Longhorns, Aggies gear up on opposite sides of ball with rivalry looming in foreground

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Despite the uncertainty at every level of college football about nearly everything, we do know that the football rivalry between the Texas A&M Aggies and the Texas Longhorns will resume by 2025 when Texas joins the SEC. It might happen sooner depending on negotiations between the Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners with the Big 12 Conference. The two programs met 118 times before the rivalry was nixed after 2011 with the Aggies moving to greener grass in the SEC. 

And while the two teams haven’t officially started to play on the field, the two programs are already competing on the recruiting trail. The Longhorns hold the edge offensively, thanks in large part to head coach Steve Sarkisian’s reputation as an offensive guru. He lured five-star quarterback Quinn Ewers back to Texas after a one-year stop at Ohio State and landed the commitment of fellow five-star Arch Manning as part of the 2023 cycle. 

The Aggies are loading up on the other side of the football. Texas A&M’s 2022 class ranked first in the nation, thanks in large part to the big men on the defensive line. The Aggies landed four five-star defensive linemen in the 2022 class. Of its eight signees in that cycle, seven were ranked inside the top 100 of overall national prospects. 

Get your popcorn ready because the battles between the Texas offense and the A&M defense are sure to provide plenty of fireworks. 

Texas offensive line vs. Texas A&M defensive line 

Longhorns (12): Devon Campbell (5* 2022), Kelvin Banks (5* 2022), Neto Umeozulu (4* 2022), Malik Agbo (4* 2022), Cole Hutson (4* 2022), Cameron Williams (4* 2022), Connor Robertson (3* 2022), Jaydon Chatman (4* 2023), Payton Kirkland (4* 2023), Connor Stroh (3* 2023), Trevor Goosby (3* 2023), Andre Cojoe (3* 2023)

Aggies (9): Walter Nolen (5* 2022), Shemar Stewart (5* 2022), Lebbeus Overton (5* 2022), Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy (5* 2022), Enai White (4* 2022), Anthony Lucas (4* 2022), Malick Sylla (4* 2022), Jadon Scarlett (3* 2022), Daymion Sanford (3* 2023)

Texas matched Texas A&M’s defensive line class in the 2022 cycle by signing its best offensive line group since the glory days under Mack Brown. Two of those players – Banks and Campbell – are likely to find themselves in starting spots by the end of the 2022 season. If the two programs battle in 2024, each of these offensive and defensive linemen will be on campus for the first game minus a few transfers. Sign me up for Campbell vs. Nolen on the inside or Banks vs. White on the edge. Football games are won in the trenches, especially in the SEC, and both teams are sure to field excellent starting lineups.

Texas running backs vs. Texas A&M linebackers

Longhorns (2): Jaydon Blue (4* 2022), Tre Wisner (4* 2023)

Aggies (3): Martrell Harris (4* 2022), Ish Harris (4* 2022), Anthony Hill (5* 2023)

Texas A&M made a big splash over the weekend by beating out the Longhorns for the commitment of Hill, arguably the best linebacker prospect in Texas in at least a decade. The Longhorns are building a juggernaut of a running back room, but Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson will be long gone by the time the two rivals meet up. The Longhorns added Blue in the 2022 class and are the favorites to land four-star running back Cedric Baxter Jr. in the 2023 cycle. The Harris’ signed by A&M in the 2022 cycle shouldn’t be overlooked. Both were high four-star talents with plenty of upside. 

Texas wide receivers/tight ends vs. Texas A&M secondary 

Longhorns (7): Brennan Thompson (4* 2022), Savion Red (3* 2022), Johntay Cook II (5* 2023)Ryan Niblett (4* 2023), Jonah Wilson (4* 2023), Will Randle (3* 2023), Spencer Shannon (3* 2023)

Aggies (10): Denver Harris (5* 2022), Jacoby Mathews (4* 2022), Deyon Bouie (4* 2022), Bryce Anderson (4* 2022), Marquis Groves-Killebrew (4* 2022), Bobby Taylor (4* 2022), Jarred Kerr (4* 2022), Bravion Rogers (4* 2023), Dalton Brooks (4* 2023), Jayvon Thomas (4* 2023)

The best battles between the two teams might come out wide. Texas is loading up on receivers for Ewers and Manning, while Texas A&M signed plenty of defensive backs in the 2022 cycle and are off to a tremendous start in the 2023 group with players such as Brooks and Thomas. Texas is likely to add even more firepower at wide receiver with most recruiting experts picking the Longhorns to eventually land Longview wide receiver Jalen Hale. Thompson vs. Harris and Cook vs. Thomas might be worth the price of admission to the first meeting. 

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