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Here to Stay

By Matthew Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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Being the lone SEC team in the state of Texas offers obvious recruiting advantages to Texas A&M, and the Aggies are certainly taking advantage of it.

Recent Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel was undoubtedly the surprise player of the year in college football.

Meanwhile, his Texas A&M Aggies may have been the surprise team of the year.

Picked to finish sixth by members of the SEC media during the preseason, Texas A&M easily exceeded expectations, winning 10 regular season games, knocking off No. 1 Alabama and earning a spot in the upcoming Cotton Bowl against Oklahoma.

A few short months ago, the general consensus about these Aggies was that it would take them a few years to get adjusted to life in the SEC. There was no doubt that Texas A&M had recruited at a high level, but most prognosticators thought they lacked the overall toughness and physicality to compete in the nation’s toughest conference.

Fast forward to the end of the regular season and the question is no longer will the Aggies be able to compete in their new conference; it’s are they on the brink of taking over the title of the most dominant team in the conference?

While that question might initially seem absurd given the amazing success of Alabama over the last four seasons, the Aggies proved this season that they are on the cusp of becoming a perennial force in the conference.

Manziel is unquestionably the most highly publicized of the Aggies’ players, but head coach Kevin Sumlin is doing a tremendous job of ensuring that the cupboard will be stocked with talented players in College Station for years to come.

Being the lone SEC team in the state of Texas offers obvious recruiting advantages to Texas A&M, and the Aggies are certainly taking advantage of it.

As of Monday afternoon, Texas A&M now has the No. 1 recruiting class for the class of 2013 in the nation. It is a recruiting class headlined by five-star wide receivers Derrick Griffin and Ricky Seals-Jones, who will have the opportunity to catch passes from the Aggies’ Heisman Trophy winner next season.

Texas A&M has never been a poor recruiting program, but to offer some perspective, the Aggies have finished no higher than 21st nationally in any of their last three recruiting classes.

The combination of a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, surprising success on the gridiron and a unique advantage on the recruiting front has the Aggies set up for a prolonged run of success in their new conference.

As much as it may pain SEC purists to admit, it appears that the Aggies are here to stay.
 

Matthew Osborne - With an extensive background in both writing and high school recruiting, Matt serves as the Editor and Director of Recruiting for Southern Pigskin. Once serving as the South Region Senior Scout for a national scouting service, Matt is very familiar with the top football prospects in the south. If it is a weekend in the fall, you can rest assured that Matt is on the road watching some of the top high school and college games in the region. To keep up with all of the latest recruiting news in the south, be sure to follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborneSP. You can email him at matt@southernpigskin.com.