the country, and the history of recorded recruiting rankings?

To say that it’s entirely due to new Name, Image, and Likeness rules would be delusional. That said, it would be equally unfounded to say that NIL rules had no impact — so where’s the middle ground?

No matter what your answer here is, there’s an undeniable truth — Jimbo Fisher has figured out modern recruiting better than any coach in the country. After a decade straight of seeing Georgia or Alabama at the top of 247Sports’ composite rankings, the Aggies stand above both teams. That’s impressive, no matter how it’s done.

That said, money was not the biggest factor here. In fact, it wasn’t even close.

To say that the Aggies were able to pay so much more money through NIL than other schools is a ridiculous claim. Yes, A&M has impressive boosters who are committed to improving the football program, but so do at least a dozen other programs in the country, including others around the top of the 2022 recruiting rankings.

Next. Mike Elko thinks Jimbo Fisher "deserves praise" for 2022 class. dark

Again, money played a factor — just not a very big one.