The Highest Rated Recruits in Texas A&M History
With the thrill of National Signing Day behind us, Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies have assembled one of the highest-rated classes in school history. A&M’s top-5 class includes 5-star prospects Kenyon Green and DeMarvin Leal who both cracked the list as some of the highest rated prospects to ever ink with the Maroon and White since the modern rankings began more than 15 years ago. However, it begs the question who do the new Aggie signees share this honor with?
To answer that question, here’s a look at 10 of the highest-rated recruits in program history.
10. Trey Williams, RB, Class of 2012
One of the most decorated running backs in Texas high school football history, Williams walked into College Station after shattering statistical records and winning the 2011 Texas 5A Offensive Player of the Year award at Spring Dekaney high school. Once arriving on campus, the initiator of the “Ag Swag movement” became a Day One contributor and was an explosive playmaker for the offense.
Although many will argue he did not receive enough touches throughout his three-year career in College Station (he shared the backfield with four future NFL RBs), he finished with one of the highest yards-per-carry averages in school history and gained nearly 2,000 all-purpose yards and scoring 19 touchdowns.
Since leaving Aggieland, Williams bounced around the NFL as a backup running back and is now fighting for carries in the newly launched AAF with the San Antonio Commanders.
9. Daylon Mack, DT, Class of 2015
In one of the most stressful recruitments the Aggie fanbase has possibly ever endured, Mack chose Texas A&M over offers from just about every program in the country. In particular, the Maroon and White had to fight off late pushes from TCU, Texas, LSU, Alabama, and Auburn. The Gladewater phenom ultimately became a day-one starter and put together a stellar career in College Station despite a few ups and downs under the previous coaching staff.
After leaving Aggieland with over 100 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, and 8 sacks, he recently made waves over the last few months after dominating in the East-West Shrine game and the Senior Bowl. He is currently projected as a 4th round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
8. DeMarvin Leal, DE, Class of 2019
Leal was one of the highest rated players on the Aggies’ board in the 2019 cycle. The #16-ranked player in the country, the Judson pass rusher was widely viewed as a can’t-miss prospect early on in his high school career. His combination of size and speed reminds many scouts of former Alabama phenom, Jonathon Allen, and there’s currently little doubt that he will slide his way into the starting lineup by the end of fall camp this August.
7. Jorrie Adams, OT, Class of 2003
An Army All-American, Adams was the #1 rated offensive lineman in the 2003 cycle. Unfortunately, his career in Aggieland was shortlived, primarily due to incompetent coaching (shout out toDennis Franchione, who moved the highly-rated lineman to the defensive side of the ball) and issues off the field. After playing sparingly at defensive end his freshman year and being on campus a little less than 18 months, Adams was dismissed from the team following an arrest for felony drug charges.
6. Kenyon Green, OT, Class of 2019
Like Leal, Green was quickly made a top priority for Jimbo Fisher and his staff. Dominating both on the field and in camp settings, the five-star left tackle chose the Aggies over offers from Alabama, Texas, and LSU. The Atascocita prospect is widely expected to start soon after he gets on campus and should inject some life into an offensive front that gave up over 30 sacks in Power Five games last season.
5. Martellus Bennett, TE, Class of 2005
Never one to shy away from controversy, Martellus chose Texas A&M in front of a national audience on ESPN the night before signing day. The athletic pass catcher was initially committed to the Miami Hurricanes before flipping to the good guys. Prior to announcing, the future pro bowler flipped a coin with Texas on one side and Miami on the other; then shocked the world by selecting the Aggies.
Once on campus, Bennett shined despite playing in a newly installed option offense that often displayed a dreadful passing attack (thanks again, Coach Fran!). A two-sport star, Martellus also played basketball for Billy Gillispie and helped resurrect the program before focusing on football his final year on campus. He finished his career in Aggieland with nearly 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns before being selected as a second-round pick by the Dallas Cowboys.
After playing for five teams in ten seasons, Bennett retired from the NFL with over 4,200 receiving yards and 30 touchdowns to his name.
4. Speedy Noil, WR, Class of 2014
Although many assumed he was a lock for in-state power LSU, Noil spurned the Bayou Bengals and announced his commitment to the Aggies at the 2014 Under Armour All-American game. Although he possessed elite athleticism, Speedy was far from a natural at wide receiver. A high school quarterback, Noil had a tough transition moving from the pocket to the slot throughout his career and issues off the field often hindered his play on it.
Despite a stellar freshman campaign, the Louisiana native was quickly overshadowed in the passing game by a slate of future NFL receivers and could never recapture that initial success again. After declaring for the draft in lieu of yet another suspension following his junior season, Noil bounced around NFL training camps but could never get his foot firmly in the door. He was recently cut from the San Antonio Commanders in the AAF and is still seeking an opportunity to get back on the field.
3. Kyle Allen, QB, Class of 2014
Rated as the #1 pocket passer of the ‘14 cycle, the Aggies had to fight off heavyweights like Notre Dame, Alabama, and Ohio State for the Arizona native’s signature. Although he was an early enrollee, Allen lost the initial quarterback battle with teammate Kenny Hill after the two duked out in Fall camp. He didn't have to wait long for the wheels fell off with Hill at the helm and the Aggies were dealt three straight losses in conference play. Allen went on to keep the starting job the rest of the season after a pair of big wins against Auburn and West Virginia to close out the year.
Unfortunately for the out-of-state gunslinger, his promising career as an Aggie derailed sooner than anyone could have imagined after a disastrous 2015 season saw both Allen and future Heisman trophy winner Kyler Murray transfer out of the program.
After an underwhelming stint at the University of Houston, Allen found himself a home with the Carolina Panthers and performed well in his lone start this past season.
2. Reggie McNeal, QB, Class of 2002
Coming out of Lufkin, Texas, McNeal was widely viewed as the savior of Aggie football after coming off the bench and helping guide the Aggies to a monumental upset against #1 ranked Oklahoma his freshman year. Unfortunately, that success was rarely duplicated, as the Aggies endured a horrifically mediocre stretch under the previously mentioned Dennis Franchione.
Despite the lack of wins under his belt, McNeal did find some success individually, passing for nearly 7,000 yards, running 2,000, and scoring 55 touchdowns in his 4 years under center. After graduating, he was selected in the sixth round of the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, and later had a successful 5-year stint with the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League prior to his retirement.
1. Myles Garrett, DE, Class of 2014
Ranked as the #2 prospect in the nation (behind LSU running back Leonard Fornette), Garrett was widely regarded as a future top-5 pick prior to even reaching campus. Garrett was an instant playmaker that helped revamp a non-existent Texas A&M pass rush and quickly became a fan favorite both on and off the field.
After three dominant years of mauling opposing quarterbacks, Garrett opted to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL Draft. He followed up his announcement by destroying the combine and leaving the event with both scouts’ and team executives’ collective jaws on the floor. Later that spring, Garrett became the first Aggie in school history to be selected as #1 overall pick and has morphed into one of the premier pass rushers in pro football.