Texas A&M’s 2011 Football Signing Class

Coach Mike Sherman
Coach Mike Sherman

Signing day 2011 has come and gone and Texas A&M signed a class of  21, including 17 freshmen and 4 junior college transfers. Five of the 21 were midterm enrollees and Coach Mike Sherman, as you will hear, says that gives them a leg up because they’ll go through spring drills in March. Here’s Mike Sherman talking about the signing class:

MikeShermanonSigningClass

The class  included 1 QB, 1 RB, 6 linebackers, 4 defensive backs, 3 offensive linemen, 2 wide receivers, 2 defensive linemen a kicker and a punter.

Nationally, ofcourse there are different opinions about what school wins the recruiting war but the respected Rivals.com says it was Alabama, followed by Southern Cal and then Auburn. Then Florida State, Texas, LSU, Georgia, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Ohio State as the top 10. From the Big 12, Rivals ranks Oklahoma 13th and Texas Tech 19th. They ranked A&M’s class just out of the top 25 at 28th.

2011 Aggie Football Signing Class
Player Position Height Weight Hometown Previous School
Brandon Alexander LB 6-6 240 Brenham, Texas Brenham HS
Donnie Baggs* LB 6-1 205 League City, Texas Clear Springs HS
Taylor Bertolet K 5-9 165 Reading, Pa. Exeter Township HS
Devonta Burns DB 6-0 200 Arlington, Texas Martin HS
Joseph Cheek* OL 6-7 271 Seguin, Texas Seguin HS
Ben Compton OL 6-4 310 Friendswood, Texas Friendswood HS
Mike Evans WR 6-5 180 Galveston, Texas Ball HS
Deshazor Everett DB 6-0 170 DeRidder, La. DeRidder HS
Johntel Franklin* DB 6-2 200 Milwaukee, Wisc. Madison HS/Victory Valley CC
Nathan Gutekunst OL 6-6 290 Humble, Texas Atascocita HS
Shayvion Hatten DL 6-4 250 Daingerfield, Texas Daingerfield HS
Steven Jenkins* LB 6-2 205 Pensacola, Fla. Pine Forest HS/Coffeyville CC
Drew Kaser P 6-3 210 Strongsville, Ohio Walsh Jesuit HS
Johnny Manziel* QB 6-1 180 Kerrville, Texas Tivy HS
Howard Matthews DB 6-2 200 League City, Texas Clear Springs HS
Chance Nelson WR 5-10 170 Baytown, Texas Sterling HS
Will Randolph RB 5-9 175 Copperas Cove, Texas Copperas Cove HS
Floyd Raven DB 6-2 180 Reserve, La. East St. John HS
LaMarc Strahan DL 6-4 365 Humble, Texas Humble HS/Blinn JC
Tyrell Taylor LB 6-4 205 Houston, Texas Galena Park HS
Shaun Ward LB 6-2 225 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Boyd Anderson HS
Darzil Washington LB 6-3 226 Edgard, La. West St. John HS

*Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Brandon Alexander
Linebacker 6-6 240 Brenham, Texas Brenham HS
Stats
2010: 59 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

Honors
2010: 17-4A First Team All-District

What They’re Saying …
“He’s a fierce, fierce competitor and he is lightning-quick. He’s only played football for a couple of years so his best football is still in front of him. Brandon is an extremely hard worker and a great addition to Texas A&M.”
—Brenham HS head coach Glen West

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and several others. … played only one season at Brenham after transferring from Louisiana Prep in Opelousas, La. … He transferred to Brenham HS after his guardian … is also a standout basketball player.

Donnie Baggs
Linebacker 6-1 205 League City, Texas Clear Springs, HS
Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Stats
2008: 19 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery

2009: 101 tackles (48 unassisted), 14 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 27 quarterback hurries

2010: 57 tackles, 1 sack

Honors
2010: 24-5A First Team All-District; Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team (Second Team); No. 6 LB in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football; DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Donnie Baggs is the son of Donna and Nathaniel Baggs of League City, Texas … born Dec. 1, 1992.

