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1. Bobby Petrino isn’t sitting around now that he’s in College Station. He’s taken an active role in recruiting and has even gone to visit new QB Marcel Reed in Tennessee. That’s a good move, because he’s got to do some selling of his system and his relationship with Jimbo Fisher to make sure any and all concerns are alleviated.
2. 4-star QB Jaden Rashada has requested out of his Florida NLI (national letter of intent) because his NIL (name, image, likeness) deal, worth a reported $13 million, didn’t come through. This should be the point where donors and programs draw the line. $13 million is a ridiculous sum and it’s hard to rationalize it for a true freshman of any sort. But Florida’s donors should have known better. They screwed the program and its reputation by failing to meet what was expected. Now that they’ve made this mess by bidding players up, it’s up to these “conglomerates” to restrain themselves. Which they either will, and NIL will find an equilibrium, or they won’t and it’ll all implode.
3. The grass isn’t always greener when you hit the transfer portal. Former A&M receiver Caleb Chapman is leaving Oregon after one season and one catch for 15 yards. If he had stuck around at A&M, especially as one receiver after another was either injured or suspended, he’d have had big numbers last season. Now, he’s down to one single season that will make or break his NFL chances, and odds are stacked pretty strongly against him right now.
4. The number that sticks out about Alabama WR Tyler Harrell, who visited A&M today, is 4.24. That’s his laser-timed 40-yard-dash time (in 2021). Harrell was one of Petrino’s last signees at Louisville, so there’s a history there and he could definitely be an asset if he can stay healthy.
5. Tomorrow night’s game against Florida is massive for A&M on several fronts, but here’s the biggest: they started 4-0 in conference play last year before losing 8 in a row. Florida has been their toughest opponent so far during SEC play, so beating them twice would silence some doubters and send some ghosts packing.
6. Aggie baseball is ranked 5th in D1 Baseball’s preseason poll. Their first three conference opponents? #1 LSU, at #2 Tennessee, #4 Ole Miss. A team could go 1-2 in each of those three matchups and still end up in Omaha.
7. The Aggie defense has been strong in conference play. Florida shot 45.5%, thanks to a hot second half, but since then, nobody’s cracked 40%. LSU shot 34.7% from the field, Missouri 38.9% and South Carolina 38%. That will win you some games.
8. The transfer portal closes tomorrow, and will reopen between May 1 and May 15. That means players can’t enter; it doesn’t mean teams can’t sign the ones already in. And grad transfers can go in at any time. Yeah, the open and closed dates are pretty much worthless.
9. Polynesian Bowl practices are underway, and tell me that’s not a bowl you’d go to play in. Anyway, there are some folks reporting on practices and one player on defense keeps on grabbing people’s attention for all the right reasons: DJ Hicks.
Huh. Go figure.
10. I keep coming back to this, but I really do like the idea of using Donovan Green and/or Jake Johnson as slot receivers. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before by Jimbo or Petrino — heck, look at Jace Sternberger and Jalen Wydermyer. I think both guys have the ability to be productive in that role.