Coach Sumlin and Coach Williams hit the road to Louisiana and Mississippi for the first of two days in the area to see several JUCO targets as well as shaky A&M commit Julien Obioha from New Orleans.
CKS needed to get in front of Tramain Jacobs before he left Wednesday on his official visit to Tennessee and he did just that. Sumlin made a good impression, but really until he can say who the defensive coordinator and who will be on the defensive staff, there's just no way for him to close the deal. Unfortunately, time is running out and it could strike zero if Tramain likes what he sees and hears on his Tennessee visit. I really get the feeling that Tramain is looking for a good reason to stick with his A&M commit, but I just don't see how A&M's defensive staff will be in place by the time Jacobs signs next week. This isn't a lost cause, but I just don't know if the timing will allow CKS to get him back.
CKS and Coach Williams also visited with Darrington Sentimore, the former Alabama DL and current Miss JUCO. Sentimore doesn't take recruiting service calls, but I'm hearing that the Aggies have a real shot on this one. CKS also made a great strategic move on Tuesday going to visit Damien Jacobs' parents in Louisiana in advance of their visit with Damien on Wednesday. When I spoke to Damien on Monday, he said he had no leaders and he needed to go home and talk it over with his parents. So I think it's a smart move to go see mom.
On Wednesday, CKS and Coach Williams will actually visit Jacobs and then they will visit with Obioha. Obioha's parents are looking for a down-to-earth honesty that I think Sumlin exudes. Plus, Obioha isn't getting an LSU offer, so I feel cautiously optimistic A&M can keep the DE.
Speaking of DE's, A&M is sitting in the pole position for Euless Trinity DE Polo Manukainiu who was once an OU commit until he took an unofficial visit to Baylor last month. I talked to Polo on Tuesday and he said he hasn't heard from OU since and they have not returned one phone call. As a result, he's opened up his recruitment having visited Utah last weekend and he goes to Nebraska this weekend. He is adamant about not liking the cold, so it may come down to Baylor (visit - January 13) and Texas A&M (visit - January 20). Polo is related to both Lee Foliaki and Semisi Heimuli and they have talked up A&M quite a bit to the point where I like A&M's chances. Coach WIlliams told Polo that if he is retained (and we hear he will) he will offer a scholarship.
It's down to Baylor and Texas A&M for DE Javonte Magee, and the fact that Coach Williams will likely stay works significantly in the Aggies' favor. Defensive end appears to be in very good shape, but it's critical for Sumlin to land 1-2 of these JUCO defensive tackles. Mike Pennel is still on the radar now that he decommitted from Arkansas. I tried to interview him today, but he said he was too busy studying for finals to talk to me or talk to coaches until Thursday. I'll get you an update on Thursday.
A developing story that warrants monitoring is the potential to land several high profile transfers. Now that Texas A&M is in the SEC, a player that wants to transfer from Texas or OU can now realistically look to College Station. For example, FW Dunbar Parade All-American and 5-star WR recruit and Texas player Darius White announced he is transferring and mentioned Texas A&M as a school he wants to consider. 4-star DT Taylor Bible is another that just announced he's transferring. Finally, 5-star RB Brandon Williams from Brookshire just announced he plans to transfer closer to home and he mentioned Texas A&M as the school he'd like to attend.
Sumlin will have to think long and hard about guys like White and Bible who in two years have underachieved at Texas. But Williams is just a freshman and he was homesick from the first day he landed in Norman, primarily because of a young daughter that's back in Texas. Given A&M's precarious running back situation now that Blinn RB commit Marion Grice is visiting OU this weekend, I think CKS will take Williams if and when the opportunity arises. I'm not sure about the others, but if Sumlin can get White's head screwed on right and motivated, the kid is a game changer.
The other storyline to watch is Colin Blake's visit to OU this weekend. If he switches and Tramain Jacobs goes to Tennessee, then Sumlin will have to aggressively recruit some cornerbacks and he could look to his former class at UH and other classes around the state.
Finally, I'll end on some good news. I spoke to Alonzo Williams on Tuesday and he still appears to be solid to TExas A&M and doesn't seem too concerned about the coaching change. He's always said he wants to take a couple of visist and he's going to Washington and maybe Boise State after the holidays, but he wants to come back to Texas/Louisiana for college to be closer to his mom.
Wednesday Recruiting Summary
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