What They’re Saying
“(Donnie’s biggest strengths are) his speed, athleticism, but also his intelligence. He’s an intelligent young man, and you can tell that by him graduating early. There’s not a better kid. He was raised well by good parents. He’s going to uphold the A&M tradition well, and he’s not going to embarrass the A&M tradition by any means. I love him.”
— Clear Springs Head Coach Clint Hartman

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Missouri, Kansas State, Baylor and several others.

Taylor Bertolet
Placekicker 5-9 165 Reading, Pa. Exeter Township HS
Stats
2009: Connected on six-of-eight field goal attempts.

2010: Made 4-of-6 field goal attempts, with a long of 46 yards; 34 of his 43 kickoffs were touchbacks; made a pair of 60-yard plus field goals at the Texas A&M camp.

Honors
2009: Named first team all-county as a punter

2010: No. 1 kicker nationally by Rivals.com; Ranked No. 2 nationally by Jamie Kohl’s Kicking Camp.; Under Armour All-American; AAAA First Team All-State (AP); AAAA Pennsylvania Big 33 Team (PNC); First Team All- Berks County Team (punter and kicker); IC Section 1 All-Star (punter and kicker); Berks County Football Coaches Association All-Academic Team (Reading Eagle); PrepStar All-Region

Personal
Taylor Bertolet is the son of Taran and Blayne Bertolet of Reading, Pa. … born Oct. 24, 1992.

What They’re Saying
“I can’t wait to get out there and kick off and everything like that. When I was down there and the sound of the crowd got so loud, I don’t know what else could motivate you more than anything like that. Hearing that crowd yelling like that was awesome. I wanted to strap up right then and there and go kick. I can’t wait to hear that again.”
—Taylor Bertolet

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Miami (Fla.). … Bertolet made the game-winning field goal in the Under Armour All- America game.

Devonta Burns
Defensive Back 6-0 200 Arlington, Texas Martin HS
Stats
2009: 102 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INT’s, 1 fumble recovery

2010: 69 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 PBU, 2 fumbles caused

Honors
2010:4-5A First Team All-District; No. 3 Safety in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Devonta Nathaniel Burns is the son of Sametria and Terrance Burns of Arlington, Texas …born Aug. 17, 1993.

What They’re Saying
“I’m really excited. I’ve wanted to go to A&M since my freshman year when I went down there to a game with one of my friends. I can’t wait to get down there and meet everyone. I’m really excited about all of it, but at the end of the day, I know that I have to stay focused on what I’m there for, football and school.”
—Devonta Burns

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Iowa, TCU, Purdue and several others.

Joseph Cheek
Offensive Line 6-7 271 Seguin, Texas Seguin HS
Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Stats
2010: Graded 85 percent, 24 pancakes, no sacks allowed

Honors
2009: Second Team All-Centex (Austin American-Statesman); 4A Third Team All-State (TSWA); Sub-5A First Team All-Area (SA Express News); 27-4A First Team All-District

2010:5A All-State Honorable Mention (AP); 5A First Team All-Area (SA Express-News); Second Team All-Centex (Austin American-Statesman); U.S. Army All-American; Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team (Second Team); DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Joseph Hamilton Cheek is the son of Louis and Suzanne Cheek of Seguin, Texas … born Dec. 2, 1992.

What They’re Saying
(On most impressive memory of Kyle Field) “I’m pretty sure that anyone would say the Nebraska game. That was ridiculous. It was awesome, especially when everyone was throwing their towels in the air and it looked like it was raining white towels. It was so intense and the fact that the game was always within one possession made it better. I was in the recruit section and all the recruits were standing up the entire time. But I also like how whether we’re winning or losing, the fans stay the entire game until it’s over.”
—Joseph Cheek

Notable
His father, Louis Cheek, was a standout offensive tackle for the Aggies under Jackie Sherrill from 1984-87 and played on three Southwest Conference Championship teams. He was an eighth round selection of the Miami Dolphins in 1988 and played four seasons in the NFL.

