There is no more fickle athletic endeavor than college football recruiting. Anything held together by the whims of 17-year-olds is destined for turmoil, and Texas A&M relearned that lesson the hard way on Wednesday night.
Apparently, the Aggies' 2017 recruiting class has a little Twitter hashtag going called #GigEmGang17, a cute way for all their 2017 recruits to display their solidarity and puff their chests out a little bit on Twitter for all the Aggie fans and alums to see. Anytime you're part of something, I suppose it feels good, especially when thousands of maroon-bleeding fans prop you up on social media for your hashtag bravado.
Unfortunately for A&M, the #GigEmGang17 all came apart at the seams last night as five-star quarterback Tate Martell, out of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, an Aggie commit since before his junior year, announced that he would be reopening his recruitment...
After talking with my family about— Tate Martell (@TheTateMartell) May 5, 2016
what is best for my future, I have
decided to reopen my recruiting
So while Martell looked like he was coming to College Station to follow in the footsteps of Johnny Manziel, instead he follows in the footsteps of Kyle Allen, Kyler Murray and a handful of others in spurning Kevin Sumlin's program.
That, unfortunately for A&M fans, was not the end of it. Far from it. Aggies assistant coach Aaron Moorehead took to Twitter ten minutes after Martell's tweets to basically lament the lack of loyalty of "kids these days"...
People talk about leadership and this generation flip flops like its nothing. That's a real issue. My dad would have whipped my ass— Aaron Moorehead (@Amo8685) May 5, 2016
Now, I'm not even saying that Moorehead's thoughts don't have merit, if not a high degree of truth, but emoting on social media ten minutes after a kid decommits from your school is probably not an optimal way to handle the disappointment, especially because other recruits are going to see the overreaction and take it as a personal affront to all 17-year-olds.
Take Tyjon Lindsey, for example...
I would like to say thank you to TAMU & fans but due to some tweets subtweeted towards my brother, I will no longer be looking at A&M.— Tyjon A. Lindsey ® (@tyjonlindsey) May 5, 2016
In addition to Lindsey, wide receiver commit Mannie Nethery announced that he would be backing out of his A&M commitment:
“After tonight, I see what kind of person my “future coach” is and I myself don’t want to play for someone like that, so without further ado, I would like to announce that I am de-committing from Texas A&M.”
Honestly, if these kids are recommitting over what a coach subtweets, then I'm not sure they bring the level of football toughness you need to be successful. Honestly, how soft are these kids?
By the time all of the decommitments had rolled in, A&M's 2017 class had taken a huge hit...
So at 11 pm, A&M had the 11th ranked class, and by 12:30 they had the 41st ranked class. Wow.— Michael LaBarre (@Michael_LaB) May 5, 2016
This is all just the latest mess for Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin, who has continued to watch the program go backwards on his watch. Yeah, recruiting has empirically been strong in terms of class rankings, but it hasn't translated into more wins on the field, as Sumlin's only double-digit-win season in College Station is his first, in 2012, with Johnny Manziel winning a Heisman Trophy at quarterback.
Hey, speaking of Manziel, at least things are going smoothly for him...
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