Hop's Friday Mini-Musings

It's time for another installment of Hop's Aggie sports insights, observations, and nuggets. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop talked to a couple of A&M's top recruiting targets for the upcoming spring basketball signing period. He also takes a look at the latest flurry of football offers that the staff handed out over the past week.

1) The A&M football staff has been very busy with quite a few out-of-state offers and they are also inviting several new targets to the March 2 junior day. Here's a summary list of new offers and targets over the past week or so. I've evaluated a few of these prospects on the board, but I plan to give you a quick video eval of each over the next few days leading up to the junior day.


QB

Brandon Harris – Bossier City (LA)
Jeremy Jones – SA Central (TX)
Darius Lee-Campbell – Spring (TX)

WR

* Demarre Kitt – Sandy Creek (GA)
* Malachi Duipre - New Orleans (LA)
* Dallis Todd – La Mirada (CA)

OL

Austin Schlottman – Brenham (TX)
Connor Mayes – Van Alstyne (TX)
Terrell Cuney – Jasper (TX)
Chad Mavety – Garden City CC (FL)
*Jermaine Eluemunor – Lackawanna CC (NJ)

DT

DeShawn Washington – Nederland (TX)

LB

*Jamadre Cobb – Salesian (CA)
*Kenny Young – New Orleans (LA)

CB

Terrence Alexander – New Orleans (LA)

S

Jamal Adams – Hebron (TX)

Ath

Armanti Foreman – Texas City (TX) **OU commit**
Donta Foreman – Texas City (TX)
Armani Watts – North Forney (TX)
*Marquis Ware – Salesian (CA)

* Offer claimed


2) Interesting note here. Some players are talking about Nate Askew giving defensive end a shot in the spring. I have no idea how serious that switch is, whether it will be a very brief experiment or something both Nate and the staff will be committed to from this day forward. In one way, it makes sense because Askew will likely get passed over by several outside receivers this offseason with guys like Jaquay Williams, Ricky Seals-Jones, and Kyrion Parker entering the competition this year. However, it sounds a bit strange that a senior will try to make the switch in such a short time especially with guys like Brandon Alexander, Tyrone Taylor, Tyrell Taylor, and Daeshon Hall among others in the mix. Count me as someone surprised by this news if it actually happens this spring. Something to keep an eye on.


3) I spoke to Gulf Coast CC guard Chad Frazier last night. The 6-foot-3 Frazier is considered one of the top uncommitted JUCO guards still on the board. I mentioned the other day that A&M is involved along with South Carolina, Washington, UCLA, and Marquette among others. Given the fact that he took three official visits in the fall and was briefly committed to OSU, he only has two official visits left…so getting one of these two visits is a big deal. He told me he's still talking to schools and hasn't formally picked his two official visits, but he confided in me that he's leaning toward taking his two visits to South Carolina and Texas A&M. He likes USC because Frank Martin is a hard ass and pushes players to be the best they can be and he likes that. With A&M, he really likes Coach Keller and Coach Kennedy and he likes the fact that he can come in right away and absorb the scoring and minutes that will be lost when Elston Turner graduates. He's still weighing his options with UCLA and Washington, and Texas called just yesterday inquiring about his availability. So it's not a done deal just yet, but it's starting to look good for a visit. At this moment, I'd have to say that Frank Martin may have a slight lead, but the visit will be the deciding factor either way. Chad calls himself a point guard first who has good vision and can distribute, but he can score and loves to shoot the 3-ball.

His three major factors in picking a school:

1. Comfort and fit with the school, players, and coaches
2. Opportunity to play right away
3. Ability to win next year

If South Carolina is the prime competition, then his recruitment will come down to comfort level and relationships, because both programs offer immediate playing time and prospects for winning are roughly the same (could be slight advantage to A&M).


4) Aside from Keith Frazier, the other top priority for Texas A&M is Richardson's Kendal Harris who just received his release from his USC LOI after the coach was fired. Most reports indicate that USC is still in the mix, but last night he made it clear that he wanted to play closer to home and that he regretted initially signing with a school across the country. His current school list is Texas, Baylor, Texas A&M, TCU, Texas Tech, and Missouri. He has four available official visits and it sounds like he wants to use all four.

He has been to an Aggie game in the past, attending the A&M-Missouri game last year and he had some very positive things to say about his experience and Texas A&M. He also talked about Texas a little bit. I then asked him to compare the game atmosphere at A&M versus Texas, and he said he liked that at A&M the students were loud and more involved in the game and he liked all of the traditions at A&M. The environment at Texas is less exciting and more like a pro game feel. I thought that statement bodes well for A&M versus Texas. Now, he did say he liked Baylor because as he put it "Scott Drew unleashes his guards and they can do pretty much what they want on the floor." Yeah, that's about right, but personally I'm not so sure that's a good thing as attested by their current 15-10 record with a couple of McDonald's AA's on their roster.

Bottom line, he's not ready to announce his final four and would not share his favorites with me, but based on the discussion I'd be very surprised if A&M did not get an official visit and was not in his final 2-3.

FYI, Harris has really filled out this year telling me he's currently 6-foot-4, 210 pounds but he did say he's improved the most this season on his point guard skills and his ability to see the floor and create opportunities for his teammates. Before this season, he saw himself as a combo guard. Now, he sees himself as a point guard first.

If A&M can land two of three from Keith Frazier, Chad Frazier, and Kendal Harris, I think it will be a huge success and will accomplish what is needed to have a very salty recruiting class. But there's still a long way to go. Trey Dickerson is another you can add to the list of targets that would enhance this roster. I talked about him in the last musings.


5) I really like the strategy that the A&M football staff is taking in regard to the 2014 class. They filled a base group of commits to build a nice foundation, but now you are seeing the staff go national and offer the cream of the cream….the studs in California, Georgia, Florida, etc. that have 20-30 offers from the big boys of college football. Hey, if A&M wants to be a big boy they have to start getting their hands dirty and take on some of these tough recruiting fights that will be ongoing up until January 2014 and even Signing Day. That's the life of a national top 10 program. At next week's junior day, I'm not expecting a lot of commits…maybe 1-2 guys pull the trigger. But that is by design because the best of the best nationally wait until late in the process….because they can. Yeah, there's some risk, but with a good foundation in place and a great resume' to recruit from this year, A&M is not taking any reckless risks here. It's simply how business is done in the high rent district of college football. Get used to it, Ags.

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