Committed to the Aggies early over Stanford and Wake Forest.

Ben Compton
Offensive Line 6-4 310 Friendswood, Texas Friendswood HS
Stats
2010: Graded 97 percent, 23 pancakes, 1 sack allowed in 293 pass attempts

Honors
2010: 4A First Team All-State (AP); Second Team All-Greater Houston (Houston Chronicle); 24-4A First Team All-District

Personal
Benjamin Anthony Compton is the son of Mike and Mary Compton of Friendswood, Texas … born Nov. 20, 1992.

What They’re Saying

“The thing that impressed me the most was all the people that are dedicated to coming to all of the games. Every game I went to, no matter if they were beating Oklahoma or losing to Missouri, the crowd never gave in and they were fighting and yelling the whole time.”
—Ben Compton

Notable
An excellent student, chose the Aggies over Rice

Mike Evans
Wide Receiver 6-5 180 Galveston, Texas Ball HS
Stats
2010: 25 receptions for 648 yards and 7 TD’s; 2 INT’s on defense

Honors
2010: 24-4A Second Team All-District

Personal
Mike Evans was born Aug. 21, 1993.

What They’re Saying

(On his basketball background) “I think it will help me a lot, especially when I go up for a catch. I guess it can be related to getting a rebound. I think the hand/eye coordination on the court has helped on the field too. I played football my freshman year and then I wanted to focus on basketball my sophomore and junior years. But my senior year I wanted to be a part of everything, football, basketball, track, and see what I’m best at. I knew my best option to succeed would be football, so that’s what I’m going with.”
—Mike Evans

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Tulane … Also a standout basketball player for the Tors, Evans is averaging 18.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game as a senior … posted a 4.54 time in the 40-yard dash at football camp.

Deshazor Everett
Defensive Back 6-0 170 DeRidder, La. DeRidder HS
Stats
2009: 76 tackles, 6 tackles for loss, 2 interceptions, 5 blocked kicks

2010:
130 tackles, 10 TFL, 5 QB pressures, 3 sacks, 1 interception; on offense, he rushed for 618 yards and 7 TDs on 72 carries (8.6 yards per carry)

Honors
2009: 4A First Team All-State (AP)

2010:
4A All-State Honorable Mention (AP), PrepStar All-Region, No. 27 in Louisiana by Superprep

Personal
Deshazor Everett was born Feb. 22, 1992 … his guardians are Monica and Joseph Bolden of DeRidder, La.

What They’re Saying

“He’s an outstanding young man. He’s a very good athlete that can play offense or defense. He has great hands, a super work ethic and he was our best football player this last year. He has a great knack for the ball. He has game speed. We time all of our kids in the 40-yard dash, but I think we could put the full pads on him on grass and he’d be just as fast if he was in track shoes running on the track.”
—DeRidder Head Coach Eric Parmley

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Arkansas, Ole Miss and Missouri.

Johntel Franklin
Defensive Back 6-2 200 Milwaukee, Wisc. Madison HS/Victor Valley (Calif.) CC
Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Stats
2010: 31 tackles (21 solo), 5 INTs, 4 PBU

2009:
Made seven tackles, including six solo stops, in 11 games of action for Illinois State. Also made one start. High School: First-team all-conferece selection at both wide receiver and defensive back as a senior … named his team’s offensive and special teams player of the year … rushed for over 700 yards receiving, 600 yards rushing and 300 passing on offense … picked off seven passes and recorded 70 tackles in the secondary … helped team qualify for the state playoffs … named a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel all-area honorable mention team selection at wide receiver … as a junior, earned first-team all-confernece honors at wide receiver and defensive back … also a three-time allconference selection in basketball … coached by Kelby Mosley.

Personal
Johntel Franklin is the son of (deceased) Carlitha Franklin … born Sept. 24, 1991.

