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Twitter Tuesday: Sooners, Longhorns, Aggies, Rebels, more

Arjei Henderson
Arjei Henderson (

Twitter Tuesday is back again this week, as Texas recruiting analyst Nick Krueger is answering your questions. This week, he takes a look at which power program finishes as the top recruiting program in the state, what Texas A&M’s recruiting strategy is going forward and talks about a couple of big names and the programs that they’re connected to heading into the summer.

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CLASS OF 2019 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team


It has to be the Sooners at this point, but it will be interesting to see how A&M finishes. As far as the Longhorns are concerned, their big opportunity to strike while the iron was hot was throughout last year, and they did just that. Texas’ 2018 class was built on the promise of the future under new head coach Tom Herman, and short of a complete meltdown in his first season, there was always going to be enough goodwill to sign a strong class. Some of that is continuing into this season, but after Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley proved how capable he was in his first year at the helm, and Jimbo Fisher took over and sparked a wave of optimism in College Station, OU and A&M have the most momentum at the moment.

After this past weekend, it seems as though Oklahoma is the odds-on favorite to not just finish best among the trio, but possibly the best in the country. At the Sooners' spring game, they landed commitments (for the second time) from five-star wide receivers Arjei Henderson and Theo Wease, as well as Rivals250 safety Jamal Morris and North Carolina defensive tackle Derek Green.

Meanwhile, the Aggies did a lot of damage earlier in the spring and are putting together a pretty nice class in their own right. Perhaps it’s not quite as top-heavy with five-star prospects, but with three Rivals250 recruits committed, and Erick Young, Gilbert Ibeneme and Ty Robinson all giving their visits this past weekend to College Station top marks, Fisher could roll a successful 2018 finish into an even more impressive signing class this year.

The overwhelming opinion of players in last year’s class when it came to Ole Miss was that the worst of whatever sanctions placed on the program in the wake of Hugh Freeze’s dismissal would pass by the time the 2018 class would really be looking to hit its stride in college. Now, with each class that passes, that sentiment is going to become even more prevalent – if it’s even still something recruits are considering at all this time next year.

Beyond that, new head coach Matt Luke has really done well to impress and charm recruits and their parents. The fact that he was kept in place as the head coach going forward went a long way with recruits that liked Ole Miss, but didn’t want to get stuck with a new head coach immediately after committing or signing there. Luke’s passion for the program has also resonated with recruits. More and more often, it seems as though coaches are positioning themselves as the committable brand to prospects, rather than the school, but with Luke, the Rebels have found someone who embodies both.

Finally, the complete effort of the staff as a whole to lure players has really been an effective strategy. Most recruits are connected to one specific assistant throughout their recruitment, but hearing from the entire staff has really made recruits feel as though they are one of the most important players on Ole Miss’ recruiting board and they are loving it.

MORE: Ole Miss 2019 commitment list

I put these two questions together mostly because they were questions on specific recruits, but both are also particularly interesting prospects coming out of this spring.

Starting with Zeno, who has raised his stock in a big way with a couple of strong showings in camp performances this spring in conjunction with several high-profile offers within the last month or two. Very recently, he confirmed that his top four was comprised of Baylor, Florida, Georgia and Texas Tech, but no sooner did he do that and the Gators picked up a commitment from Jalon Jones out of the Baltimore area.

As recently as two weeks ago, he said that he wanted to have his official visits taken and a commitment ready to be made by June. Georgia could possibly sell him on taking a redshirt and still take another quarterback in this class, but negotiating around what figures to be a pretty strong commitment to the careers of Jake Fromm and Justin Fields will be a delicate process. Zeno may just be better served opting for a more direct chance at playing time with Tech. Baylor could also offer him a reasonable expectation to play sooner, but it looks as though the mutual interest is higher with the Red Raiders right now.

Cupp is a bit of an interesting study, as he saw his recruitment blow up this spring and has some pretty impressive film from last season. Perhaps the knock on him – if there is one, is that he plays in a small classification and in his last outing – the 3A Division I State Championship Game against Rockdale – he didn’t have a very inspiring performance. However, he is clearly an athletic player at the position and has the potential to quickly establish himself as a playmaker in an offense under Fisher that has showcased similarly talented players in the past. Cupp could prove to be a very sneaky player for the Aggies.

I’m sure’s Mark Passwaters appreciates the shout out even though Mark Passwaters the NASCAR fan from the Delmarva Peninsula – which is apparently in Delaware (learned something new this week) – probably appreciates you tagging him in the tweet, Boone. Something tells me this isn’t the first time this mixup has happened, either. (The Rivals' Mark Passwaters Twitter handle is @mbpRivals).

Anyway, I would agree with that. It really seemed as though A&M had been recruiting players to fit specific roles in most cases in the past few years rather than just trying to knuckle-up for overall talent. Nothing wrong with that philosophy; it just didn’t result in many head-to-head recruiting wars with Texas. Now, with Fisher at the helm and what looks like an emphasis on aggressively going after the state’s top overall talent, it seems there will be some exchanging of blows when it comes to high-profile names.

After Texas loaded up at defensive back in last year’s class and A&M has already landed Rivals100 safeties Brian Williams and Demani Richardson, the only guy that seems to be in both teams’ crosshairs is Young. At this point, he is far more of a lean to the Aggies. The Longhorns worked up a tricky offensive line class to close things out in 2018, but the battle for Kenyon Green will be an important one and closer than the one for Young. Of course, it’s far from a given that Green will decide between Texas or A&M, but they’ll recruit him as if he is.

The only other uncommitted player that immediately jumps out as a player that both could go toe-to-toe on is four-star wide receiver Elijah Higgins. Between the two, that would be a tough one for A&M to steal, since Higgins is from Austin. A few other players could emerge in there, but assuming both teams do well this season, the 2020 class will really be when the fireworks begin between both teams.