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Katy four-star defensive end Malick Sylla, left, and four-star defensive back Bobby Taylor, right, pose for a photo together during Early Signing Day at Katy High School on Wednesday morning. Sylla and Taylor are part of a Texas A&M recruiting class that was ranked third nationally entering the day.
Texas A&M football entered Early Signing Day on Wednesday with its 2022 recruiting class ranked third nationally, according to 247sports.com. It’s possible when it’s all said and done that the Aggies could have the top class in the country.
Texas A&M is a hot ticket these days among Greater Houston area recruits like Bridgeland five-star quarterback Conner Weigman, Fort Bend Marshall four-star receiver Chris Marshall, and Atascocita four-star offensive lineman Kam Dewberry, among others. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has serious momentum. He is a national championship coach, having won at Florida State in 2013, and has signature wins over Alabama and LSU during his tenure in College Station. His passion for Texas A&M and his approach toward players are difficult to ignore.
VYPE : @KamDewberry talks with VYPE after committing to the Aggies. \n#txhsfb #EarlySigningDay \n(@KPRC2RandyMc @DavidNuno @kbtxsports @TexAgs @BarstoolTexasAM @ConnerWeigman @AlexMill20 @AggiesToday @KBTXDonnie @MaxPreps @247Sports @Perroni247 @HumbleISD @HumbleISD_AHS)pic.twitter.com/FZVh7Iyjem — VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston)
But no matter how much success A&M has garnered in recruiting—and Fisher has three consecutive classes ranked in the top 10 nationally entering 2022—it hasn’t translated to meaningful postseason success. Under Fisher, the Aggies have been to the Gator Bowl twice, the Orange Bowl once, and the Texas Bowl once. A&M has not won a national title since 1939 and has won 10 or more games in a season just twice since 1999.
Even this season, the Aggies are ranked No. 25 in the country, 8-4 heading into the Gator Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
So, what is it, exactly, that makes the Aggies so attractive to recruits?
“The environment, for one,” Katy four-star defensive back Bobby Taylor said. “The 12th Man. Of course, the winning aspect of it. Coming from a winning program, of course I wanted to go to a program that was winning. I didn’t want to go somewhere to feed off the winning by itself, but somewhere I can be a part of something to build to it.”
Added Clear Springs four-star receiver Noah Thomas: “It’s the facilities, the bond with the coaches. A whole bunch of stuff. I know a lot of dudes going here and it’s going to be a lot of fun. They’re trying to bring in the Texas boys and represent. It’s going to be a big recruiting class. Just wait on it.”
VYPE #EarlySigningDay : @ClearSpringsFB WR @Thomas3Noah talks with VYPE about signing with the Aggies on Wednesday. #txhsfb #GigEm #NSD22 \n\n(@KPRC2RandyMc @DavidNuno @kbtxsports @TexAgs @BarstoolTexasAM @ConnerWeigman @AlexMill20 @AggiesToday @KBTXDonnie @ClearSpringsHS)pic.twitter.com/xJh3yTRNXT — VYPE Houston (@VYPE Houston)
Texas A&M certainly has its perks. It is close to Houston, a little more than an hour and a half drive. And for the lack of significant postseason success, the Aggies do win. Since Fisher got to College Station in December 2017, Texas A&M has gone 9-4, 8-5, 9-1 and 8-4. Twice, the Aggies have finished second in a hellacious SEC West.
“It felt like a second home,” Katy four-star defensive end Malick Sylla said. “It was an environment I wanted to be in. I knew I could go in, work and hopefully win a national championship.”
Fisher knows how to appeal to players individually and their own goals, which worked with Taylor and Dickinson four-star tight end Donovan Green.
“I get to play early,” Taylor said. “That was the biggest thing for me. I could come in here my senior year, get things done here. One thing I benefited from was doing summer school last year so I could enroll early, play spring ball, develop my body. Stuff like that.”