What They’re Saying
“It’s going to be good to play for Coach Sherman. He’s a good coach and he gets the best out of his players. I’m ready to have fun because I want to get pushed to that next level. I really love the style of football that they play. Coach Sherman got everybody rolling and they ended conference winning. It was a good year for the Aggies and I want to try to make another run at it next year.”
—Johntel Franklin

Notable

Franklin originally signed with Illinois State out of Madison High School in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 2009. He played there one season before transferring to Victor Valley Community College in California.

Chose the Aggies over Ole Miss, Oklahoma State and Arizona State.

Nathan Gutekunst
Offensive Line 6-6 290 Humble, Texas Atascocita HS
Honors
2009: 19-5A First Team All-District

2010: 14-5A First Team All-District, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team (Second Team); DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Nathan Gutekunst is the son of Nyla and Rick Gutekunst of Humble, Texas … born Nov. 21, 1992.

What They’re Saying

“When I met Coach Sherman, he reminded me a lot of my grandpa. And I don’t mean that in age, but how he acted. When my dad and I sat down in coach’s office, we just talked. We talked about where I grew up in Louisiana, Hurricane Katrina, we talked about the tornado that came through our house before that, fishing and everything. We just talked. He wanted to know about me as a person and my family and where I’m from and my background. He was more interested in me as a person rather than a football player and that was because it wasn’t the time for football, it was the time to get to know me in general. Every other coach that I talked to would instantly talk about football, stats, measurables. Whether he was interested in that, which I know he was, at that time, that’s not what he was thinking about. He’s more than just a coach, he’s really like family.”
—Nathan Gutekunst

“Nathan is a great young man and a quality football player. He can play any position on the offensive line. We utilized him the most at guard, but he also played tackle and he can play center. He’s an exceptional young man in terms of character and leadership. He’s a can’t miss prospect that will definitely be an asset to Texas A&M. I’m very happy that he’s going there. He’s 6-foot-6, 300 pounds, has real good speed and runs a 5.1 forty. I think they’re getting a really good player.”
—Humble Atascocita Head Coach Dean Colbert

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Stanford, Rice, Kentucky and Baylor

Shayvion Hatten
Defensive Line 6-4 250 Daingerfield, Texas Daingerfield HS
Stats
2009: 32 pancakes, 18 knockdowns, graded 84 percent on offensive line

2010:
59 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery

Honors

2009: 2A Second Team All-State; 17-2A First Team All-District

2010:
First Team All-East Texas, Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Super Team (Third Team); ; No. 8 OL in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football; DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Shayvion Hatten is the son of Tiffany Hatten and Andrew Porter … born Feb. 1, 1993.

What They’re Saying

(Most impressive part of Aggieland) “The 12th Man. When I saw all those fans in there and how excited and crunk they were, it just gets you excited with them. It doesn’t compare to anywhere else.”
—Shayvion Hatten

Notable
Helped Daingerfield to a 44-3 record and three straight Class 2A state championships.

Chose the Aggies over Florida State, TCU, Texas Tech and Missouri

Steven Jenkins
Linebacker 6-2 205 Pensacola, Fla. Pine Forest HS/Coffeyville (Kan.) CC
Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Stats
2010: 91 tackles, 17 TFL, 6 sacks, 5 PBU, 4 forced fumbles, 1 blocked FG, 1 TD

Honors
No. 20 JUCO by Superprep

What They’re Saying
“(Coach Sherman is) a great guy, I really like him. We talked a lot and had good conversations. He has everything in the right place down there and there’s almost no way you can fail in his system.”
—Steven Jenkins

“It’s been a long road for me, but it’s great now. I just have to keep telling myself that I have to do, whatever I have to do, to get there and it has paid off so far. It’s a blessing for me to be in College Station, playing for a rising program. It’s a dream come true.”
—Steven Jenkins

Drew Kaser
Punter 6-3 210 Strongsville, Ohio Walsh Jesuit HS
Stats
2010: averaged 46 yards a punt on 26 tries

Honors
2010: Ranked the No. 4 punter and No. 38 placekicker in the nation by Kohl’s Specialty Camps … was a Cleveland Plain Dealer All-Star as a senior.

