The much-anticipated Tennessee-Texas A&M game this weekend will feature two teams full of talent, but prior to the season many had questions about the long-term stability of either teams head coach.
Both teams have responded by jumping out to 5-0 records and both have caught the attention of some of the top recruits in the country. Here’s a closer look at how this game could affect recruiting for both programs.
Who they have
Texas A&M: The Aggies have 20 verbal commitments including five in the ESPN 300. The class is led by ESPN 300 dual-threat quarterback Kellen Mond as well as other ESPN 300 prospects including wide receiver Hezekiah Jones, athlete Roshauud Paul, offensive tackle Grayson Reed and safety Derrick Tucker
Tennessee: The Volunteers have 25 verbal commitments including five ranked in the ESPN 300. Tennessee’s class is headlined by play-making safety Maliek Gray and other ESPN 300 prospects including running backs Ty Chandler and C.J. Cotmann, defensive tackle Eric Crosby and athlete LaTrell Bumphus.
Top remaining recruits
What a win would mean
Texas A&M: For Kevin Sumlin, a win would officially get him off the coaching hot seat and put A&M in a position to win the SEC West. For recruits, it would show that the Aggies can compete for titles in a division with Alabama, Auburn and LSU in it.
Mond said a win by Texas A&M would be monumental.
“Words can't explain how important this game is,” Mond said. “Not only is it big for recruiting purposes, but another big-time win against an SEC opponent would be large because it shows the progress that they've made and shows Texas A&M can play with the best teams in college football.”
Tennessee: With 25 commits already, the Volunteers are zeroing in on their top remaining targets. A nationally televised win over another top-10 team, would certainly catch the attention of recruits such as Trey Smith, the No. 1 prospect in the ESPN 300.
Throughout Butch Jones’ tenure at Tennessee, he’s put together several solid recruiting classes, but has not put together a great season on the field. With this win, Tennessee would prove it belongs among the elite in college football. It would also put the Volunteers in a prime position to win the SEC East and earn a trip to Atlanta for the SEC title game.
A loss could be devastating and the Vols host Alabama the very next week. Two consecutive losses to top 10 teams would make fans, and recruits for that matter, forget about the excellent start to the season.