The Sherman Effect

What was the effect of Mike Sherman on the class of 2008? Who did he add to the mix? Who were the key losses? Aggie Websider's recruiting specialist Taylor Freeman takes a look at the impact that Sherman made on this year's recruiting class.

From the moment Mike Sherman stepped off the field at Reliant Stadium on December 30th to take over as head coach at Texas A&M, the clock began to tick. There was eight months until his first game as Texas A&M head coach against Arkansas State at Kyle Field. There was three months and 20 days until he must first march the players in to the Maroon and White game, unveiling his pro-style offense and traditional defense to the fans who so desperately want a change.

And finally, because Coach Sherman knows he has to successfully form a competitive base from day one, the most important clock was also the shortest—38 days until Signing Day.

With this is mind, Sherman has been tirelessly assembling his staff and recruiting all over Texas to maintain the current commits under the old regime as well as add new members that will help Texas A&M to again be the premier football school in the state. It is this effort that we now focus on as we look at his hits and misses on the recruiting trail.

Key Wins:

Jeff Fuller (WR) – McKinney, TX
Coach Sherman's first recruit as head coach for 2008 could turn out to be his best. This 6-foot-4 mid-term enrollee decided to give A&M another shot when Sherman came to town, and he was so impressed by Sherman and his staff that he switched his commitment from Oklahoma to A&M. The Aggies are in desperate need of a standout wide receiver, and with his size, speed, and off the charts hands, they seem to have found their man.

Cyrus Gray (RB) – Desoto, TX
There was some intense competition to get Cyrus' commitment as this blazing prospect racked up over 50 offers his senior year. Sherman, however, hit a home run when he visited Gray at De Soto High School preaching his NFL offense. "He sounds like a great coach," Gray said, "I'm looking forward to meeting him and talking about his offense more." From an athlete who has been courted by Jeff Tedford, Charlie Weiss, and Urban Meyer, that is high praise, and an convincing achievement for Sherman to receive his commitment in later January.

Trent Hunter (S) and Terrance Frederick (CB) – Katy, TX
While it should be a no-brainer to maintain a pipeline with arguably the state's best football program over the last 2 decades, previous years have seen a number of Katy Tiger graduates get passed over by A&M only to excel at other schools. This no longer seems to be the case with Sherman at the helm, as he was able to secure two commitments from Hunter and Frederick at key need positions for the Aggies.

Ricky Cavanaugh (LB) – Austin, TX and Eddie Brown (DE) – Waller, TX
If there is one attribute that has changed on defense between the wrecking crew days and recent seasons it is team speed. Luckily, Sherman has been out recruiting speed in spades. Last year Ricky Cavanaugh recorded 22 sacks and his recent highlight tape has A&M fans grateful we were able to steal him from under Mack Brown's nose. Also, Eddie Brown is a 265 lb. defensive end who runs a freakish 4.53 and ran the 100 meters for his school track team. If there are "diamond in the rough" candidates in this year's class look no further than these two Sherman recruits who could both be seeing significant minutes as early as next year.

Key Losses:

Lamar Harris (WR/CB) – Gilmer, TX
This early A&M commit seemed to hang by a thread for the duration of the recruiting process. While Sherman had promised this athlete looks on both sides of the ball, Lamar decided to follow teammate Justin Johnson to Oklahoma. While Harris possessed the 4.4 speed needed to become a lock down corner or big play wide receiver for the Aggies, the addition of Jeff Fuller and the retention of Sedrick Johnson make this a bearable loss.

Kapron Lewis-Moore (DE) – Weatherford, TX
It is a testament to Charlie Weis' recruiting ability that despite Notre Dame posting a 3-9 record during the 2007 season the Irish currently sit at the top of most recruiting rankings, and it must be that same recruiting swagger that swayed Kapron from "I'm an Aggie for good" to a near lock for the Golden Domers. However, Kapron has been adamant that he would not succeed in a 3-4 defense, and as signs point to this set being the eventual goal from Sherman and Herring for our defense, it seems a wise move for all parties concerned to part ways.

Down to the Wire:

Rod Davis (DT) – Houston, TX
Davis seems to have a flare for the dramatics, so we won't know what Sherman's effect is on the defensive tackle until later tonight, but Sherman has done nothing to hurt the cause. Davis appears to be leaning the Aggies' way, but is keeping the decision close to his chest. Aggie Websider will monitor Davis' decision throughout the day.

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