What They’re Saying

“Coach Toth has been recruiting me since November. He actually lived in Strongsville, where I’m from, about three rows down from me. We’ve been talking and building a relationship week by week. He came up to see me sometime in late December and we had a great talk. We stayed in touch from then on and they offered me an official visit.”
—Drew Kaser

Johnny Manziel
Quarterback 6-1 180 Kerrville, Texas Tivy HS
Enrolled at Texas A&M in January and will participate in 2011 spring drills with the Aggies.

Stats
2008: 717 rushing yards and 12 TD’s; 59-of-88 passing for 922 yards with 10 TD’s and 0 INT’s; 19 receptions for 357 yards and 1 TD

2009:
218-of-356 passing for 2,903 yards with 19 TD’s and 5 INT’s; 242 carries for 1,544 yards and 34 TD’s; 5 receptions for 152 yards and 2 TD’s

2010:
228-of-347 (65.7%) passing for 3,609 yards with 45 TD’s and 5 INT’s; 170 carries for 1,674 yards and 30 TD’s; 1 TD reception; 1 kickoff return for a TD

Honors

2009: All-San Antonio Area Offensive Player of the Year (San Antonio Express News); District 27-4A MVP

2010:
Parade All-American; District 28-4A MVP (unanimous selection); 4A Offensive Players of the Year, 4A First Team All-State (AP); SA Express-News Offensive Player of the Year; Sub-5A First Team All-Area (SA Express- News); No. 1 QB in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football; DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Johnny Manziel is the son of Michelle and Paul Manziel of Kerrville, Texas … was born Dec. 6, 1992.

What They’re Saying

“I think he’s elusive, has a strong arm and has a great awareness of the game. He’s a guy that as much as anything has great leadership qualities. He’s a kid that if I had to go to war, I’d want him on my side. I think he’s one of the greatest competitors I’ve ever been around, and he’s a winner. I think A&M has done themselves a great service by adding Johnny. He reminds me of a quarterback they have currently in Ryan Tannehill. He’s a multi-type athlete that can play wide receiver, quarterback and can do a lot of things. He may not be as tall as Tannehill, but he might be a little faster.”
—Kerrville Tivy Head Coach Mark Smith

“It’s a great opportunity for me and I feel it’s the best fit for me. I’m coming in at a time where the program is going no where but up and to get a great education on top of all of it, which is really going to help me out down the road. I’m very excited and can’t wait to get there.”
—Johnny Manziel

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Oregon and Stanford.

Howard Matthews
Defensive Back 6-2 200 League City, Texas Clear Springs HS
Stats
2009: Had 9 interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown, while playing only seven game at Seguin High School.

2010:At Clear Springs, he posted 55 receptions for 864 yards and 6 TD’s; 107 carries for 1,003 yards and 11 TD’s; 4 passing TD’s; 2 kick off returns for TD; 1 INT on defense.

Honors

2010: 5A Second Team All-State (AP); First Team All-Greater Houston (Houston Chronicle); 24-5A First Team All-District (offense and special teams); No. 6 Athlete in Texas by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football; DCTF Top 300, PrepStar All-Region; Superprep All-Region

Personal
Howard Matthews was born Aug. 31, 1993 … his guardian is Craig Dailey of Friendswood, Texas.

