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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies garner No. 2 transfer class with over 20 commits

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Texas A&M Football head coach Mike Elko during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)

Texas A&M football coach Mike Elko has wasted little time in bolstering the Aggies’ roster for the 2024 season via the transfer portal. Elko has secured over 20 transfer commitments in Aggieland, a level not seen under his predecessor, Jimbo Fisher.

The incoming transfers offset the 21 players that transferred out of the program following the 2023 campaign and will provide depth to a variety of positions on the field. 247Sports rates it as the No. 2 transfer class in the country behind SEC foe Ole Miss.

Here’s a rundown of the program’s newest Aggies:

Will Lee III, Kansas State sophomore cornerback

Lee played just one season with the Wildcats after one season at Iowa Western Community College, where he led it to a NJCAA Championship victory. Lee was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention after picking up 42 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss over 11 games. The Missouri native picked off two passes while deflecting eight others and forcing a fumble.

Alex Howard, Youngstown State junior linebacker

Howard appeared in 38 games over four seasons with the Penguins, including all 13 games of a 2023 season in which they went 8-5. Over his career, the Cincinnati product has tallied 142 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and five pass breakups. Last season was Howard’s most productive yet, picking up 76 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He added an interception and three pass breakups.

Cyrus Allen, Louisiana Tech sophomore wide receiver

Allen was a fixture on Louisiana Tech’s offense the past two seasons, reeling in 68 total catches for 1,278 yards and four touchdowns both years. The New Orleans native lived up to his billing on the 2023 Athlon Sports Preseason First Team All-Conference USA Team with 46 receptions for 778 yards to average 70.7 yards per game. Allen returned kickoffs as well, with nine returns this past season for an average of 20.7 yards.

Trey Jones, Central Michigan junior defensive back

The Alabama native will be entering his sixth season of college football after five years with the Chippewas. In 44 games at Central Michigan, Jones tallied 188 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

His most productive campaign came in 2022, when he made 85 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss while picking off two passes and breaking up five others. In 2023, he recorded 66 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception and three breakups while forcing a fumble.

Garrett Miller, Purdue redshirt senior tight end

Miller appeared in 33 games over four seasons with the Boilermakers while missing the 2022 campaign with an injury. He has totaled 51 catches for 456 yards and three touchdowns in his career, with 2023 being his most productive season. This year, he reeled in 30 receptions for 243 yards and two scores as Purdue finished 4-8.

De’Rickey Wright, Vanderbilt senior safety

Wright appeared in 35 games for the Commodores over the past four seasons, making 26 starts. He totaled 131 tackles, seven tackles for loss and five interceptions, with his most productive year coming during the 2022 campaign. He recorded 55 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 10 pass breakups and three picks as Vanderbilt went 5-7.

The Alabama native notched 46 tackles this year with five pass breakups, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. Prior to the season, Wright was named to the All-SEC Third Team by Phil Steele and the Senior Bowl watch list.

Jared Zirkel, Georgia junior kicker

Zirkel played in each of the Bulldogs’ 14 games in 2023 as a kickoff specialist. The Kerrville product had 103 total kickoffs for 67 touchbacks. He made one field goal of 21 yards in 2022.

Nic Scourton, Purdue sophomore outside linebacker

The Bryan native led the Big Ten with 10 sacks this past season to go with 50 tackles and 15 tackles for loss. Across 25 games with the Boilermakers, Scourton made 72 tackles.

Marcus Ratcliffe, San Diego State senior S

In his freshman campaign, Ratcliffe was in on 49 tackles, including one for a loss and one interception. He added two pass breakups. He was previously committed to UCLA.

Donovan Saunders, Cal Poly sophomore CB

The San Diego native made 17 tackles while intercepting three passes over 10 games in 2023. Across eight games in 2022, Saunders picked up nine tackles with two picks.

Jabre Barber, Troy junior WR

With over 32 games with the Trojans, Barber caught 132 passes for 1,674 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was also used on special teams in returning punts and kickoffs.

Rodas Johnson, Wisconsin redshirt senior defensive end

The former four-star recruit made 19 tackles in 12 games this past season with three tackles for loss and half a sack. Johnson has 50 tackles, 10 TFL and 2.5 sacks in 38 career games.

Derrick Graham, Troy sophomore offensive lineman

Graham played in 38 games over four seasons with the Trojans, including nine starts as a true freshman. He ran for a two-yard touchdown in 2023’s Birmingham Bowl.

Jaydon Hill, Florida redshirt junior CB

Hill played in 43 games over four seasons, picking up 88 tackles, five tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and two interceptions. This past season, he made 39 tackles with four TFL and two sacks.

Scooby Williams, Florida redshirt sophomore inside linebacker

This past season, Williams tallied 53 tackles, four tackles for loss and a sack. He also forced two fumbles. He was a four-star recruit in high school.

BJ Mayes, UAB junior CB

A Houston native that started his career at Incarnate Word, Mayes totaled 41 tackles, a tackle for loss, 12 pass breakups and two interceptions in one season at UAB.

Ar’Maj Reed-Adams, Kansas redshirt sophomore OL

The DeSoto native appeared in 31 games over four seasons with the Jayhawks, making 14 starts.

E.J. Smith, Stanford senior running back

Smith joins a loaded A&M running back room after four seasons at Stanford. The son of NFL legend Emmitt Smith, he tallied 109 carries over 24 games for 557 yards and five touchdowns. E.J. Smith contributed as a receiver as well with 59 catches for 386 yards and a score.

Cashius Howell, Bowling Green sophomore OLB

Howell was named to the All-MAC Third Team this season after tallying 28 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. He added a pass breakup and forced a fumble.

Dorian Hinton, Florida Atlantic junior OL

Hinton started each of the Owls’ 12 games this season. He was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team in 2020 while at Middle Tennessee State.

Wesley Watson, Kansas State freshman WR

Watson joins the Aggies as a preferred walk-on after a season with the Wildcats in which he didn’t log any stats. He’s a College Station native and played at A&M Consolidated High School. 

Tre Watson, Fresno State junior TE

Watson flipped his commitment to A&M after initially committing to Washington out of the portal. Across 33 games in three seasons with the Bulldogs, Watson caught 56 passes for 592 yards and four scores. His most productive campaign came in 2023, when he recorded 38 receptions for 378 yards and all four touchdowns of his career.

Dezz Ricks, Alabama freshman DB

Ricks saw limited action with the Crimson Tide this past season with just two game appearances, but the Virginia native brings plenty of talent to College Station. He was a five-star recruit out of high school, where he played at IMG Academy in Florida.

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Luke White
Luke White, Sports Editor
Luke White is a junior telecommunication media studies major and sport management minor from Round Rock, Texas. He has served as head sports editor since May 2023.
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