In the past few days Texas A&M has added commitments from Scout.com Top 50 members Ricky Seals-Jones, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound wide receiver from Sealy (Texas) High and Justin Manning, a 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle from Dallas (Texas) Kimball High.
Those two commitments join a massive class that now totals 34 upper-echelon prospects, 24 residing from the Lone Star State and 10 hailing from other states or the JuCo ranks.
The blend should give Heisman winner Johnny Manziel plenty of tools to work with on the offensive side of the ball and the defensive unit will be replenished with players to come in and build on a 10-2 inaugural 2012 SEC season.
The incoming recruits will be the beneficiaries of something quite unique.
“It's unprecedented that an incoming class could have three full years to play with a Heisman Trophy winner, and it looks like Johnny Manziel is having an impact on the recruiting ranks as well with a pair of five-star receivers coming in,” said Scout.com Director of Scouting Scott Kennedy in regards to the talent in the class. "Derrick Griffin has been committed for nearly a year, but adding Ricky Seals-Jones to the class says a lot about the season A&M has had and the bright future ahead. A&M has been on a tear the last month including four players rated four-stars or better."
Many will chalk A&M's top class up to sheer numbers. With 34 commits in the bag most recruitniks assume that each and every recruit is tabulated in to the rankings equation.
“The formula caps at the Top 25 players per class,” explained Kennedy. “Some teams will sign 35 players, but only 25 count towards the rankings. To look at A&M's class and think that the No. 1 class is simply based on quantity is not seeing the bigger picture. A&M's 17 four-star or better rated players is second in the nation, only behind Notre Dame. The Aggies count three more highly rated three-star players in their class to give them the nod over the Irish and Wolverines by a very slim margin.
"Notre Dame and Michigan each have a better star per player at 3.86 for Notre Dame and 3.58 for Texas A&M, and some people are convinced that should be the only factor in an equation. There has to be a balance between quantity and quality in a class, and I don't know that there is an exact line to figure that out, but looking at A&M's class, if the Aggies were to take the Top 22 commits, their star average is 3.86, equal to Notre Dame.
"Would Texas A&M be better off if they dropped their last 3-Star guys to inflate their average," Kennedy questioned as he continued with his thoughts. "That doesn't make any sense. And to discount the possible impact highly ranked three star guys can have on a program or play beyond their ranking is doing a dis-service to the class itself, right Johnny Manziel?”
(Manziel was rated as the No. 22 ranked QB, rated three stars in 2010).
"USC has a whopping 4.38 star per player average, but they only have 16 commitments. I think they would love to be able to add nine more ranked three-star players to add to their depth, even if it meant lowering their star average."
To secure the National Recruiting Rankings title Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies will have to fight off some stiff competition from schools that still have more room to add talent.
“A&M is currently sitting at 4460 points and each commitment they add will have minimal effect on that number. 4460 would have put the Aggies No. 3 in 2012, so it's definitely possible, that they'll be overtaken by Signing Day.”
When asked who the biggest threats were to A&M's No. 1 position, Kennedy reeled off some of the usual suspects.
“Alabama always closes strong the last week of the year. In the Big Ten, I'd keep an eye on Ohio State. Urban Meyer is out on the road while others are getting ready for Bowl games, and he has a shiny 12-0 record and a couple of BCS Championship rings to take with him. Michigan and Notre Dame are only one commitment away from taking back the No. 1 spot that each of them have held at one point this year.”