“You can always say whatever you want, but actions are going to go farther than your words,” Green said. “He’s (Fisher) shown me how much they use tight ends and how they can produce them at a high enough level to go to the next level. You can’t beat that. Being that they are so close, and, again, they are at another level getting the ball to the tight ends, there’s just not a better place for me.”
The Aggies’ being oh-so-close to turning the corner and becoming a consistent force to be reckoned with is also endearing. Recruits like that A&M wins. But, as Taylor said, they want to be a part of the team that puts the program over the top and in the same sentence with the Alabamas and LSUs of the world.
“A couple of days before I committed, it was just me and (teammate) Donovan (Green) just talking,” Dickinson four-star offensive tackle PJ Williams said. “I had A&M in my top three and I told him I just wanted to commit. I wanted to build a dynasty there. So, after that day, we just talked and both agreed if it was A&M we both agreed on, we wanted to go there together. That was our chance and that was our ride.”
There is a distinct vibe at Texas A&M with recruits. It’s the spot. It’s the place to be. The Aggies’ Class of 2022, which includes nine Houston area talents, is proving it.
“It was the best family atmosphere I got out of everybody else,” said Dewberry, who chose the Aggies over Texas and Oklahoma on Wednesday afternoon on ESPN. “I felt home.”
(VYPE Media managing editor Joshua Koch contributed to this report).
HOUSTON – Early National Signing Day is normally a spectacle by itself.
But this year, you throw in the wild summer of conference realignment – started by Texas and Oklahoma officially getting accepted into the SEC and leaving the Big 12 Conference – paired with the wild coaching carousel that was headlined by Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma for USC, this day is crazier than usual.
New head coaches and staffs have been racing across the country in their private jets to either try and keep their new program’s current signing class together or flip players from their old to their new school.
Here is what we know about Houston’s top stars in the Class of 2022 and what they plan to do this week. This is your Roadmap to Early National Signing Day in Houston.
Harold Perkins (Cy Park) – Will Commit January 2 Ranked No. 1 player in Texas by 24/7Sports and No. 1 Linebacker. Ranked No. 5 overall Nationally Perkins is down to his Top 3 of Texas A&M, LSU and Texas. Perkins had an in-home visit with the Longhorns back on December 9.
Kelvin Banks (Summer Creek) – Will Sign to Texas on Wednesday Ranked No. 3 player in Texas by 24/7 Sports and No. 15 Nationally
Banks was originally committed to Oregon since early this fall. But with Mario Cristobal taking the Miami job, Banks decommitted. He originally said he would wait until February after this. But on Saturday, Banks verbally committed to Texas. He does plan to sign to Texas on Wednesday. VYPE has been told that Banks is on vacation and will sign his NLI and send it in Wednesday morning.
Denver Harris (North Shore) – Is Expected to Announce and Sign on Wednesday Ranked No. 5 player in Texas, No. 16 Nationally
Denver Harris has kept his recruiting process rather quiet. The five-star cornerback has made it known that he will be making his decision on Wednesday. VYPE has been told it will be done in the morning prior to the team’s practice around 10:30 am. Harris hasn’t publicly released his top schools but has recently made a trip to Texas A&M and visited with Texas coaches in-home back on December 10.
Conner Weigman (Bridgeland) – Will Sign with Texas A&M on Wednesday Ranked No. 7 player in Texas, No. 19 Nationally
The dual-sport Conner Weigman will sign with Texas A&M on Wednesday. He will celebrate the signing at 3:15 in the cafeteria at Bridgeland High School. Weigman, a five-star quarterback, is a part of what the Aggies hope is their best class in history. Earlier on Monday, Zach Calzada entered the transfer portal from Texas A&M. This leaves former Longview QB Haynes King, who was starting for the Aggies before an injury this past season and Blake Bost, for Port Neches-Groves signal-caller as some of his main competition. Weigman also plays baseball and could see the field this spring for Texas A&M as he is an early graduate.
