On Tuesday afternoon, Texas A&M Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs Coach Marcel Yates paid a visit to Warren Easton Charter High School in New Orleans. Yates was there to offer a full scholarship to three outstanding Warren Easton 2015 prospects - LB Arthur McGinnis III (6-3, 215, 4.6), WR Tyron Johnson (6-1, 180. 4.4), and ATH/CB Deshawn Capers-Smith (6-0, 170, 4.4).
Arthur McGinnis became the first out-of-state 2015 linebacker and only the second 2015 linebacker to be offered a scholarship by Texas A&M.
I interviewed Arthur on Wednesday and Thursday. Arthur told me he learned of the offer from Warren Easton Head Coach Tony Hull.
Arthur started for the Warren Easton varsity as a freshman but missed much of his sophomore season due to a severely sprained ankle, finishing the season with about 28 tackles.
After a frustraing sophomore season, Arthur came out determined this Spring to make his mark on the recruiting world though stellar performances on the camp and combine circuit.
In the past two months, Arthur had indeed caused coaches from across the country to take notice with multiple outstanding camp performances, including Nike SPARQ All Combine Team (New Orleans 2/2/13), Nike SPARQ All Combine Team (Houston 2/23/13), NUC All Combine Team and LB MVP Zachary / Baton Rouge, LA. (3/2/13), NUC All Combine Team and LB MVP Jackson, Mississippi (3/9/13), named the Top Underclassmen at the Rivals.com Invitation Only Showcase Houston (3/16/13), named the LB MVP at the Louisiana / Mississippi NUC 5 Star Showcase (3/24/13). and the Nike Football training Camp (Memphis) All Camp Team (4/14/13).
In addition to that great 6-3, 215 frame, at these camps, combines and showcases, his measurables have been verified by Nike, National Underclassmen and the Rivals Camp Series, including: 40YD: 4.66 laser – 4.59 Hand Time / 20 SS: 4.15 / BR: 9’8, BP: 315 Max - (@ 225 – 10 Reps) / Squat: 500 / Power Clean: 265.
When asked what he thought were his strengths as a player, Arthur responded "I think my strengths are my: 1. work ethics, 2. I am scheme versatile in that I can play DE in the 3-4 defense or OLB in the 4-3 defense, 3. high football IQ, 4. natural football instincts and 5. great cover skills versus TE’S and RB’s."
I asked Arthur how important it was to him for Texas A&M to be your first offer, and he responded "It was important for me because I like the way they play football in the SEC. Texas A&M was fun to watch last season. They brought a unique brand of football to the conference. They have a quick strike offense with a style of defense that is adaptable to any kind of style of offense."
Texas A&M shocked the college football world in 2012 by beating No. 1 and eventual national champion Alabama and by going 11-2 in its first season in the powerful SEC.
When asked if he had followed Texas A&M, Arthur responded "To be honest, I didn’t follow the Aggies prior to 2012 but when they beat Alabama, I was just like everyone else in the country. I tuned in thereafter to see if they would be consistent, week in and week out, in the SEC and they didn’t disappoint. That was a huge win for their program. I think the big win built momentum for a great season as well as the team receiving numerous post season accolades, like three players selected first-team All-American, offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Jake Matthews and defensive end Damontre Moore, Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and Luke Joeckel being 2nd pick overall of the 2013 NFL Draft. Their success last season made me have to do my homework on Texas A&M."
Arthur told me that "Having grown up in New Orleans LSU was one of my favorite colleges but I also liked 3 others: USC, Miami and Oregon. This doesn’t mean that I would choose any of these schools over Texas A&M. though. Hey, I was just a kid then. When the time comes to select the best college for me to attend a lot of factors will weigh heavily into my decision like education, academic support system, coaching staff and the school’s NFL Player Development success rate."
In addition to the this first offer from Texas A&M, Arthur is being recruited from schools across the country, saying "The schools that have begun to actively recruit me are Alabama, LSU, Miami, Mississippi State, Florida State, Michigan State, Michigan, Florida, Washington, Texas, Texas Tech, Penn State, Oklahoma, Oregon and Nebraska, just to name the ones off the top of my head."
