Chat with Sam Khan
Welcome to GigEmNation! On Friday, reporter Sam Khan Jr. stops by to chat about the state of Texas A&M football.
Khan joined ESPN.com in 2012 after nearly seven years with the Houston Chronicle, covering the University of Houston, college sports and high school sports. Khan lives in Houston with his wife.
Send your questions now and join Khan Friday at 4 p.m. ET!
Sam Khan Jr. (4:04 PM)
Hey everyone! Thanks for coming and joining the chat. Plenty to talk about with Texas A&M just wrapping up spring football, the spring evaluation period for recruiting underway and the NFL draft upcoming. So let's get to it!
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the First Texas A&M Player to be Selected in the 2013 NFL Draft?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:06 PM)
Chris, it will be left tackle Luke Joeckel without a doubt. The question is, will he be the first overall pick? Depends on who you listen to or what you read (and you can never fully trust everything you hear when we get close to the draft because NFL teams leak out information as smoke screens to disguise who it is they really want) but I get the feeling Joeckel's going to be the first overall pick come next Thursday.
How much do you think next season has to do with closing out the 2014 recruiting class? Seems like a lot of the recruits have made their decision, but many of the big names are still waiting.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:09 PM)
Chad, it will have a lot to do with the class when it comes to the guys you are talking about: the big names. Some of your "national" recruits that have offers from all the power programs (the Alabamas, LSUs, Notre Dames of the world) can take all the time they want because schools will be willing to take them, no matter when they make a decision. A lot of those recruits like to take their official visits before announcing and even sometimes do it at All-American games. Now, will it make or break the class? Probably not -- I think Texas A&M is headed for a top-10 class and I don't see that changing unless for some reason they have a bad year (and by bad, I mean way below expectations, like 6 wins or fewer). What their performance this season could dictate is whether they hit on a few big fish that really strengthen the class and put them in the top two or three nationally.
Who will be the next commit for the 2014 class?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:11 PM)
Chris, I think it will be Katy (Texas) Seven Lakes defensive end Jarrett Johnson. He's probably the closest to a decision of any 2014 targets the Aggies are eyeing and the Aggies are his stated leader.
JFF (College Station, Texas)
Wanna hit up Northgate with me and J Stew? You bring the ladies, I'll buy the beer.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:13 PM)
Haha, I don't think I want to show up on JFF's Twitter or Instagram feed. If I was 10 years younger and single, I'd be all for it. As a responsible media member, it is my duty to pass.
Kyle (College Station, Texas)
What are the Aggies chances with Myles Garrett and Qualen Cunningham? Is there a timetable for either one of them?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:14 PM)
Kyle, their chances of getting both of them are pretty good. Both had positive visits recently (Garrett for Friday Night Lights, Cunningham for the spring game) but neither is going to rush a decision. Both want to take more trips and will probably trek to schools outside of their home states this summer, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Aggies ended up with both.
I thought I heard someone say that good QBs in 2014 are a little short. Is there any worry about finding one (especially after losing that guy to OU and if Johnny leaves?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:17 PM)
Nathan, the general consensus seems to be that this QB class isn't necessarily as strong as some of the ones in recent years, particularly in Texas. I think the Aggies will find one and I don't think there's too much concern. You have a young Matt Davis currently on the roster and Kenny Hill from the 2013 class will arrive in the summer. Kohl Stewart, if he spurns the MLB, would be another addition from 2013, though I'd be a little surprised if he passed on baseball. The Aggies are still targeting Kyle Allen from Desert Mountain in Arizona and they're currently evaluating a few others (Brandon Harris, Jeremy Jones, Darius Lee-Campbell) that could be next in line for an offer. They'll get one in the class for sure.
Were you at least a tad surprised by no commitments at Friday Night Lights and the Spring game?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:20 PM)
A little bit surprised, but not shocked. The Aggies are recruiting high-level guys, guys that have numerous options. Not to say that they weren't last year, but they're able to get responses from a certain caliber of recruit right now that they maybe weren't a year ago. A lot of those guys like to take their time because of how many options they have and how long schools will wait on them. I would have thought maybe one or two would have come out of one of those weekends, but I think you'll see several that attended will eventually pledge to the Aggies.
Kliff Klingsbury (Lubbock, Texas)
Lubbock sucks. Is it too late for me to come back?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:20 PM)
I bet $2 million a year doesn't suck.
