SEALY – Many thought it was a foregone conclusion.
Texas A&M is just a few hours away from Sealy. The Aggies play in the Southeastern Conference now and use a high-octane offense. Their quarterback became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
So it seemed fitting for Ricky Seals-Jones, considered one of the top wideout recruits in the nation, to end his recruitment by committing to the Aggies at a ceremony Monday at Sealy High School.
There was still a little suspense leading up to the senior’s decision. Seals-Jones also strongly considered LSU, winner of two national championships since 2003.
But after shortening his list down to just Texas A&M and LSU in September and three weeks after receiving his jersey to the U.S. Army All-American game , Seals-Jones picked the Aggies in front of family, teammates and friends.
Verbal commitments are non-binding – the first day a football recruit from the Class of 2013 can sign a National Letter of Intent is Feb. 6, 2013.
Seals-Jones, who will likely line up at wide receiver in college, is rated as the nation’s top athlete by both ESPN and Rivals.com.
The 6-5, 225-pound senior gives Texas A&M another big target for Johnny Manziel, who won college football’s top award Saturday. He also joins an Aggie recruiting class that already features five receivers – four 6-3 or taller. That includes area standouts in the 6-3 Kyrion Parker (Manvel) and 6-6 Derrick Griffin (Terry). Those two combined for 28 receiving touchdowns this season.
Seals-Jones, who played quarterback, receiver and safety for Sealy, didn’t put up comparable numbers – he lost much of this season due to a dislocated kneecap suffered Sept. 6 in a game on national television against St. Pius.
Before the injury, which Seals-Jones suffered while making a tackle, he scored three rushing touchdowns in the game. That included two that covered 61 and 71 yards.
He returned late in the season and played through an ankle injury for Sealy, which missed the playoffs. It’s now basketball season for Seals-Jones, who led the state in scoring last season and has expressed a desire to play both sports in college.
Seals-Jones caught 31 passes for 512 yards and 11 touchdowns as a sophomore to go with 70 tackles, eight sacks and five interceptions. He moved to quarterback as a junior and ran for 1,245 yards on 111 carries (11.2 yards per rush) and 15 touchdowns. Seals-Jones also hurt teams with his left arm, throwing for 761 yards and eight scores. He added five more interceptions.
Seals-Jones’ recruitment made its first turn in June, four months after he originally committed to Texas. The verbal commitment in February was right on par with many top recruits across the country, many who make these announcements in the weeks right after National Signing Day from the class before.
The Longhorns received eight of their 14 current verbal commitments in February.
Seals-Jones was No. 9 in that group until he decommitted from Texas in June and opened his recruitment back up. That decision led to plenty of backlash – Seals-Jones even received death threats on Twitter and said there were cars he didn’t recognize drive by his family’s house.
He shortened his list to Texas A&M and LSU in September, eliminating Texas, Baylor and Oregon. Seals-Jones made two unofficial visits to Texas A&M and one to LSU, and had in-home visits from both schools in recent weeks.
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