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March 8, 2006

Texas tidbits: Aggies picking up steam

Even with a quick start from the in-state rival Longhorns, Texas A&M is quietly putting together a solid class.

The Aggies have added four verbal commitments for the 2007 class with several looming possibilities surfacing. A backyard pledge from offensive tackle Evan Eike was the most recent joining top linebacker Derrick Stephens.

Stephens took in the Texas junior day after committing to A&M, but followed that up with a junior day trip to College Station. There he solidified his commitment with his original choice and said that he was not looking around any longer.

The two other commitments in the books so far include highly touted running back Bradley Stephens and hometown kicker Matt Szymanski. The early run of commitments may not stop there.

Rivals100 receiver Dez Bryant was a junior day visitor for A&M this past weekend. After seeing the Aggies' campus more than once, Texas Tech and A&M are currently his top two schools. One program is leading.

"A&M is a little bit ahead for me because I've been there, I know about A&M," Bryant said to Websider.com. "I've been there and I like how they do stuff there too."

Fellow top 100 receiver Terrance Toliver didn't make it to the junior day but was present for the Aggies' Night of Champions that week. Though he says there aren't any leaders, A&M looks to be in solid position among his top five schools. LSU, Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma are the other top schools on his list.

Texas A&M is also pursuing quarterbacks heavily and getting mutual interest. Beaumont (Texas) Central dual-threat signal caller Brandon Williams recently reported a Texas A&M offer. The Aggies are also involved with California gunslinger Chris Forcier.

At running back, it appears that Joseph Reese is favoring the Aggies, with family in the College Station area. The Longhorns recently offered and are not far behind.

The fast start could be joined by a string of new commitments for the Aggies.

Stay tuned.

Scott buried in offers

Dallas Skyline is home to several Division I prospects, with none being better than athlete Christian Scott.

Scott has a total of 10 offers since picking up four new ones from LSU, Kansas, Nebraska, and Wisconsin this week. He's keeping things even without any favorites but his coach says that he's way ahead of last year's Rivals100 linebacker Michael Morgan.

"Everything has changed now with the speed of offers," Skyline coach Derick Roberson said this week. "This time last year, Morgan had three offers."

One similarity to Morgan is that Scott has high interest in Florida State. Before the pledge to Southern Cal, Morgan had the Seminoles as one of his top remaining teams.

Scott is planning a camp visit there this summer.

"I haven't looked at any others yet - that is one I'm kind of looking at," Scott said about the FSU event. "I can't go to any junior days because of track."

Horns close to adding two, losing one?

Rivals100 athlete/dual-threat quarterback John Chiles made up for missing his junior day visit to Texas by taking an unofficial trip to Austin this past weekend. Head coach Mack Brown and staff focused their attention on Chiles as the only visitor of the weekend.

Chiles, who has had the Longhorns leading for some time, came away with the story reading the same.

"I was really impressed with everything I saw and so were my mother and father," Chiles said to Orangebloods.com. "We just need to go back home and sit down and talk about things.

"We could do something in a week or so."

Tatum, Texas star running back Lennon Creer looks to be also on the verge of deciding, but like Chiles wants to wait a little longer.

"I still like Texas a lot," Creer said. "They're still No. 1 on my list but I haven't committed to them yet. I'll probably make a move here in the near future. I don't really know when, though."

Things were all positives, but then things were thrown in a different direction. One junior day commit, Beaumont (Texas) Ozen defensive back Ben Wells is playing with the idea of more trips.

"I went to Texas, came back and played basketball," Wells said. "I really liked my trip to Texas, but I still got offered by LSU and Nebraska when I got home. Those schools and Kansas State are really getting after me. I still want to take some visits to see how this pans out."

Wells has yet to set up anything official for future visits.

Texas school flooded with talent

Gilmer is a Texas high school on the map. Rivals100 receiver Curtis Brown gave an early commitment to Texas. Now, outside linebacker Dominique Buchanan has joined the offer club.

Kansas State, Mississippi State, and Oklahoma State have all recently offered for the 6-foot-3, 240-pounder. Oklahoma, Colorado, and Oregon are all pursuing in addition to others.

Currently OSU holds the lead since he started following the team this past year. Buchanan plans to take in the Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Kansas State camps this summer.

Don't look for an early decision, Buchanan stated that he would like to take some visits before making a commitment.

Gilmer is also home to a highly touted 2008 trio that includes running back Justin Johnson, tight end Justin Fielden, and offensive guard David Snow.

Miami getting involved in new territories

First it was an early commitment from Harland Gunn hailing from the unlikely recruiting ground of Nebraska for the Miami Hurricanes. Now, Texas looks like the next distant place that coach Larry Coker and his staff are getting involved with.

San Antonio (Texas) Churchill signal caller Nick Fanuzzi made his way to the Miami junior day this weekend. After picking up an offer from Kentucky, his father Mike Fanuzzi's alma mater, the Canes jumped on the opportunity to do the same.

"Yep, Miami made the offer when we were down there," Fanuzzi's father said. "It was nice down there and it's a family with a great reputation."

There are no favorites at this time but with two impressive offers on the table, several more look likely in the near future.

The Hurricanes also show up on the interest lists of Lone Star targets like defensive end Ben Bass, safety Tekerrein Cuba, and offensive tackles Jarvis Jones and Marquis Franklin among many others.

Lee planning to get around

Top quarterbacks like Jarrett Lee are beginning to make travel plans. After Lee added his fourth offer from Kansas State, he set some dates for April.

"April 15 I'm going to Nebraska's spring game and right before that, on April 8, I'm going to Texas Tech to visit," Lee said this week. "(Nebraska) coach Shawn Watson told me how intense the spring game is and I wanted to see Tech's too, but they were on the same day. So I pushed Tech before that and now I can visit both campuses.

"There aren't any leading teams - I'm just waiting it out right now."

Rivals100 DE takes second trip

Oklahoma State's junior day was the next stop for Rivals100 defensive end Richetti Jones after picking up an offer at the Texas event just days before.

Jones has been favoring Texas, but it appears that the Cowboys are nipping at the heels of UT.

"Both teams are high on my list," Jones said about Texas and Oklahoma State. "I did make it clear to them just like Texas that I'm going to sit back and not make any big decisions right now."

The Cowboys have gained ground due to the comfort that Jones has with the program.

"I've got a natural comfort with them because they were the first major school I visited," Jones said about OSU. "I went up there last year for the Texas game. I really like it."


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