Saggitariutt Jefferspin (College Station)
What are our chances with Braden Smith? I read somewhere that we are in his top 3 with Notre Dame and TCU.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:22 PM)
The Aggies have a legitimate shot at him. They have recruited Smith as hard as just about any school in the country according to his coach. The visit he had earlier this year was a positive one and his sister participates in track at TCU so should he decide to pass on joining her there, College Station isn't too far away. I expect the Aggies to stay in the race until the end.
Are speedy noil n gerald a packageŽ? Iif so, what our chances in landing them?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:24 PM)
I don't believe so, no. Gerald Willis III is the younger brother of Landon Collins, who is at Alabama and right now Bama isn't even in Willis' top three. I say that because my thinking is if Willis isn't automatic to join his brother, I don't think he'd be an automatic to go where Speedy Noil goes either. And the Aggies are in the mix for both. They're in Willis' top three right now and in Noil's top four.
Bill the thrill (Plano)
any rumors about where kevin murry's son, kyler, wants to go?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:27 PM)
It's way early. The Aggies helped themselves during his recent trip to Texas A&M, because I got the sense that Kyler wasn't feeling the love from them. But he met with Kevin Sumlin and Jake Spavital and they explained their timeline on evaluating quarterbacks. Kyler wants to visit every school that has offered him so far, which are Arizona State, Clemson, Ohio State and Texas Tech. I know he's a fan of Kliff Kingsbury and they have a good relationship and the Ohio State offer blew him away. But I think it's a little early to gauge where he wants to go. I don't even think he knows yet.
Anthony Fogle (Houston)
Im a Prep school football coach, I have an elite LB that has a couple of looks but no offers just yet. How can i get him and a few other players recruited by A&M and other schools?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:31 PM)
Reach out to those coaches for starters. Send them film, stats, vitals, transcripts if possible (because if the prospect doesn't have grades, that severely hinders his chances of getting a look). Ask around and find out which coaches from which schools recruit the area your high school is in. Those are the guys who are going to get the first look at your prospect. Also, I can't stress this enough, the best way to get in front of a college coach as a high school prospect is to attend one of their college camps. Right now, colleges have their camp schedules on their football sites. Make sure your player signs up for them and attends. If he stands out amongst the others there, the coaches will take a second look at him and evaluate him further. Any recruits without offers should be hitting as many college camps as they can in June and July. And when I say college camps, I mean the ones run by the colleges themselves, not necessarily a shoe company or apparel company "combine."
M.D Holden (Texas)
Daylon Mack got offered by Bama today. Will that play a factor into his decision next week?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:33 PM)
I think so, yes. I think it'll cause him to pump the brakes, if just for a little bit at least, and rethink his timeline. He loves the Aggies without a doubt and it's going to be hard for any school to overcome that, but Alabama's the defending BCS champions. As a sophomore, if you get that offer, it only makes sense to look into it.
Bobby fisher (Idk )
My brother (Texas fan) and I always talk on the phone about recruiting and sports in general, we just talked about Jamal Adams, he thinks Texas in the driver seat, is it a toss up or is Texas the leader? Also I've read we are the leader for Garrett, your thoughts?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:36 PM)
Bobby, I think many fan bases think they are the leader for Jamal Adams. He has been really good about not indicating a favorite when he comments on schools. Heck, LSU might think they lead (when LSU offered, he said they were always a "dream school" for him). I've talked to several people who think the Aggies lead after his visit to College Station last week, which was clearly positive, because he couldn't stop tweeting about it over the weekend. I honestly thought he was a Texas lean before he visited Texas A&M but now I think his eyes may have been opened a bit. I think the Aggies, Longhorns, LSU and perhaps Florida will all be in the mix for him. And Myles Garrett's also not publicly declaring a leader, but he has said that his visit to Aggieland stood out more than the others. So if you were predicting a leader for Garrett, I think it's the Aggies right now.
Erik (Napa, CA)
Have you heard why the Louisville game to kick off the season didn't work out? Most media reports gave the impression Louisville was all in and it was the Ags who ended up passing.
Sam Khan Jr. (4:40 PM)
I've heard a lot of speculation and innuendo but nothing rock solid on why it fell through. The fact that it was going to be at Reliant Stadium I can imagine played a role, because you're trying to work out logistics with not only the NFL's Houston Texans, but also the University of Houston, which is playing most of its home games at Reliant this fall while its new on-campus football stadium is built. I've never known Kevin Sumlin as the type to shy away from a challenging game (they always had good non-conference foes at Houston), so I don't think the Aggies would have passed out of "fear" or anything like that. Probably more circumstantial and logistical than anything.
one last question? who ends up with a better class, a&m or longhorns?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:43 PM)
Hmm. Right now we have Texas at No. 1 in the nation and Texas A&M at No. 3 in our recruiting class rankings. If the Aggies were to add somebody like Myles Garrett and a few more of their top targets, I wouldn't be surprised to see them flirt with the No. 1 spot. Hard to tell now, but if the Aggies have a repeat of the kind of season they had last year and the Longhorns don't win, say, 10 games, I think the Aggies will end up with the better class.
