Class of 2010 Recruiting Grades

While the Class of 2010 will be marked by the signing day defection of five-star linebacker Corey Nelson, the group of 22 Texas A&M signees is still a Top 15-20 national recruiting class. The class focused on the line of scrimmage, with 10 spots going to the offensive and defensive lines. But it's the talent on the offensive line that will define this recruiting class.

While the Class of 2010 will be marked by the signing day defection of five-star linebacker Corey Nelson, the group of 22 Texas A&M signees is still a Top 15-20 national recruiting class. The class focused on the line of scrimmage, with 10 spots going to the offensive and defensive lines. But it's the talent on the offensive line that will define this recruiting class.

Considered by almost every recruiting service as the No. 1 OL unit in country, the Aggies nailed down five of the top linemen in the state including versatile 5-star prospect Jake Matthews who can play any spot along the line. Since head coach Mike Sherman took over the program in 2008, the program has lacked prototypical tackle prospects which made pass protection for QB Jerrod Johnson an iffy proposition. Consensus Top 25 prospects like Luke Joeckel, Shep Klinke, and Cedric Ogbuehi will compete immediately for the two vacant tackle spots. Top 50 prospect Garrett Gramling rounds out what many A&M experts believe could be the best OL class in the past 30 years.

The defensive line will receive help from the class that signed six (possibly seven w/ Hicks), although this group doesn't have the star power of the offensive line. Actually, the success or failure of this DL unit will ultimately determine not only the value of this class, but also the success or failure of the Sherman regime. Tim DeRuyter and the defense must show significant defensive improvement over the two years to keep the Aggie fan base and donors happy, and that will only happen if the defensive line can develop and physically match-up with opposing OL's.

Other notable recruiting efforts by position include the impressive three man haul at quarterback. Jameill Showers, Matt Joeckel, and Clay Honeycutt are all here on-campus early to participate in spring drills. That's a good thing, as the Aggies need to find a third quarterback now that Tommy Dorman is working out with the tight ends. Even better is that all three signal callers are on campus for the spring.

The Aggies took a trio of running backs, and all three are compact, physical runners with the ability to gain tough yards between the tackles with hands to catch a swing pass out of the backfield. This group compliments homerun hitters like Christine Michael and Cyrus Gray and gives the offensive staff more options in third down and short situations.

The defection of Jarrett Fobbs downgraded the receiving corps, but 6-foot-4 Nate Askew is a dynamic pass catcher who will remind Aggie fans of Jeff Fuller. Malcolme Kennedy is one of the most prolific offensive players in the high school ranks in 2009 and earned many statewide postseason honors.

Not much is being said of cornerback Toney Hurd, but the Under Armour all-star was A&M's first offer at the position nearly a year ago. He may be under 6-foot tall, but Hurd is the first natural cornerback signed since Terrence Fredrick inked with the Aggies in 2008.

Overall, the class adds much-needed talent at several positions, but this group will be known as the one that brought A&M back into being competitive along the all-important line of scrimmage. The 10 prospects signed will have a huge impact on the program over the next five years. While this class had a couple of misses in the final 48 hours, it doesn't take away from the statement made on Wednesday – A&M will start winning the battle of the trenches very soon.

Quarterback


Clay Honeycutt

Matt Joeckel

Jameill Showers


GRADE: A


Running Back


D. J. Jones

Mister Jones

Ben Malena


GRADE: B


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Nate Askew

Nehemiah Hicks

Malcolme Kennedy


GRADE: B


Offensive Line


Garrett Gramling

Luke Joeckel

Shep Klinke

Jake Matthews

Cedric Ogbuehi


GRADE: A+


OVERALL OFFENSIVE GRADE: 91



Defensive Line


Brandon Jackson

Jonathan Mathis

DaMontrae Moore

Ivan Robinson

Gavin Stansbury


GRADE: B+


Linebacker


Dominique Patterson


GRADE: D+


Defensive Back


Toney Hurd

LeKendrick Williams


GRADE: B


OVERALL DEFENSIVE GRADE: 80


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