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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M lands No. 3 recruiting class in the nation

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Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver

Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher welcomes the best class to Aggieland since A&M joined the SEC.

Since most of Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher’s class signed their letters of intent in mid-December, the 2019 National Signing Day was mostly focused on adding the last members of the class and looking forward to spring football.
Fisher’s recruiting class is ranked No. 3 overall according to ESPN. Ahead of the Aggies is SEC west opponent Alabama and Georgia, both of whom, A&M will face during the regular season in 2019. Rounding out the top five teams were Oklahoma at No. 4 and Texas at No. 5. 
According to ESPN, this will be the first time since 2014 that the Aggies have had a class ranked within the top five.
After spending a full year recruiting in the state of Texas, Fisher said the coaching staff always aims to recruit players from within the state, but also looks forward to bringing out of state talent to Aggieland. Of the 25 members of the class, 16 are from Texas and nine are from out of state. 
As one of the newest coaches to come to a major program in Texas, Fisher said he understood the challenge it would be to recruit players. However, Fisher said it was much like recruiting in the state of Florida. 
“It has such a large volume of players and numbers of players, [that] everybody in America recruits here,” Fisher said. “All the other states that don’t have that large volume [of players] have to go somewhere where there is a surplus of players.”
With Texas being such a fertile ground for recruiting in terms of player talent, Fisher said it was no surprise that both Florida and the Lone Star state are some of the most competitive places to land some of the best athletes in the nation. 
“Texas and Florida — especially — get bombarded,” Fisher said. “You’re right here with the SEC, Big 12, PAC-12, the ACC. Everybody comes into Texas because it’s as good as high school football as there is anywhere in America, from a player and coaching standpoint.”
One of the players Fisher said he was the most excited to have on campus is Ainias Smith from Sugarland, Texas. The 5’10 athlete from Fort Bend Dulles High school has a three-star rating according to ESPN. Fisher said Smith’s versatility is something he looks forward to developing over the summer.
“Ainias Smith is an all-around player,” Fisher said. “He is what I say an ankle-breaker, which can play in the slot, play outside but can also be a great return guy. [He’s] a guy you can get the ball to his hands very quickly and in a lot of different ways. We’re very excited about him.”
With the early departure of linebacker Tyrel Dodson, who elected to enter the NFL draft, and graduate Otaro Alaka Fisher said it was crucial to add depth to the linebacker position.
On the afternoon of National Signing Day, the Aggies landed three-start linebacker Christopher Russell from Dyersburg, Tennessee. Fisher said during his media availability that Russell was an important get for the coaching staff, especially because of how late in the recruiting process they discovered Russell.
“We loved [him],” Fisher said. “We got on a little later, just because we saw the film a little later, but man we’re really excited about his athletic ability, his size, his instincts, his physicality and everything that goes with it.”
Fisher announced the A&M football program will begin spring practice on March 20 and the spring game is scheduled to be played on April 13 at 1 p.m.

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