"Its A&M and nobody else" says 1st '09 commit

Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman picked up his first recruit in the class of 2009, but what made the blue-chipper pull the trigger? What was it about A&M that sold him on the Aggies? Is he still taking visits? Aggie Websider visits with the newest Aggie commit about his decision.

Coach Mike Sherman and the new Texas A&M coaching staff picked up its first commitment of 2009. Rhontae Scales, a 6-foot-5, 299-pound offensive lineman from Killeen, verbally committed to assistant coach Van Malone and is now an Aggie.

"I was talking to Coach Malone yesterday and we were talking about my offer last week," Scales said. "I asked him a bunch of questions about the school and my offer. I asked what would happen if I got hurt, and he said nothing would happen if I was committed. They would honor the commitment no matter what."

The M&W/Aggie Websider 2009 Top 100 No. 17 rated player and third ranked offensive lineman in the state said he's felt comfortable with all aspects of the university and the football program and that after talking it over with his father felt the time was right to pull the trigger.

"Everything just fell into place. I like what the coaching staff is doing and Coach Turner (OL coach) has the same philosophies about blocking as my high school coach so that will be good," Scales said. "My father is excited. He thinks A&M is a top of the line school and he was very satisfied with the answers Coach Sherman when he asked him questions. He knows they will take care of me and I'll be safe up there."

So how did Coach Malone react when the blue chip lineman committed?

"I think he was pretty excited," Scales said. "We talk a lot and he says I can call him anytime to just talk, not about football or recruiting. He probably thought I was just calling to chat a little, because he seemed to be surprised when I told him."

Scales fits into the mold of the quicker offensive lineman that Coach Sherman is looking to bring into the program, although the highly-touted lineman is also strong and able to hold his own in the trenches.

"I'd say my strength is pass blocking. My coach says I have very good footwork and I'm quick for my size," Scales said. "But when I was at A&M's junior day, Coach Sherman liked my strength and said I had a great stance. He said all I needed to do was come off the ball faster and I'd be a great lineman, and he said that would be easy for him to correct."

In recent years, early Texas A&M commitments have continued to take visits to other schools despite pledging to the Aggies. That doesn't seem to be the case with Scales as he says that his commitment will end the recruiting process for him.

"This is it for me. I'm locked in," Scales said. "My decision takes a huge chip off my shoulders and now I can focus on the offseason and getting ready for my senior season. It's A&M and nobody else."

Scales is a significant get for Coach Sherman, as the staff is still trying to replenish the pipeline after the graduation and loss of five of the program's top six offensive linemen. Securing the verbal pledge of the No. 17 overall prospect in the state of Texas is definitely a good start, and gives the Aggies recruiting momentum heading into an important junior day event this coming weekend.

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