Oklahoma and Texas A&M are getting awfully familiar with each other here lately. The Aggies broke the hearts of Sooners fans by landing the commitment of ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning (Dallas/Kimball) two weeks ago.
OU returned the favor by getting three-star defensive tackle Kerrick Huggins (Dallas/Skyline) to flip to the Sooners from the Aggies.
OU basketball got a leg up on A&M with a 64-54 win in Oklahoma City last weekend. Oh yeah, there’s also the Cotton Bowl coming up Jan. 4 at Cowboys Stadium.
That game should feature a lot of 2013 targets for both schools, but it could also signify the start of the intense 2014 recruiting battles likely to ensue between OU and A&M.
Right now the Aggies have an early edge with three commits who have both OU and A&M offers. Here are five prospects with offers from the Aggies and Sooners worth keeping tabs on moving forward:
Five to watch in 2014
S Jamal Adams (Lewisville, Texas/Hebron, 6-0, 195, Watch List)
You could definitely include Texas into this mix. This isn’t just a two-horse race for Adams. All three schools are making Adams among their top priorities right now. Could be a long, lengthy battle coming up.
Why OU: The Sooners were able to make a pretty big impression on Adams during his unofficial visit before the season. It was there OU made the offer, and OU has been in constant communication with Adams. A 2014 safety class of Adams and in-state star Steven Parker (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) would make a lot of people happy. – Bob Przybylo, SoonerNation
Why A&M: The Aggies have also made a strong impression on Adams, making this a heated race for the ESPN Watch List prospect. Florida recently offered as well. Adams plans to attend Texas A&M's junior day. The Aggies are definitely in his top three at the moment. - Sam Khan Jr., GigEmNation
CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen, 6-0, 179, Watch List)
Another huge national prospect who is going to be able to dictate where he wants to go. Don’t believe me? Brown has offers from Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and Notre Dame, among several others. This is another battle that will be a grind until the end.
Why OU: Sooners are going to have to step it up if they want to stay in the Brown race. He made an unofficial visit to OU in the summer for a non-OU affiliated event. However, he hasn’t mentioned the Sooners in a while. He has plenty of options, no idea if OU is still among his list of favorites as top schools keep entering picture. – Bob Przybylo, SoonerNation
Why A&M: This feels like a race that will be ongoing for awhile with so many perennial power programs that are in the picture. Brown will have his pick of the litter and is no rush to narrow his list. A&M did make a positive impression on him when he took an unofficial visit at the end of the season for the Missouri game. His sister Bealoved is a 2013 track star who is considering LSU, Texas and Texas A&M so it's worth watching to see how that effects Brown's thought process. - Sam Khan Jr., GigEmNation
OLB Cameron Hampton (Dallas/Carter, 6-2, 215, Watch List)
Hampton had the gall to say he wanted OU to beat Texas in the Red River Rivalry. He doesn’t regret it and said he was simply saying what he felt. Hampton is getting looks from a lot of other schools, too, but he seems destined to stay close to home.
Why OU: Because OU linebackers coach Tim Kish made a huge impression on Hampton during the OU camp in June. The conversations were frequent and meaningful going into November. Talks have died down and A&M has capitalized, no doubt, saying Aggies are now his favorite. If Kish gets back on it, he should be able to keep the Sooners in the race. – Bob Przybylo, SoonerNation
Why A&M: The Aggies are Hampton's favorite at the moment. He took an unofficial visit in early December to watch a Cotton Bowl practice and the feelings are overwhelmingly positive for him in regards to Texas A&M at the moment. If the Aggies stay with it, they can remain the leaders in the race. - Sam Khan Jr., GigEmNation
TE Koda Martin (Manvel, Texas, 6-6, 245, Watch List)
Martin isn’t leaving much to the imagination, saying OU and A&M are his top two schools at the moment. Aggies want him as an offensive tackle. OU sees him as a tight end.
Why OU: Sooners made a big impression on Martin this season during unofficial visits. He is hoping to get back to OU when he can. He is also very good friends with OU wide receiver commit Austin Bennett. – Bob Przybylo, SoonerNation
Why A&M: Martin took an unofficial visit to Aggieland for the Arkansas game, but A&M hadn't extended Martin an offer at the time. They have now and have made up some ground, entering Martin's top two. He joked that he'll pick the Cotton Bowl winner, but ultimately it'll depend on what position he wants to play. He knows he'll have to gain weight to play tackle, but he's athletic enough that he could be a great fit at that position in the Aggies' offense. His Manvel teammate, A&M 2013 cornerback commit Tavares Garner, is trying to get Martin to join him at A&M. - Sam Khan Jr., GigEmNation
OT Braden Smith (Olathe, Kan./South, 6-6, 265, Watch List)
Martin tells you everything. Smith tells you nothing. He has preferred to be the silent type during his recruitment. But one look at his offers, and it’s clear his recruitment is not going to slow down.
Why OU: Smith was one of only two sophomores invited to OU’s junior day in February. He made an unofficial visit to OU this season. The Sooners have had some success in Kansas and look to continue it with Smith. – Bob Przybylo, SoonerNation
Why A&M:Smith hasn't made any visits to Aggieland but the Aggies are definitely interested. Chasing players like Smith is part of Kevin Sumlin's broader goal of recruiting nationally when possible, though Texas will always be A&M's home base. The Aggies do have a state of Kansas connection via receivers coach David Beaty, who is a former Kansas offensive coordinator.