Texas A&M Aggies

COLLEGE STATION, TX - OCTOBER 31: Texas A&M Aggies mascot Reveille runs onto the field before a NCAA football game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field on October 31, 2015 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Eric Christian Smith/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Four-star 2017 QB Kellen Mond, an ex-Baylor commit, verbals to A&M

5 Comments

Baylor’s recruiting loss will turn into another football program’s gain.  Again.

On his Twitter account Monday, 2017 quarterback prospect Kellen Mond announced that he has decided to verbally commit to play his college football at Texas A&M.  Mond had been considered the crown jewel of Baylor’s 2017 recruiting class after committing to the Bears in the summer of 2015, but opted to decommit less than a week after Art Briles was dismissed as BU’s head football coach.

Shortly after decommitting from Baylor, Mond announced a new Top 3: Auburn, Ohio State and A&M.  Those schools were listed in his order of preference at that moment, although the Aggies were, obviously, able to make up ground on the other two.

Mond visited College Station earlier this month, and, coupled with the Buckeyes landing a verbal from five-star quarterback Tate Martell — a former A&M commit, incidentally — had seemingly pared his choices down to the Tigers and Aggies.  According to his tweeted announcement, A&M’s “tradition of excellence,” along with the coaching staff, led him to his latest commitment.

Mond, a Texas native who is playing his senior season at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., is rated as a four-star prospect on 247Sports.com‘s composite board. That recruiting website rates him as the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in the country and the No. 103 player overall.

After spurning A&M, five-star 2017 QB commits to Ohio State

Tate Martell
Rivals.com
17 Comments

As it turns out, Texas A&M’s loss will be a Big Ten school’s gain.  Probably.  Maybe.

In early May, 2017 five-star quarterback Tate Martell announced that he had decided to decommit from A&M and reopen his recruitment. That triggered a very public hissy fit from one of A&M’s assistant coaches, which also triggered both a backlash from other recruits and public rebuke from head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Exactly a week ago today, the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman product announced a new Top Five: Ohio State, Cal, USC, Colorado, UCLA.  Seven days later, Martell announced a new commitment from that group.

The 5-11, 203-pound Martell is rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com and is the No. 33 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

Chatter returns on resuming A&M-Texas, Michigan-Notre Dame rivalries

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 24:  Patrick Lewis #61 of the Texas A&M Aggies prepares to snap the ball against the Texas Longhorns in the second half of a game at Kyle Field on November 24, 2011 in College Station, Texas. (Photo by Darren Carroll/Getty Images)
Getty Images
20 Comments

One of the greatest aspects of the sport of college football has always been the rivalries, but some luster was lost on that front thanks to expansion. If the developments of late this past week continue, at least a couple of rivalries that have been lost of late could be making their way back.

Maybe.

Both Texas’ Charlie Strong and his counterpart at Texas A&M, Kevin Sumlin, have previously stumped for a resumption of that bitter in-state rivalry. In pointed comments Friday, Strong gave the strongest indication yet that a resumption of a rivalry in hibernation thanks to A&M’s move to the SEC could be closer to awakening than most had previously thought.

“They’re trying to work out something right now where we go play the Aggies,” the UT coach said in response to a Houston Touchdown Club question.

Sounds promising, right?  Before you go getting too excited, however, take in this cold dose of reality:

Back in April, A&M’s new athletic director, Scott Woodward, was quoted as saying he has “no objection” to a resumption of the football rivalry, although even he acknowledged that such a decision is “well above my pay grade.”  After both Strong and Sumlin came out strongly in favor of a renewal in April of 2015, and prior to Strong’s comments this week, there had been very little movement on that front, save for one A&M regent publicly wanting to renew it to give the Aggies a “cupcake” game.

The Longhorns and Aggies last met in football during the 2011 season, a 27-25 UT win in College Station. The Longhorns lead the all-time series 76-37-5, although the teams split the last six meetings.

In the Midwest, significant chatter also surfaced in resuming the Michigan-Notre Dame rivalry, although this talk seems to carry more hope and stronger legs than Strong’s.

I’ve been on board since the inception,” UM head coach Jim Harbaugh said of playing the Irish again, a notion that really began to take hold in February of this year. “It’s something that’s been working on for many months, going on seven, eight, nine months now. There are still some T’s to cross and I’s to dot, but I’ve been on board fully since the inception.”

