February 5, 2009

Aggies fill priorities with class of 2009

A year ago, Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman added a recruiting made up partly of players he recruited in a few short months after taking over the helm in College Station and players previously committed to the Aggies before Sherman moved into his new office at the Bright Complex. Ten of those freshmen played in their first season in Aggieland with a number making giant contributions.

For a program heavy in need at multiple positions and obviously very young, the 28 prospects Sherman signed Wednesday during National Signing Day brings another heavy influx of freshmen. The question is whom among them will be this year's Trent Hunter, Terrence Frederick, Jeff Fuller or Cyrus Gray. One thing is for sure, each of these new recruits will get their chance.

"This is a very unique group of men and I can't wait to get them in here and put them in with another good group of men that are already here. I think the mixture of those two, and I talked to our team last night about embracing these guys when they get here and not to be afraid to be challenged because we need competition at positions to be a better football team," Sherman said.

"If you said one thing that we were lacking other than what you might think when you watch the games is strictly competition at the positions. We need guys to go out every day to maintain their status as a starter, and I think with this group of young men there will be a lot of competition at a lot of positions. I told the players last night that you're not competing against the guys in this room. You're competing against an incoming class and you're also competing against the guys in the Big 12 that you have to beat, so we have to raise that level. We'll do it with freshmen and we'll also do it hopefully internally by motivating guys to play at a higher level."

The difference this time around for Sherman and his staff was the fact that they had more time to evaluate and recruit players. When Sherman first hit the A&M campus in late December 2007, he went into recruiting mode not just for the class of 2008, but also the class of 2009 that he signed Wednesday.

In the end, the efforts paid off in a class that Sherman believes can come in and compete right away and add competition and depth to the practice field and the roster - two things the Aggies lacked last season.

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