Texas A&M Football Recruiting

ESPN's Tom Luginbill on the Aggie contingent at the UA All-America Game

January 4, 2022

Key notes from Tom Luginbill interview

  • It was a lot of fun. As a group, it was probably the best group we've ever had, top-to-bottom. We had some changes at quarterback at the last minute, but as far as interior front guys on both sides and skill guys, it was a bunch of difference-makers all around. It was a lot of fun.
  • A&M has an unbelievably strong class, obviously. It was fun to see all those kids in Orlando and to see them compete with pads on. It was cool to see the kids respond to not being the best kid on the field.
  • Each kid has to view the opportunity differently. Do they want to compete against the best and spend the week at Disney? We've had kids we've talked to — whether it's the Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio or our game in Orlando with the Under Armour All-America Game — that have just decided to enroll eary and not play in an all-star game.
  • Talking with Evan Stewart‍ and Walter Nolen‍, they developed a relationship where they wanted to play together wherever they went for college. Stewart has an infectious personality. This class, when they got to know each other and be around each other, they have developed quite the camaraderie. The hope is that it leads to a healthy locker room when they arrive on campus.
  • Some of these prospects, even though they're highly touted, won't make it. The ones that genuinely love football will make it and become good pros.
  • Look at the common denominator of championship teams or the teams that are in the playoff. Championship teams are built from the inside out with linemen to skill positions to quarterbacks. With a Nolen or a Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy‍, that closes the gap for A&M between Alabama or Georgia. It's important to note that the highest-rated prospects in this class are the guys up front. That's how you get it done.
  • Nolen hates to lose. He's a competitor. When you're recruited as a player of his level, you have to see the upside of going to a camp. If you have a bad day, your ranking will drop. Nolen never cared about that. He showed up at every camp and combine and competed. That tells me something about him and his competitive temperament. That's really important. He showed his capabilities in practice and was a dominant force in the game. He wants to prove himself.
  • Fans of recruiting and college football don't quite understand how big the jump and how steep the learning curve is in college football. All of these kids are talented enough to play and possibly be an impact player. It's the other things, like being away from home, being accountable with your time and academics, that will make you successful. You can hit the freshman wall really fast if you're not ready to handle it. That's why guys typically don't play early.
  • We're going to move Chris Marshall‍ up our rankings big time. We liked him, but there wasn't a big sample size coming into last week. Seeing him over the entire week, you can see he is just so good with body control and coordinator. The sideline awareness of the vertical throw and tracking the deep ball is really advanced for a guy his age. I'm not sure he'll wow you with a straight-line 40, but I'm not so sure he needs to because he can go up and get the football. Marshall is an example of why nobody plays with 5-9 corners anymore.
  • Not allowing their kids to play multiple sports is the single biggest mistake they can make. Coaches don't want over-trained kids that have no ceiling for development. Coaches want guys that play multiple sports that require you to have different personalities and skillsets. I can remember vividly when Bob Stoops told me that DeMarco Murray convinced him when he saw the kid play football. Focusing on one sport will burn you out and give you very little ceiling, and that's not good. Train and get in the weight room to get better, but there is nothing wrong with playing other sports.
  • I think Conner Weigman‍ should've started, but I don't make those decisions. What people don't realize is how sneaky good of an athlete is he. He's incredible as a runner. There's an opportunity for him in College Station. There is a steep learning curve at that position, but of the guys that Jimbo Fisher has recruited, I think Weigman is the most talented at that position.
  • The goal and focus is always on the top third of the class. You need the middle and bottom thirds to exceed expectations. If you do that for a few years in a row, you'll have a pretty healthy roster as a result.
Discussion from...

ESPN's Tom Luginbill on the Aggie contingent at the UA All-America Game

17,935 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 2 yr ago by TAMU74
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Awesome interview!!
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Great interview guys. Tom Luginbill is one of the best in the business. I love listening to his takes on Sirius XM. He is objective, appears to love his craft and is a straight-shooter.
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Help me out as I did not watch the under Armour All-American game.
Who is the young man he is talking about at the end of the interview?
What happened?
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