“We’re still working on it,” Harbaugh’s counterpart in South Bend, Brian Kelly, said. “Obviously from our scheduling standpoint we’ve scheduled so far in advance and I think I’ve made it fairly public that I’d like to see this game happen and I know Jim wants to make it happen.

“We’ve got some hurdles that we’ve got to work through, but you’ve got two coaches that are committed to making it happen. I’m sure we’ll figure it out and get it done, but we’ve still got a little work to get it done.”

Notre Dame and Michigan have faced each other in football 40 times.  While the two programs first met in 1887, the series has been sporadic and seen a couple of significant breaks between games (1910-41; 1944-77).  Since 1978, a span of 35 years, they have met 18 times.

It was announced in September of 2012 that the Irish had opted out of playing previously scheduled games from 2015-17, meaning the last game between the programs came in 2014.  It’s thought that the earliest a resumption, even as one of the coaches doesn’t consider it much of a rivalry, would come to fruition would be 2018, with a more likely target of 2019.

Five-star QB, ex-A&M commit Tate Martell’s Final 5 features Ohio State, UCLA, USC

Tate Martell
Rivals.com
7 Comments

Texas A&M’s loss was bound to be somebody else’s gain, and now we know the handful of someones that could potentially be.

In early May, 2017 five-star quarterback Tate Martell announced that he had decided to decommit from Texas A&M and reopen his recruitment. That triggered a very public hissy fit from one of A&M’s assistant coaches, which also triggered both a backlash from other recruits and public rebuke from head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Now, a month later, the Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High School quarterback has released an updated Final 5, listed in the order he tweeted them: Ohio State, Cal, USC, Colorado, UCLA.

The Final 5 comes a couple of days after Martell had released a Top 6, which included those five schools mentioned above as well as West Virginia.  Martell had originally made the decision to decommit from A&M on the heels of a visit to OSU.

The 5-11, 203-pound Martell is rated as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in the country by 247Sports.com and is the No. 33 player overall on that recruiting website’s composite board.

Interestingly, Kellen Mond, the No. 4 dual-threat quarterback in Martell’s class, decommitted from Baylor a couple of days ago in the wake of the sexual assault scandal at the university and listed OSU in his new Top Three, along with Auburn and Texas A&M.  It’s believed by many, though, that the Tigers have the inside track for the Texas native’s services.

SEC expands conduct policy for transfers, not incoming freshmen

NASHVILLE, TN - MARCH 13:  Greg Sankey the new commissioner of the SEC talks to the media before the quaterfinals of the SEC Basketball Tournament at Bridgestone Arena on March 13, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Getty Images
4 Comments

Jeffery Simmons caught what many considered an undeserved — and wholly unacceptable — break from Mississippi State Thursday.  A day later, the five-star 2016 signee caught a break from his conference for good measure.

In April of last year, the SEC voted to ban member institutions from accepting transfers who had been disciplined for serious misconduct at his previous school, with that defined as sexual assault, sexual violence and domestic violence.  As the SEC wrapped up its annual spring meetings Friday, and as had previously been expected, the conference announced that it will be expanding that policy to include “dating violence, stalking or conduct of a nature that creates serious concern about the safety of others.”

Additionally, the expanded policy will require schools to perform background checks on any transfer before they are permitted to practice or play with the team.  Those checks are expected to satisfy what’s described as the SEC’s “minimum due diligence expectations.”

However, the new policy still only applies to transfers; incoming freshmen are not subject to the policy.  That, though, could change, especially in light of the Simmons situation in Starkville.

“I can envision a continuing dialogue that looks at what we’ve done on serious misconduct relative to transfers, and the question will be asked is that sufficient?” commissioner Greg Sankey said. “Should we remain there? That doesn’t predict outcomes, but I envision that will be a conversation topic going forward. But I never anticipated that we were done.

“This conference has been wrestling with the issue, and it’s not easy. I hope people can appreciate that. It’s not as if this is done in a sterile environment, and I think that’s an important conversation. I said that last year, and I’ve said that this year. There’s a point at which the legislation concluded for this week, and we’ll see what the future might hold without prediction.”