Texas A&M has signed a player who could replace Johnny Football and another who should boost its struggling defense.
The Aggies signed Kyle Allen, who is rated the top quarterback prospect in the nation, to compete for the job left open when 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft last month. Allen threw for more than 8,000 yards and 86 touchdowns in his career at Desert Mountain high school in Scottsdale, Ariz.
"This is a class that I think addresses our needs across the board," coach Kevin Sumlin said Wednesday as the Aggies unveiled their national signing class. "We have a plan of how we want to do things. We lost some very, very talented players offensively this year and we've kind of replaced those and we had a depth issue last year on defense."
They also inked the No. 1 rated defensive end in Arlington Martin's Myles Garrett. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Garrett had 81 tackles and 19 1/2 sacks last season. Sumlin joked about his shock when he saw Garrett shirtless after going to watch him play basketball recently.
"He looked like he had on a Batman costume," Sumlin said shaking his head. "He's put together like crazy. He's got a tremendous upside. He's what we need as an edge threat. He's real explosive off the edge."
A third standout in the 22-player class, which is ranked No. 6 by Rivals.com and fifth by Scout.com, is athlete Devante "Speedy" Noil. He was ranked as the top prospect as an athlete after piling up passing, rushing and receiving yards at Edna Karr high school in New Orleans.
Texas A&M's 2014 football signing class
Otaro Alaka, lb, 6-3, 210, Cypress Falls HS, Houston
Kyle Allen, qb, 6-3, 200, Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Cedric Collins, db, 5-10, 165, Skyline HS, Dallas
Qualen Cunningham, de, 6-3, 220, Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz.
Kealvin "Tank" Davis, ol, 6-4, 265, Lakeview Centennial HS, Garland, Texas
Jermaine Eluemunor, ol, 6-4, 315, Lackawanna College (Pa.)
Myles Garrett, de, 6-5, 250, Martin HS, Arlington, Texas
Avery Gennesy, ol, 6-5, 310, East Mississippi CC
J.J. Gustafson, ol, 6-5, 275, Jesuit HS, Dallas
Nick Harvey, db, 5-10, 180, Travis HS, Richmond, Texas
Zaycoven Henderson, dt, 6-1, 310, Longview (Texas) HS
Frank Iheanacho, wr, 6-6, 220, Westside HS, Houston
Jamal Jeffery, wr, 5-9, 175, Lufkin (Texas) HS
Jarrett Johnson, de, 6-3, 240, Seven Lakes HS, Katy, Texas
Zach Ledwik, ol, 6-5, 270, La Grange (Texas) HS
Koda Martin, ol, 6-6, 275, Manvel (Texas) HS
Devante "Speedy" Noil, wr, 5-11, 190, Edna Karr HS, New Orleans
Josh Reynolds, wr, 6-4, 190, Tyler JC (Texas)
Josh Walker, lb, 6-1, 220, Gilmer (Texas) HS
DeShawn Washington, dt, 6-3, 285, Nederland (Texas) HS
Armani Watts, db, 5-11, 175, North Forney HS, Forney, Texas
Donovan Wilson, db, 6-1, 185, Woodlawn HS, Shreveport, La.
National rankings (Rivals 6; Scout 5).
Best in class: Allen.
Best of the rest: Garrett.
Late addition: Zaycoven Henderson, DT, Longview, Texas.
One that got away: Mattrell McGraw, DB, New Orleans.
Note: One member of Texas A&M's recruiting class will never play a down of football for the Aggies. Dallas Skyline cornerback Cedric Collins committed to the Aggies before his junior year in 2012, but discovered at the end of that season that he had a rare congenital cervical problem and couldn't continue his football career. The Aggies chose to give him a scholarship anyway, and Sumlin said the decision was about "honoring commitments."