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January 22, 2013
Proof of A&M's loaded '13 class found in the Rivals 250
The biggest moves within the final Rivals 100 and Rivals 250 were for prospects that currently aren't committed to Texas A&M but have a serious interest in the Aggies and could well be signing with A&M on Feb. 6.
However, what might go unnoticed is the fact that A&M has ten commitments within the Rivals 250 and 14 four stars overall. Those numbers translate into a top ten ranking nationally for the Aggies with the promise of being able to move up depending on how the Aggies close out their class.
The highest rated among the ten members of the 250 is Sealy athlete Ricky Seals-Jones who is projected to play receiver for the Aggies. In fact, A&M's receiver class may well be the best in the country and is highlighted by Seals-Jones, Rosenberg Terry's Derrick Griffin at #43, Cedar Hill's Laquvionte Gonzalez at #234, and Manvel's Kyrion Parker at #236. Seals-Jones, Griffin, and Parker are tall outside receivers with Parker currently being the most developed of the group. Parker has already has the footwork of a college player and also the ability to make big plays after the catch. Physically, there's aren't many receivers as physically imposing as Seals-Jones and Griffin. Gonzalez is the slot receiver among the group, more adept at this stage of his career at jet sweeps and making big plays in the return game (he averaged a touchdown once every seven touches during his senior season and added two more in the return game).
If the receivers don't catch your eye, the defensive tackles will: Dallas Kimball's Justin Manning moved into the final Rivals 100 with his stellar play down the stretch in the high school playoffs and then a good week at the Army All America game in San Antonio. Rivals.com analysts described his second day at the practices leading up to the game this way:
"Manning was one of the surprises of the day because he won almost every rep he had after a slow, sluggish first day. He showed good quickness and a great first step. He played low, dipping his shoulder and going past numerous offensive linemen on the day in one-on-one and two-on-two drills. In team settings, he also got a nice push."
Manning is considered more of a three technique due to his quickness off the ball as opposed to fellow four-star and Rivals 250 member Isaiah Golden, who offers more size. Despite playing at a small program, Golden was one of the West's better defenders during the first day of practices for the Army game before injuring his thumb. He proceeded to combine with Manning to force the East squad into a three and out during the game itself. It's easy to forget about the third four-star member of the group, Houston Westfield's Hardreck Walker, who offers both size and a quick first step. He played at one of the better programs in the Houston area and led them into the third round of the playoffs.
The biggest A&M-related moves within the 250 were for Alief Taylor defensive end Torrodney Prevot (committed to USC) and California receiver Sebastian Larue (uncommitted). Prevot moved up 46 spots to #163 in the final 250 after a strong showing at the Army All American game practices where he managed to overcome concerns about his 6 foot, 3-inch, 205-lb. frame.
"Prevot is a bit undersized for a defensive end, but he plays with great explosiveness and leverage," Rivals.com Southwest analyst Jason Howell said. "His ability to get into his opponent and into the backfield is elite, and it was on full display when he was in San Antonio for the Army All-American Bowl."
Larue moved up as well and could be another explosive slot receiver who also has the ability to play outside (he played outside receiver in high school). He is a fluid route runner and natural pass catcher who adjusts well to the ball in the air.
If the Aggies are able to close out with Prevot and Larue, it would give them a total of 16 four stars, which would be by far the highest number of four and five stars that the Aggies have ever garnered. In fact, it would virtually comprise what would be two classes worth of four stars in past years for the program.