As for what colleges he's most interested in now, Arthur responded "Right now, I am open during the recruiting process. I just want to focus on finishing this semester strong, improving in spring football practice, summer camps and the next 2 seasons and continue to research all the institutions of higher learning who are recruiting me. I will weigh my options and narrow my choice down to 3 colleges and eventually with advice from my coaches at Warren Easton High School and my family, I will only pick the one that is the best overall fit for me regardless of location."
So what is Arthur looking for in a college? Arthur said "I am looking for a college that has a strong business department as well as their style of defense and how it fits my skill set. I am an athletic OLB who wants the coaches to trust the OLB’S in 1 on 1 coverage. This is important for me to showcase my pure athletic ability for NFL scouts."
With Texas A&M also offering teammates Tyron Johnson and Deshawn Capers-Smith, I asked Arthur is he was close Tyron and Deshawn, and whether they talked about attending the same school and is that something he would like. Arthur replied "Our entire team is a pretty close knit bunch because our coaching staff at Warren Easton High School has changed the culture for learning as well as success on the field. Tyron, Deshawn and myself have been pretty busy with school and spring football practice, so we haven’t had the opportunity to discuss whether or not attending the same school would be the overall best situation for all of us. They play offense and I play defense so the decision is still up in the air right now. If I have an opportunity to attend the same school with any of my teammates it would be great to have that support system in place."
When I asked Arthur who he thought were the best players you faced in 2012, he said "My teammates Deshawn and Tyron were the best players I faced in 2012. They create matchup problems in space and I have to develop my cover skills versus them every day in practice. They played a huge role in my success on the 2013 spring camp circuit. I took from that experience how important it is to have great training partners in order to strengthen your skill set and this is why I will give Texas A&M a good look during the recruiting process."
Arthur said he has a strong interest in Texas A&M, noting that in addition to its strong football program I had an opportunity to research their business programs and I like where it ranks nationally. It seems that Texas A&M has layed out a well balanced student / athlete support system for incoming freshmen, and that is important for me and my family."
Arthur has not yet visited Texas A&M, saying "I haven’t had the opportunity to visit Texas A&M yet, but I am looking forward to visiting their campus for the mini-camp on June 9th.".
In additon to the Aggie camp, Arthur said he plans to attend camps are LSU and Mississippi State, as well as attending the National Underclassmen U-100 and Nike combines.
In his junior and senior years, Arthur said "I want to help my team to win 2 state championships, get selected 1st Team All-American and later become ranked as the #1 LB in the nation according ESPN 150 watch list and Rivals.com."
I asked Arthur what areas of his game do he most want to work on and improve, and Arthur said "Because offensive coordinators are always looking for mismatches I want to work on becoming better at covering receivers. I want to be an every down LB. Offensive coordinators love to make a LB versus a WR a matchup nightmare for defensive coordinators, so I want to be prepared to win that battle when the situation presents itself."
Finally, I asked Arthur if there was anything else he wanted to tell Aggie fans about Arthur McGinnis.
Arthur said "I will do everything in my power to represent everything that is great about Texas A&M: From a social standpoint, If I sign with Texas A&M you will get an individual who people will view as a high character guy. From an athletic standpoint, I might not make every play at LB but I will prepare as if it is possible to make them all. I have at my disposal a great support system in my family. I was blessed to have been reared in a family of individuals who have made significant contributions to their universities as scholar / athletes as well as to the game of football. I come from a pedigree of Ivy League graduates, college professors, Academic All-Americans, valedictorians, salutatorians and my uncle, Keith Ballard, who is also my player development coach, was inducted into 6 Halls of Fame and has trained over 100 NFL prospects with 3 of them who have won Super Bowls. Just as the 12th Man helped the Aggies to win football games, my family will serve as my base for successfully completing my tenure at Texas A&M."
The Aggie Websider will be following the recruitment of Arthur McGinnis III with great interest.