Changing the game: 2013 Texas A&M class

The recruiting momentum that Texas A&M has is strong.

One could argue that there were a pair of recruits -- 2012 signees De'Vante Harris and Thomas Johnson -- who sparked the start of that momentum for the Aggies. Johnson, the No. 33 player in the 2012 ESPN 150, and Harris, the No. 144 player in the elite list, both decommitted from schools that the Aggies have long battled on the recruiting trail -- Texas (Johnson) and Oklahoma (Harris) -- and wound up at Texas A&M.

And while landing those two were huge, the work that Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff have done in the Aggies' 2013 recruiting class has really changed the game in the recruiting landscape.

Texas A&M's 2013 haul is ranked No. 5 currently in the country. The class has five ESPN 150 prospects and 10 total prospects in ESPN's top 300. There's a whopping 17 four-star recruits in the class and another 15 three-star prospects to make up the 32-member class.

The Aggies addressed needs well, especially at receiver, linebacker and defensive tackle. And Texas A&M isn't finished yet, still pursuing a handful of quality prospects such as ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue, ESPN 300 defensive end Torrodney Prevot and four-star defensive end Daeshon Hall.

Why the surge in Texas A&M recruiting this year? You can attribute it to several things -- Sumlin and his staff of coaches who can recruit certainly deserves credit. But one thing that meant more than almost anything for the Aggies was their membership in the Southeastern Conference, the league considered to be the nation's premier conference.

"What's taking precedence right now is their conference affiliation," said ESPN national recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill. "The bottom line is that they would be looked at differently by these high-profile recruits if they weren't in the SEC."

The Aggies' success has helped matters. Going 11-2 and showing that they could not only compete, but win in the conference, has the buzz around the Aggies at a fever pitch. So while you can point to a few recruits as game-changers, in all truth, the 2013 class has been a game-changer for Texas A&M.