Chris Marshall (Fort Bend Marshall) – Will Sign in February Ranked No. 11 player in Texas, No. 62 Nationally
Chris Marshall verbally committed to Texas A&M on November 6. The dual-sport star tells VYPE that he is not signing early but will do so in February.
Malick Sylla (Katy) – Will Sign to Texas A&M on Wednesday Ranked No. 12 player in Texas, No. 66 Nationally
Sylla, a four-star defensive lineman, will be signing with Texas A&M on Wednesday morning at 6:45 am in the team meeting room.
PJ Williams (Dickinson) – Will Sign to Texas A&M on Wednesday Ranked No. 14 player in Texas, No. 80 Nationally
PJ Williams is the ninth-ranked offensive lineman and will be heading to Texas A&M. Williams will be signing along with teammate Donovan Green at 10:20 am in the gym.
Julian Humphrey (Clear Lake) – Will Sign to Georgia on Wednesday Ranked No. 16 player in Texas, No. 90 Nationally
The Clear Lake CB has had an interesting recruitment process. He was at one point committed to Florida but then opened his recruitment again on October 25. He dropped a Top 3 of Texas A&M, LSU and Georgia on November 2 before committing to the Bulldogs on November 12. He is set to sign and receive his All-American Jersey on Wednesday at 11:45 am in the Performance Athletic Center at Clear Lake HS. But on Tuesday, Humphrey was re-offered by new Florida coach Billy Napier just a day before signing … so we will see what happens.
Kam Dewberry (Atascocita) – Will announce his commitment on Wednesday Ranked No. 17 player in Texas, No. 91 Nationally
The Atascocita offensive lineman has made his decision. He will make it publicly known on Wednesday at 3 p.m. It has come down to Texas A&M, which with Dewberry’s commitment could help vault the Aggies 2022 class to No. 1 in the nation, Texas and Oklahoma. Dewberry on December 9 had an in-home visit with the Longhorns coaches, including head coach Steve Sarkisian. He also visited with the Aggies in home, including Jimbo Fisher on December 1. The Longhorns have had a recent run of success with offensive linemen, including grabbing Summer Creek’s Kelvin Banks, who Dewberry grew up playing Little League with in the area.
Donovan Green (Dickinson) – Will Sign with Texas A&M on Wednesday Ranked No. 20 in Texas, No. 121 Nationally
The Dickinson tight end is a nice get for the Aggies. Green follows in the steps of also former Dickinson Gator Jalen Wydermeyer, who was a star at Texas A&M this past season in the offense. This past season for Dickinson, Green had 27 catches for 602 yards and nine scores. He led the team in receiving yards, according to MaxPreps.
Other Key Houston-Area Signings
No. 27 Bobby Taylor (Katy) - Will Sign to Texas A&M on Wednesday -7 am at Katy’s Team Meeting Room No. 32 Jaydon Blue (Klein Cain – Did Not Play His Senior Season) – Will Sign to Texas on Wednesday No. 35 Matthew Golden (Klein Cain) – Will Sign on Wednesday at 12:30 in auditorium of Klein Cain HS No. 38 Nicholas Anderson (Katy) - Will Sign to Oklahoma on Wednesday-7 am at Katy’s Team Meeting Room No. 41 Martrell Harris (The Woodlands) – Will Sign to Texas A&M on Wednesday at 11:30 am at the HS No. 44 Kristopher Ross (North Shore) – TBD No. 47 Noah Thomas (Clear Springs) – Will Sign to Texas A&M at 11:45 am in the gym at Clear Springs HS No. 54 Marcus Scott II (Conroe) – Will Sign to Missouri on Wednesday at 11:30 am in Conroe HS Gym No. 65 Justin Medlock (Manvel) – Will Announce his Commitment on Wednesday No. 75 Ty Kana (Katy) - Will Sign to Texas Tech on Wednesday-7 am at Katy’s Team Meeting Room