George (Leon. Mexico)
Who is A&M s main target this year ?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:44 PM)
They are targeting so many highly-touted guys, so it's hard to single out one, but defensive end Myles Garrett is the highest ranked player that they have a great shot at right now.
Sam,Do you think we can get the wrecking crew type of players back to a&m?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:46 PM)
Nathan, the Aggies are starting to recruit at a high level defensively right now, but they'll have to continue their on-field success and momentum to start getting a steady stream of those guys. If they flirt with SEC title contention (and by default, BCS title game contention), I think you'll start to see them being able to consistently get guys of that caliber.
Scott (Houston, TX)
Which of the following prospects end up at A&M?Kyle AllenJoe MixonDavion HallBraden SmithKoda MartinMyles GarrettQualen CunninghamZach WhitleyAdoree JacksonJamal AdamsA simple A
Sam Khan Jr. (4:48 PM)
Great question. I'll say Myles Garrett, Qualen Cunningham and Davion Hall.
What are our chances with Zach Whitley?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:52 PM)
The Aggies are solidly in the mix. Whitley hasn't publicly named a favorite, but in talking to him, I get the sense that he really likes Alabama. He's visiting there this weekend for their spring game. He has visited Texas and Texas A&M already. I think the Aggies remain in the battle for him until the end but I don't know that I'd call the Aggies the favorite to land him right now. He's going to take his time and said he won't make a decision before his senior season starts. He wants to see how some of the teams he likes play this fall.
Ted (College Station)
When does ESPN300 come out?
Sam Khan Jr. (4:59 PM)
An exact date is still to be determined I believe, but I think Tom Luginbill said that the next round of evaluations would be completed for a june release. So I would look for it then.
In your opinion, what True freshman is the most college ready, football wise and which plays the most, due to position? Since its a down year in Texas for offensive lineman, who is that project player, kind of like Jarvis Harrison, under recruited and what not?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:05 PM)
Bobby, to answer your first question, I think the most college-ready true freshman on the Aggies roster could either be Jordan Points or Brett Wade. Both have come in and have wasted no time finding themselves in the two-deep. As for under-recruited offensive linemen, two from the Houston-area jump to mind. Offensive tackle Austin Schlottmann from Brenham (offers from Rice and Texas State) and center prospect NaJee Toran from North Shore (TCU, Houston, Boise State, Oregon State offers). Schlottmann's recruitment has been a little slow because he was hurt during the spring evaluation period last year and was recovering from a stress fracture when he played in the fall. He has really good size for an offensive tackle and I think the potential to be pretty good. Toran is undersized for a tackle (which he plays at North Shore) so most have looked at him as a center and recruited him there but things are beginning to pick up for him. He's going to be a December graduate and he has to learn how to snap the ball (he's been working on that all spring on his own time) but once he gets the hang of that, I think he's got a chance to be a good interior lineman for a spread team.
Any of our 2013 class get time on the field next year besides receivers or defensive tackles? And secondary guys?
Sam Khan Jr. (5:06 PM)
I'd keep an eye on Jonathan Wiggins, the safety from Alief Taylor, or perhaps Manvel CB Tavares Garner. Wiggins just on pure size (he's 6-3 now) he could contribute quickly. Garner, in my opinion, is as polished a high school corner as I've seen in recent years. If he picks it up quickly, I could see him getting on the field in a hurry. And obviously the linebackers, Brett Wade and Reggie Chevis, are likely to get time since they were already at A&M for spring ball.
Where do you think the Foreman brothers eventually end up? I have a feeling Texas.
Sam Khan Jr. (5:08 PM)
Man, that's a hard one to call. I don't think the Aggies are going to offer D'Onta. Will Texas? If Texas does, yeah, I think they'll go to Texas. If they end up splitting up the whole "want to go to the same school thing" then I could see the Aggies landing Armanti. I know the Foremans think highly of Kevin Sumlin and that offense. But if they stick to the plan of going to the same school, it could really be anywhere. Illinois is the only FBS school that has offered D'Onta so far.
Sam Khan Jr. (5:09 PM)
Alright gang, that will do it for this week. Thanks as always for all the questions and for logging on to participate in the chat. We'll catch up again in a couple weeks. Until then, take care!