Thursday Recruiting/Coaching Summary

Texas A&M's new football coach has less than a week to contact and visit with the existing 2012 recruiting class before the extended holiday dead period which starts Sunday. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop is following Kevin Sumlin's every step on the recruiting trail and is providing daily recruiting and coaching updates this week

There was some movement on the coaching front on Wednesday.

1. Coach DeRuyter accepted the head coaching job at Fresno St. but in his press conference confirmed that he will coach Texas A&M in the bowl game. He also hinted that he had a defensive coordinator in mind, and it is surely Nick Toth. I've also heard that Coach Nguyen could be joining DeRuyter but I have not confirmed this officially.

2. I've been told by sources close to Kliff Kingsbury that there is a "99% he goes to A&M" to be the passing game coordinator with a focus on the QB's. His official title will be co-offensive coordinator. The 1% is if he's offered the job at University of Houston which isn't supposed to happen.

3. There's a lot of smoke surrounding Dave Beaty being the leading candidate ti be the wide receivers coach. He was originally hired by Todd Graham as the receivers coach at Rice when Rice was chunking it all over the field with success. He was then hired away by Mark Mangino to be his wide receivers coach when Kansas had a productive passing game. He then returned to Rice as the offensive coordinator for a year and then last year was the co-offensive coordinator at Kansas.

4. I mentioned UH RB coach Clarence McKinney the other day, and I still think he's the odds-on favorite to be in College Station. He's waiting to see if interim coach Tony Levine lands the job permanently. If that's the case he'll stay on the staff in a significant capacity. But I expect Houston to look outside for a new coach, and that means McKinney and his extensive contacts in Houston will likely move 90 miles northwest.

5. As I said on the boards earlier, there's no reason to think Sumlin will break up his offensive staff given the success they've had with the Cougars. Sumlin is an offensive genius and knows what he wants, and I'm expecting most of his offensive hires to come either from the existing UH staff or from somebody close to his coaching tree. That's why his OL coach B.J. Anderson will come with Sumlin to A&M. Anderson was a GA at A&M and he is an east Texas guy. We've said since A&M announced to the SEC that A&M must control east Texas and the Houston area. Well, Anderson helps with east Texas and McKinney (who coached at Yates and North Shore) will be a strong presence in Houston.

6. The defensive side of the ball is a different story. Sumlin knows he needs to hire an established big gun to get the job done in the SEC. I'll be honest, there haven't been a lot of leads coming out of Bright in a day or two. Mike Stoops has been the hot name from earlier in the week but I haven't heard much about him the past two days. That's not to say that option is dead, but there's no buzz surrounding his hire. It was interesting to see that Illinois DC Vic Koenning turned down an offer to stay at Illinois late Wednesday as the DC for the new coach. That means he's close to getting another DC job at a higher salary, and from what I can tell A&M is the highest paying DC position left on the open market. I've even heard Randy Shannon's name mentioned, but I have a hard time believing that one. Anyway, the pressure is building to make an announcement so the defensive recruiting targets can feel comfortable with choosing A&M. At this point, the only known quantity on defense is that Terrell Williams is likely to remain on staff and it wouldn't surprise me to see him add recruiting coordinator and a pay raise to his job.

Recruiting Front

1. Coach Williams and Coach Sumlin finished up their two-day swing through Louisiana and Mississippi with a big visit with Damien Jacobs and Julien Obioha. I spoke just briefly with Jacobs long enough for him to say that he liked Coach Sumlin and he gave him something to think about. He had to leave and said he'd call me on Thursday. Obioha answered my call late Wednesday but he needed to get to bed as he had something scheduled early in the morning but he promised to call me and give me the rundown on his conversation with Coach Sumlin tomorrow afternoon.

2. I haven't heard much buzz about JUCO DL Mike Pennel since he committed to Arkansas. He decommitted last week and when I called him Tuesday night, he asked that I get back to him when finals are over on Thursday. So I expect to have several important updates for you.

3. I continue to hear positive vibes on JUCO DL Darrington Sentimore after Sumlin's visit on Tuesday. If Sumlin can somehow manage to sign both Sentimore and Jacobs, that will be a huge step forward in this program and the ability to compete in 2012 in the SEC goes up significantly.

4. Tramain Jacobs enjoyed his meeting with Coach Sumlin on Tuesday, but he left for Tennessee on Wednesday and then he'll go straight to Ole Miss Thursday night. By the time he gets back home, it will be the dead period and the mid-term signing period will go until December 21. I'm not ruling out A&M pulling a rabbit out of the hat, but the odds appear stacked against the Aggies at this point.

5. Oklahoma appears to be going a different direction with a JUCO RB, which means they found a red flag in Marion Grice's academic record. The previous staff felt they could get Grice in school with a strong spring semester, so OU's decision to delay Grice's visit is a bit curious. Either way, A&M needs a bigger RB next season, whether it's Grice or another RB Sumlin can land. Christine Michael will be coming off ACL surgery, and both he and Trey Williams are 5-foot-9. Ben Malena is 5-foot-9, and Will Randolph is maybe 5-foot-10. Going into the SEC, A&M desperately needs a 6-foot-plus, 215+ lb. slasher/runner that can take the pounding between the tackles. Potential OU transfer Brandon Williams could be an answer in 2013, but A&M needs some beef in 2012.

6. Texas is still having fallout to its abysmal passing game and quarterback play. Veteran receivers Darius White and Chris Jones recently announced their transfers. Then on Wednesday, word surfaced that Dallas Skyline receiver Thomas Johnson is having second thoughts and thinking about decommitting. If you recall, Matt Davis and Johnson showed a lot of chemistry at the national 7-on-7 tournament at the Disney complex that was televised by ESPNU over the summer. Matt has been on the phone with Johnson among others. But this is a no-brainer. With Sumlin and company at A&M and Texas gearing up for a power running game due to poor QB play, this should be an easy sell. It's early, but keep an eye on this versatile four-star receiver who can play the slot or the outside.

7. Sticking with receivers, we've heard that Dom Wheeler's folks at Crockett have reached out to the new A&M staff and they have asked for academic information to determine his Wheeler's qualification status. Crockett sources indicate that Dom has a solid core GPA and he just recently took the ACT/SAT. So his status should be known shortly, and we're told Wheeler is open to being recruited by A&M's new staff. His recruiter at Texas Tech was fired and apparently the recruiter had a couple of negative parting shots for Wheeler regarding his former employer in Lubbock.

8. Several of you have asked for a Dalton Santos update. I've been trying this week, but he hasn't broken radio silence. I'll keep trying.

Aggie Digest Top Stories