Arnold Makes It Official

Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin continues to assemble an impressive group of defensive line commitments for the 2013 recruiting class. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop spoke to Texas A&M's latest commitment Jay Arnold about his decision to join the A&M football program.

Head coach Kevin Sumlin knew when he took over the Texas A&M program he needed to fill the defensive line pipeline. With two starters and a major contributor graduating after 2011 and a switch from a three-man line front to a four-man line front, the Aggies are looking for a few good men in the trenches on the defensive side. On Monday, Sumlin landed his third highly-rated DL in the 2013 class when Rockwall-Heath strongside defensive end Jay Arnold pledged to the A&M staff.

"Yes sir, I committed to Texas A&M today," Arnold said. "It's a perfect fit for me and it's something I've been thinking about for several weeks now."

After naming the Aggies as his leader back in late February after a junior day visit, it's not a huge surprise that the 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end committed to Texas A&M. However, the timing of his formal commitment did take the A&M coaching staff and many observers by surprise since the Rockwall native planned to end the process after his spring practice in May so his teammates could get some exposure with the college coaches coming to see him.

"Initially, my coach asked me to wait (on a commitment) so some of the guys could get some exposure during spring practices. But my coach took me aside and said if I was ready to make a decision to go ahead and do it," Arnold said. "It felt right and I have no reservations about going to Texas A&M. It's where I want to be."

In many cases, prospects decide to make early commitments to stop the barrage of phone calls and the pressure from coaches, friends, fans, and recruiting services that monopolize their time. Ironically, that is not the case with the laid-back defensive end.

"I actually enjoyed the whole recruiting process," Arnold said. "I liked seeing different campuses and talking to all the coaches and services. It was exciting for me. I made my decision because I know where I want to go and there's no reason to wait if your mind is made up."

With recruiting out of the way, Arnold knows it's time to focus on preparing for his senior season and beyond. He discussed the areas he wants to improve on heading into his final high school season.

"I know I need to keep getting stronger. That's a big priority for me," Arnold said. "I also need to fine tune my overall game and improve my technique. You always have to keep getting better and push yourself if you want to be successful at the next level."

Arnold knows that putting together a good defensive class is key for Texas A&M moving forward in the SEC. He's been talking to a few recruits about joining him in Aggieland for the next 4-5 years.

"I met Kardreck Walker (DL – Spring Westfield) and Jordan Mastrogiovanni (LB – Dallas Jesuit) at practice last week and we've stayed in touch and talked a few times," Arnold said. "We talked about going to A&M and doing something special in this class."

Arnold is already making plans to come back down to College Station for several spring events and meet up with some of his fellow commitments and start building a relationship with the coaching staff and other players. He plans to attend the Friday Night Lights scrimmage on April 20 and the Maroon and White Spring Game on April 28.

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