What They’re Saying
“I think they got the number one player in the state of Texas. I mean that, and I don’t say that lightly. He came here as a junior from Seguin, where he only played seven games, and he was very raw. He was a great athlete, but didn’t know a lot of the technical things in football. He soaked things up like a sponge though. He’s a natural athlete that played offense for us this year, and played safety for us in the spring. A&M got the best player in the state of Texas, and I say that without hesitation.”
—Clear Springs Head Coach Clint Hartman

“Howard Matthews can make you look like a fool in a split second. He can do just about anything on the field. He’s played defensive tackle, linebacker, safety, he’s a freak in basketball and track. He can probably kick the football too, I haven’t seen it, but I bet he can. There’s not much he can’t do.”
—Former Seguin HS teammate and future Aggie teammate Joseph Cheek

Notable

Howard Matthews joins his current Clear Springs teammate and former Seguin teammate Joseph Cheek with the Aggies in 2011.

Chose the Aggies over Oklahoma State.

Chance Nelson
Wide Receiver 5-10 170 Baytown, Texas Sterling HS
Stats
2008: 32 catches for 439 yards (13.7 average) and 4 touchdowns; 46 rushing yards

2009:
34 carries for 287 yards and 5 TD’s; 35 receptions for 358 yards

2010:
78-of-133 passing for 919 yards and 10 TD’s; 172 carries for 1,111 yards and 16 TD’s

Honors
2009: 21-5A First Team All-District

2010:
21-5A First Team All-District

Personal
Chance Nelson is the son of Von Nelson of Baytown, Texas … born Feb. 26, 1993.

What They’re Saying
“He is going to help me tremendously. He’s a great guy with great character and I know he’s going to be a great coach. I’m going to soak in everything that he tells me, be very coach-able and try to get better every day. He can make me better.”
—Chance Nelson

Will Randolph
Running Back 5-9 175 Copperas Cove, Texas Copperas Cove HS
Stats
2009: 29 carries for 142 yards and 2 TD’s

2010:
146 carries for 1,117 yards and 19 TD’s; 1 kickoff and punt return for a TD

Honors

2010: Killeen Daily Herald First Team All-Area Team; 12-5A First Team All-District (unanimous selection); Killeen Daily Herald Player of the Week after leading Cove to 21-17 win over Bryan.

Personal

Will Randolph was born Jan. 26, 1992 … his guardian is Shanell Watson of Killeen, Texas.

What They’re Saying
“Will is a young man that has a different gear. Very few people have the ability to run in a different gear that Will has. A lot of people have great speed and can run a 40 in a certain time, but very few can start and stop on a dime with full explosion and that’s what Will does so well. That’s probably his biggest asset.
(on his biggest asset) “He doesn’t come down easy, but his best asset is his explosion. He has explosive speed. He can hit a hole and it’s like a rocket took off. There’s no doubt in my mind that’s his biggest asset. He has that gear that when he shifts, my goodness he’s gone. He does all of the things that a good running back is. If you want to know what a good running back is then look at how many yards they get after the point of contact. If they’re not averaging four yards a carry after the point of contact, then they’re an average back. He can do that, and he fights for the extra yardage. He blocks well and is unselfish. His biggest asset though is his explosive speed.”
—Copperas Cove Head Coach Jack Welch

Floyd Raven
Defensive Back 6-2 180 Reserve, La. East St. Johns HS
Stats
2010: Posted 38 tackles with an interception as a senior cornerback at East St. Johns. Raven lined up at linebacker as a junior.

Honors
No. 12 cornerback in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 151 nationally by Rivals.com, PrepStar All-Region, No. 17 in Louisiana by Superprep.

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Ole Miss, Michigan, Pitt and Utah. … helped East St. John to a 9-3-1 record in 2010.

LaMarc Strahan
Defensive Line 6-4 365 Humble, Texas Humble HS/Blinn (Texas) JC
Stats
2010: 22 tackles, including 3.5 for loss of yardage at Blinn. Strahan helped Blinn to an 8-3 record and a win in the CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl.

High School: Made 39 tackles as senior at Humble High School. He was a three-year starter for Humble and was an unanimous all-district selection as a senior.

Honors

2010: SWJCFC Second Team Defense

Personal

LaMarc Strahan is the son of Terri Strahan of Humble, Texas … born July 9, 1991.

