Coach Billy Kennedy's first recruiting class has taken a hometown feel. Earlier in the summer, the new Texas A&M staff landed its first recruit when national Top 50 prospect J-Mychal Reese from nearby Bryan (TX) verbally committed. Then on Wednesday, the Aggies landed its second local product. This time it was Top 70 national prospect Alex Caruso from A&M Consolidated HS (just 5 minutes from the Texas A&M campus) who decided to stay close to home and play for the hometown Aggies. After an official visit to Colorado, the 6-foot-5, 175-pound wing felt it was time to end the recruiting process.
"I was feeling that it could be Texas A&M the night before," Caruso said. "I kept thinking about it all day at school and I decided it was time to make my decision."
It so happened that Caruso had scheduled to stop by Coach Kennedy's office to discuss the recruiting process, so he delivered the good news in person.
"He was asking me about my visit and where I stood," Caruso said. "I surprised him a little when I said I wanted to be part of the family and become an Aggie."
While Caruso grew up in the shadows of Reed Arena and even served as a ball boy, the decision to pick the Aggies was tougher than many expected. Colorado coach Tad Boyle and his staff developed a tight relationship with Caruso and gave him something to think about.
"Coach Boyle and Coach Rohn are excellent coaches. I had a great time on my visit. The academics are elite and the coaches have turned around the program," Caruso said. "But in the end I liked what Coach Kennedy and the staff are doing at Texas A&M and how I can fit into their system. The fact that I get to play at a place I grew up and feel comfortable at is an extra bonus."
Caruso averaged just under 20 points a game as a junior at A&M Consolidated, but it was his head-turning performances during the AAU season and at the summer elite camps that had programs like Colorado, Arizona State, Creighton, and Texas A&M lining up to offer the Texas native and pushed him into most national Top 100 lists.
"The Texas A&M coaches said they liked my court presence, versatility, and overall skill set," Caruso said. "I can do whatever is needed on the floor to win…shoot the outside shot find the open man, or drive to the basket."
Caruso is also excited to team up with long-time friend and fierce on-court competitor J-Mychal Reese. Both prospects have faced off against each other numerous times in the high school season and the AAU circuit.
"Yeah, I'm excited to play with J-Mike. He was the first person I texted with the news when I committed. We both know how to find the open man and create. We compliment each other," Caruso said. "But for the next year, we both want to beat each other and we'll do whatever it takes to win. If he's on the floor, I'm not going to help him up, and I expect the same from him."
With two commitments in the books, the staff will likely turn its attention to post play, and hope to land a pair of big men to compliment the two Brazos Valley guards during the November early signing period.
Aggies Land Caruso
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