The Texas A&M Aggies have started off the 2014 recruiting cycle in the same way that they finished for 2013.
Riding a huge wave of momentum.
For those wondering if the Aggies were simply benefactors of a hyped up season, the results from Texas A&M's recent junior day certainly fly in the face of that theory.
There's no doubt that the team's stellar year, highlighted by Johnny Manziel's Heisman campaign, was a major reason that Texas A&M finished so strong on the recruiting trail. However, if we're learning anything about Kevin Sumlin and his staff in the early goings of the 2014 cycle, it's that this was not a fluke.
Texas A&M is here to stay in regards to recruiting, and that only bodes well for their chances of being a contender on the football field.
Jeff Tarpley of AggieYell.com reports that the Aggies picked up three major 2014 commitments at their junior day in 4-star safety Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 4-star athlete Armani Watts and 3-star defensive tackle DeShawn Washington.
According to Tarpley, Washington was even considered a Texas lean before the Aggies junior day.
Texas A&M now has 10 commitments lined up for the class of 2014, and Sumlin's program looks poised to have yet another dominant recruiting cycle. These three commitments will go down as big ones for the Aggies, though. Let's break them down.
Dylan Sumner-Gardner, 4-star S, West Mesquite High School (TX)
Sumner-Gardner has the intangibles to be a very effective safety at the college level. He has good size at 6'1'', 193 pounds and he couples that with great speed. Sumner-Gardner runs a 4.58 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports.
He displays great range as a safety and his speed allows him to cover a ton of field. He's also quick enough to get over corner routes and he won't get beat up the seams. His good footwork allows him to make sharp cuts and he has the ability to break on the ball. Sumner-Gardner also plays with good physicality and he should be strong against the run.
This is a big pickup for Texas A&M. He's ranked as the No. 10 safety in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
Armani Watts, 4-star ATH, North Forney High School (TX)
Watts is a talented athlete recruit that can play either wide receiver, quarterback or running back. He also can play safety or corner on the defensive side of the ball. According to Mark Passwaters of Rivals.com, Watts will most likely end up at safety for Texas A&M.
He has good size for a safety at 6'0'', 190 pounds, and his athleticism will make him a very intriguing option, as he'll be able to cover a wide range of the field.
His versatility also makes him an important commitment for the Aggies, and that could play a role on special teams early on. He's ranked as the No. 33 athlete in the 2014 class (247Sports Composite) and he's a very valuable in-state commitment.
DeShawn Washington, 3-star DT, Nederland High School (TX)
Like the two aforementioned commitments, Washington is an important in-state recruit for the Aggies to land. He has good size at 6'3'', 277 pounds and he's ranked as the No. 31 defensive tackle in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
What makes Washington's commitment even more important is the fact that he was considered a Texas lean before the visit. The Aggies undoubtedly surpassed Texas last year on the recruiting trail, but true recruiting success is determined by being able to sustain an advantage.
Out-recruiting Texas for two straight years would be a major statement for Sumlin and Texas A&M, and it's wins like this that will put the Aggies over the top in the state of Texas. Being able to land a commitment from a recruit who was considered a Longhorns lean is without a doubt a monumental win for the Aggies.
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