DE Jay Arnold chooses TAMU

ESPNU 150 Watch List defensive end Jay Arnold (Heath, Texas/Rockwall-Heath) has always had an appreciation for Texas A&M. On Monday, he turned his appreciation into a verbal pledge.

Arnold verbally committed to the Aggies, choosing the new SEC school over offers from Baylor, Northwestern, Tulsa, SMU and Ole Miss. A 6-foot-4, 255-pound defensive end, Arnold becomes A&M’s 14th commitment of the 2013 recruiting class.

“A&M feels like the perfect fit for me,” Arnold said. “The athletic tradition is incredible, the academic side with the Aggie network is huge, and with Texas being the best state for football, the SEC being the best conference in football, I’m getting to compete against the best of the best.”

Recruited by both receivers coach David Beaty and defensive line coach Terry Price, Arnold visited the A&M campus two weekends ago. He always liked A&M because of its balance with sports and academics. Arnold said he will return to College Station, Texas, for visits the weekends of April 20 and April 28.

Arnold, who has a 3.5 grade-point average, finished the 2011 season with 44 tackles, 13 sacks and three caused fumbles. He was a key member of a Rockwall-Heath team that advanced three rounds deep in the Texas Class 4A Division I playoffs.