There is a movement going on in Texas, one that may rock the entire Lone Star State and the SEC West: the Texas A&M Aggies is on the rise. The Aggies have routinely recruited well, thanks largely to the massive amount of talent within the state, but with the addition of head coach Jimbo Fisher, those efforts over the last two years have catapulted the program among the best of the best in the nation. All that hard work along the recruiting trail is about to start paying off in the win-loss column.
In Fisher’s first two seasons in College Station, he has posted a 17-9 record despite one of the nation’s most challenging schedules and won consecutive bowl game over NC State and Oklahoma State. Off the gridiron, the Aggies have seen a noticeable jump in the recruiting rankings, rising from a No. 13 showing in 2017, the last recruiting class under former head coach Kevin Sumlin, to No. 17 in 2018 and then the spike to fourth nationally in 2019 and sixth this year.
With A&M rolling off Clemson on the non-conference schedule for Colorado and Georgia out of the SEC East for South Carolina, the Aggies have a chance to make some noise during the 2020 season but will need some help from incoming top talents as impact players. But which incoming Class of 2020 recruits have the ability to crack the two-deep or even earn a starting spot this season?
Demond Demas, WR
With A&M losing both Kendrick Rogers and Quartney Davis as early NFL draft entrants, there is a clear path for receiver Demas to compete for a role within the offense. Demas had a breakout junior season in 2018 with Tomball High School (Texas) when he hauled in 50 passes for 1,574 yards with 23 trips into the end zone, cementing his spot as one of the nation’s best. His five-star status was upheld with 57 reported offers dropped. He has comparable size to both Rogers and Davis — listed in the 6-foot 3-inch, 182-pound, range — and has blazing speed with a 4.43 40-yard dash posted at The Opening Regional in March.
Devon Achane, RB
There was a youth movement in the Aggies backfield during the 2019 season, and that should continue this season with the addition of Achane. Achane was a fantastic do-everything talent for Fort Bend Marshall (Texas) during his senior campaign when he rushed for 2,266 yards and 40 touchdowns off 201 carries and secured 38 passes for 768 more yards with 10 more scores. Isaiah Spiller and Cordarrian Richardson had their version of thunder and lightening last year, with Spiller taking on the all-purpose role catching 29 passes for 203 yards. Achane (5-9, 170) could be that 10-carry back that brings energy into the offense. His versatility opens up the offense, as he can take a pass out of the backfield or in the slot to the house from anywhere on the field.
Joshuah Moten, CB
Many were surprised to see Debione Renfro depart early for the NFL, but as all great college teams do, they reload. The Aggies may have filled Renfro’s void with Moten, an incoming four-star corner. Moten was a ballhawk for National Christian Academy (Md.), snagging four picks while knocking away seven passes in the first eight games of the 2019 season. The four-star recruit is on the smaller size of most A&M corner recruits. Moten (5-11, 165) is technically sound with the ability to play in the Aggies’ off-man zone coverage and brings more speed and athleticism to the position. Being an early enrollee will help Moten contend for time on the field in 2020.
Antonio Doyle, LB
One spot where the Aggies will have plenty of senior leadership during the 2020 season is at middle linebacker. But with three seniors using up their eligibility this year, grooming a replacement is a must. That is where Doyle could make an impact. Doyle (6-3, 229) has the size and athleticism to play the Aggies’ middle or weak-side backer role. The four-star recruit spent his senior season helping St. Louis’ Lutheran North to a state championship by tallying 73 stops with 12 tackles for a loss.
Jaylon Jones and Antonio Johnson, S
While many of the spots on the Aggies’ roster will be set with returning starters, there will be high competition in the secondary this spring for starting roles. That's why A&M fans should be excited about the addition of the package deal of in-state five-star safety Jones and East St. Louis’ four-star product Johnson. Jones (6-2, 186) was the highest-rated at his position in this recruiting cycle while Johnson (6-3, 182) checked in at No. 4. Both bring size and intimidation to the field and get a jump on the process as early enrollees. This dynamic duo has the chance to make a lot of noise in the SEC West for years to come.
— Written by Ryan Wright, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and an established media professional with more than two decades' worth of experience and is a member of the FWAA. Over the years, Wright has written for numerous sites and publications and has his own recruiting site, www.recruitingnewsguru.com. Follow him on Twitter @RyanWrightRNG.