What They’re Saying
“Probably his biggest assets are his natural strength and great feet. He’s a guy that can bench press 460-465 pounds. He’s very strong and he runs exceptionally well for a guy his size. He really does a great job of moving up and down the line of scrimmage.”
—Humble HS head coach Walt Beasley

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

Tyrell Taylor
Linebacker 6-4 205 Houston, Texas Galena Park HS
Stats
2009: 70 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 caused fumbles, 1 blocked punt returned for a TD

2010:
65 tackles, 12 sacks, 3 caused fumbles, 1 blocked punt returned for a TD

Honors

2010: 19-4A Defensive Co-MVP

Personal
Tyrell Taylor is the son of Kimberly Taylor of Galena Park, Texas … born Dec. 7, 1992.

What They’re Saying
“He’s a long, tall guy that’s right about 6’4”, 190 right now. He’s runs a 4.4 40, so he’s extremely fast. He uses his hands very well, and he’s very explosive off the ball. The best attribute that he has is that he’s a good rusher of the passer. He has a couple of different release moves where he can go around the corner or on the inside. He’s been very productive as a pass rusher. He had 12 sacks this year and nine last year. I think that’s what a lot of schools have looked at and valued as they’ve evaluated Tyrell.”
—Galena Park Head Coach Ray Zepeda

“I think I will be able to make the adjustment. I know these coaches are good at what they do and they will be able to help me a lot. I think that I have the length and the quickness to be good at it, but I have to put on some weight when I get there.”
—Tyrell Taylor

Shaun Ward
Linebacker 6-2 225 Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Boyd Anderson HS
Stats
2010: 86 tackles, 9 sacks. 1 INT returned for TD, 2 fumble recoveries, including 1 returned for a TD

Honors
PrepStar All-Region

Personal
Shaun Ward is the son of Sharon and Raymond Ward of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. … born Aug. 27, 1993.

What They’re Saying

“He’s a big athletic kid that’s 6’2”, 225. He can put his hand on the ground and play defensive end, or he can drop back in coverage at the stand-up linebacker position. He’s a real good pass rusher from the edge. He can cover and has great speed. His knowledge of the game is pretty good for a high school kid. I think he’s going to be a great Division I player.
“I think he fits in well because we ran a little bit of a 3-4 system here at Boyd Anderson. He was our Stud linebacker which is the same as the Joker position at A&M. He was able to come up on the line of scrimmage and play that outside linebacker position. I think he will fit in well.”
—Boyd Anderson HS Head Coach James Clyburn

Notable
Chose the Aggies over Florida, USC, West Virginia and several others.

Darzil Washington
Linebacker 6-3 226 Edgard, La. West St. John HS
Stats
2010: 123 total tackles, 14 QB sacks, 30 tackles for loss, 5 forced fumbles, 3 INTs, 2 INT returns for TDs

Honors
2010: First-team District 8-1A, First-team All St. John Parish

What They’re Saying …
“Darzil is a tall, rangy kid with a lot of potential. We ran the 3-3 stack here, so he’s familiar with Texas A&M’s defensive scheme. He’s very instinctive, just a real ballhawk. We played him at middle linebacker and we blitzed him a lot because of his speed and ability to find the football. He’s really versatile which allowed us to play him outside, as well, and that’s when he produced his interceptions. I was reading a recruiting service had his 40-yard dash time at 5-flat. I told Darzil that he must be the slowest D-1 linebacker in the nation. (laughing) I asked him about that and he said, `Coach, I slipped.’ I can assure you he’s not a 5-flat guy because he can definitely run!”
—West St. John head coach Robert Valdez

Notable
According to West St. John head coach Robert Valdez, Washington would have been the district and parish MVP except he was beat out for the honors by his teammate … Washington played just one season for Valdez at West St. John after transferring from Hahnville High School. Valdez also coached current Aggie Patrick Lewis when he was a sophomore at East St. John.