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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 welcomes another top-10 recruiting class to Aggieland

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Texas A&M’s maroon football helmet. 

With National Signing Day coming to an end, Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin addressed the media to answer questions pertaining to the incoming class. With several media outlets like Scout.com, Rivals.com, ESPN.com and 247sports.com giving the Aggies different rankings on their respective sites, the Aggies have a composite ranking that falls in the top-10 of classes in the nation.

Things in Aggieland were relatively calm on National Signing Day, since there weren’t any unexpected flips or commitments. Nine of the 27 recruits are already enrolled in classes and going through spring drills with the team.

Sumlin said the camaraderie within the 2017 recruiting class is one of the reasons it’s one of the most complete classes across the board.

“This is a close group and you can see it from the outside on social media but you can get a better feel from it on the inside, just talking to them,” Sumlin said. “The things that are important to this class — it says a lot about these guys and their families.”

Sumlin said the most important goal for the coaching staff this recruiting season was to strengthen the offensive and defensive line, which according to Sumlin is crucial to compete in a tough SEC West division.

“We set out in the beginning to increase not only our front but the profile of the front. We wanted to be bigger on the offensive line; I think we achieved that the with the full set of lineman,” Sumlin said. “So from our standpoint, looking at the whole class, I think what we set out to do in the front, with the offensive and defensive lines and a complete set of linebackers, with two of them already on campus, that was the first priority.”

With the exit of Trevor Knight, the starting quarterback position is up for grabs. The most notable quarterback in the 2017 recruiting class is 4-star dual threat Kellen Mond. Sumlin said with a strong quarterback group each player will have to bring their best throughout spring ball and fall camp leading up to the season opener in Pasadena against UCLA Sept. 2. However, he said that there is no doubt in his mind that Mond has the ability to compete with returning players like Jake Hubenak and Nick Starkel.

“We had Kellen at camp a few years ago and he was extremely impressive,” Sumlin said. “The opportunity is there for him as an early graduate. Nick Starkel has done a great job in the offseason and has really worked hard physically. With Jake being here, we have the four guys here right now and we’ll start practicing start weeding things out. He’s here to compete he said that.”

This class features one of the most dynamic players in Roshauud Paul, who also enrolled early. Paul was named Mr. Texas Football and listed under the top 15 overall athletes on ESPN’s top 300. Paul finished his high school career with 69 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions at quarterback. Paul will make the transition from quarterback to wide receiver this fall for the Aggies.

“You always have to look at Mr. Football in the state of Texas,” Sumlin said. “That guy can easily play ball; we have to figure out where to put him. He’ll start on offense; he’s electric. Anyone who’s watched the last couple state championship runs they’ve had with the ball in his hands is something else. He’s got return ability … A lot of things on the up side. I think he’s a guy that will benefit by being here early and to be able to get into the offense and got through spring ball as he makes the transition to receiver and we’ll see what happens from there.”

The Aggies landed the No. 1 overall linebacker in the nation according to ESPN in Anthony Hines III, a commitment Sumlin said was crucial after the departure of Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall.

“When they start bringing in a guy from middle school to play on varsity to play football, you better start paying attention to who that guy is,” Sumlin said. “I think that it was solidified by John Chavis and his relationship with Mr. Hines and Anthony. He’s a guy we had targeted this time a couple years ago, he was a guy who kept coming to our games, junior days and different things.”

The Aggies will begin their spring football camp March 1.

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