What a Week to be an Aggie
This Texas A&M football team went out with a huge bang. Defeating LSU and “pissing in the Tigers’ cornflakes” sent shock waves around the college football world. This was not a meaningless win by any stretch, as it first and foremost ruined LSU’s chance of getting into the playoffs, as well as painted the Aggies in a good light after a very up and down season. This team does not quit and the players on the roster as well as recruits noticed that. But now we roll into the offseason with the thought in mind that this can be one of the busiest offseasons in Texas A&Ms history. Let’s start off with changes to the coaching staff.
As of today (12/4), the Aggies have started the process of restructuring their coaching staff by dismissing Offensive Coordinator Darrell Dickey. Jimbo seems to have looked in the mirror and made the correct adjustment of being the CEO of the team instead of being the CEO and Offensive Coordinator. From what I have been hearing it seems the two people it has been narrowed down to is Garrett Riley out of TCU and Phil Longo out of UNC.
Garrett Riley has been successful at his last two stops with his prolific offensive style. The Horned Frogs this year are currently 16th in the country in total offense, averaging 473 yards per game and 5th in offensive touchdowns scored. He runs a relatively balanced attack at TCU, accumulating 273 passing yards and 200 rushing yard per game. When at SMU in 2019-2020 he led them to 494 (2020) and 489 (2019) yards per game. Though it might mean nothing after the TCU championship game on Saturday, there was a private flight going from Fort Worth to College Station… Take what you want from that.
Phil Longo was the other name mentioned in the offensive coordinator hunt. He has been at UNC since 2018 and has made the Tar Heels a very tough offense to stop. Averaging 473 yards per game, he is definitely more pass friendly but mixes in the run as well by averaging 317 passing yards and 156 rushing yards per game. He has produced some studs at QB with Sam Howell and Drake Maye. He is experienced, as he’s been around for 32 years in coaching. Over the last 13 years of being an Offensive Coordinator, he has assisted with 6 conference championships and 6 FCS playoff appearances with Sam Houston State. There has also been a private flight out of Raleigh today to College Station. Again, take what you want from that.
Longo or Riley will be huge splashes if A&M can get them to come on board. Expect Jimbo to give the keys to whomever he hires.
Texas A&M Football and the Transfer Portal
It’s that time of the year again. From what I have heard there should not be the “mass exodus” people at t.u., OU, and the SEC are saying there will be. Now, there will be people leaving, as it is inevitable. Every school is going to lose talent, whether it is a starter, back up, or someone at the end of the bench. It is how the game has evolved and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
With that being said, as of right now the Texas A&M football program is sitting at 12 transfers out. Most were expecting in Haynes King (lost the starter position), Denver Harris and PJ Williams (multiple issues off the field), Ish Harris (did not see the field), Caden Davis (didnt see the field after App State), LJ Johnson (limited playing time), Blake Smith (limited playing time), Elijah Jeudy (limited playing time), Donnell Harris (medically retired then came back), Brian George (decrease in playing time) and Chase Lane (limited playing time).
The one that came as a surprise to me is Tunmise Adeleye. Though he was not starting anymore and he had bad luck with injuries he was still a major piece on that defensive front. This one feels equivalent to losing a starter, as when he is healthy he was a beast up front.
As of right now the Aggies are in good shape.
Attacking the Portal
Jimbo has stated that this year will be a year where they attack the portal for some good pieces. The portal doesn’t officially open until tomorrow but there have been some players that have been linked to A&M already. The bright side of not making a bowl is the fact that the Texas A&M football staff will shift their full attention to recruiting. Some names to watch come tomorrow.
Jimmy Horn Jr. (WR), who is currently the number 1 receiver in the transfer portal, officially narrowed it down to Texas A&M, Colorado, Penn State and Houston. With Deion Sanders going to Boulder, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are the favorite right now, as he will be visiting there next weekend. Horn Jr. hauled in 551 yards and 3 touchdowns on 37 passes for USF last year.
Theo Wease (WR) out of Oklahoma was a 99 composite rating in the class of 2019 and had some crystal balls pointing towards A&M before he committed to Oklahoma. He finished 2022 with 19 receptions for 378 yards and 4 touchdowns. He will have 2 years of eligibility left. It is unknown at the moment if A&M will be reaching out to him.
Mason Cobb (LB) from Oklahoma State could be one of the top gems of the portal. Cobb has played 31 games in 3 seasons accumulating 58 solo tackles, 13 TFL, and 2 sacks this past year. He received 2nd team all Big-12 honors. There is some smoke that A&M and Cobb have mutual interest, but we will see what happens as of tomorrow.
Some positions I would like A&M to go after in the portal are LB, OL, and possibly RB pending Devon Achane’s decision regarding the NFL draft.
Texas A&M Football and Recruiting
With last years haul, the Aggies do not have too much room to add players this year in the recruiting class. I think with that and the Transfer Portal the Aggies will be picky as to who they’ll take recruiting-wise. The Aggies are currently sitting at 25 in the country with 11 commits as signing day is about 2 and a half weeks away (12/21).
Other teams are pushing for flipping some of the players, but for the moment it seems A&M has held strong on their recruits. We will see if they can fend the enemies off until the early signing day period. Some names to an eye on for this recruiting class are:
Anthony Hill: The 5-star LB out of Denton, TX. Though he decommitted a few weeks ago, there has been some cryptic messages and likes on Twitter that could mean he’s coming back. We will not know for sure until early signing day, but do understand the Aggies are still very much in the race to land the number 1 LB in the country.
Tony Mitchell: 5-star S out of Alabaster, AL. Currently committed to Alabama, he is on major flip alert. The Aggies have the last chance to impress him as he will be officially visiting Aggieland on 12/16. This is a huge opportunity to land a very talented individual as well as taking someone straight out of Alabama’s back yard.
Caden Jones: High 3-star OT out of New Orleans. Jones has a massive frame of 6’8 305 pounds. Something you cannot teach is that size. He has seemed to narrow it down to UF and A&M. Jones will be visiting both schools the next 2 weeks but A&M will get the last shot to impress him as he will join some stout recruits on December 16-18th weekend.
This Texas A&M football staff has their work cut out for them this off-season. They will be working overtime these next 2 1/2 weeks for the early signing period, naming a new offensive coordinator, and the portal opens tomorrow. Though it is unfortunate the way the season ended as well as not making a bowl… it gives Texas A&M football a full opportunity to revaluate themselves, regroup, and get to fully set their attention on recruiting. There will be a lot of news and it’ll all happen in a blink of an eye. Get ready Aggie nation… I think December will be a big month for us. Gig Em Aggies.