Although Texas and Texas A&M haven't faced each other on the football field since 2011, both schools are still battling hard. But this time off the field.
Stretching back to when the Aggies were still in the Big 12, Texas and Texas A&M fought each other for recruits, specifically within the State of Texas. However, now that the Aggies have joined the SEC, the competition has only gotten stronger.
Under new head coach Charlie Strong, Texas’ 2015 class is currently ranked No. 16 nationally by ESPN, led by New Mexico quarterback Zach Gentry, one of the top pocket passer’s in the country. Kevin Sumlin’s Aggies, by comparison, have the 6th rated 2015 recruiting class. And the 2014 class for each school ended the signing period with the No. 15 and No. 4 classes in the nation, respectively.
However, as Texas hopes to get back to beating teams on the field, it is striving to start beating A&M in recruiting.
One of the most important recruits the Longhorns are looking to land over Texas A&M for 2015 is five-star OLB Malik Jefferson of Mesquite Poteet. The 6 foot 3, 220 pound prospect is a freak athlete, posting some of the best numbers across the board at the Nike Football Training Camp last spring. Jefferson’s showing at the combine earned him an invitation to the esteemed "The Opening", a Nike event held each summer to showcase top tier high school talent.
However, Texas will have a challenge in to luring Jefferson to Austin. The Aggies have been pulling out all the stops, including a rumored future visit by Coach Sumlin’s “Swagcopter” at a Poteet game this season. Jefferson’s fellow 2015 prospect and A&M commit Daylon Mack has also been leaning heavily on the linebacker to bring his talents to College Station next fall while Texas commit Charles Omenihu has been in regular contact with Jefferson about the benefits of being a Longhorn.
The new regime at Texas seems to be a big part of Jefferson’s decision to keep his recruitment open. Jefferson attended spring practice and walked away impressed by Strong and his staff.
“He brings a strong sense of 'I'm the boss' and 'Listen to me” Jefferson said. “I like that because he knows what he's talking about 100 percent of the time.”
Jefferson said Strong and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford have been bringing a level of intensity to Texas' practices that he loves to see and in which he believes he could develop easily in.
Texas would gain a huge win in adding Jefferson in the 2015 class. Not only would he bring tremendous talent to a linebacker corps that will take a hit with the graduation of Jordan Hicks and Steve Edmond, but it would signify a start to Texas’ return to the top of the recruiting sphere once again.