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Dan Wetzel, Pete Thamel and SI's Pat Forde were impressed with the Texas A&M Aggies latest recruiting haul. What can we expect from them in 2021?
DAN WETZEL: This is the program I would buy stock in, if you could buy stock in. And I'm not talking about GameStop. They got five four-stars and two five-stars to commit to Texas A&M since mid-December, basically since the end of the regular season. Jimbo Fisher is rolling.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, hey, I'm impressed. And that's-- you know, like it was coming. It was just a little bit slower on the delivery on the field, I think, than we thought. And it's so funny. I remember our podcast after they just got trucked by Alabama. We were like, ah, A&M's still a paper tiger. They're way too far away. Well, it turns out--
PETE THAMEL: Oh, we fired him.
PAT FORDE: --Alabama was--
PETE THAMEL: We were trying to raise money--
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
PETE THAMEL: --for the buyout, yeah.
PAT FORDE: Turns out Alabama was just that good, and Texas A&M was also quite good. And, now, this is it. This is the next-- they have stacked recruiting classes. This is three or four in a row that are really, really highly rated.
And you look at them for next year. Now, they've got to replace Kellen Mond. They've got to replace most of the offensive line. But every single skill position guy-- every running back, every receiver, tight end-- who was really good are all back, and now you're going to add this next layer of talent there. If they got a quarterback in the system, they're going to be right there challenging Alabama. And they're probably going to be one of the top five programs in the next couple of years.
PETE THAMEL: Texas A&M actually had the best defense in the SEC last year. And they're going to return I believe 9 of 11 starters from that defense. And they've recruited consistently well.
So I really feel like this is going to be a pivotal year for A&M, because I don't think Mike Elko, the talented defensive coordinator, is there past this season. This is going to be an interesting year, because A&M is obviously going to be breaking in a new quarterback, and they're going to have to rely on that defense some, which should highlight it.
But, I mean, Jimbo Fisher, if you really looked at it, heading into last season, he was not discernibly ahead of Tom Herman. There's some credibility established within the state right now, and people are going to be feeling out Sarkisian. So he's got a-- he's really got a chance right now to bring some distance between A&M and Texas.