Mineola Offensive Tackles Austin Anderson + Riley Anderson Commit To Texas A&M
Texas A&M can breathe much easier about the long-term future of its offensive line depth.
The Aggies killed two birds with one stone Monday, securing the commitments of Mineola twin offensive tackles Austin Anderson and Riley Anderson. The brothers announced the news via their personal Twitter accounts.
"When I started this process I prayed for just one offer and The Lord has really blessed me," Austin Anderson wrote out in a statement. "I want to thank all of the coaches who believed in me. I am committing to play football for and attend Texas A&M University. I want to be a Fighting Texas Aggie and help bring a national championship to the school I dreamed of attending my entire life."
The Andersons told ETSN.fm in February that they would not be a package deal but did acknowledge they would attend the same school if both prospects felt it was the right fit.
Since head coach Kevin Sumlin took the job in late 2011, Texas A&M has produced two highly regarded offensive tackles. Luke Joeckel was selected second overall by the Jacksonville Jaguards in the 2013 NFL Draft and Cedric Ogbuehi could be a first rounder Thursday in the league's latest installment.
Austin Anderson (6-4, 289) and Riley Anderson (6-5, 287) had plenty of opportunities to separate after their upcoming seasons in Mineola. Each lineman currently has 27 college choices -- not so coincidentally from the same 27 schools -- which places them in a tie for second among East Texas players in the 2016 graduating class with at least one FBS offer.
Only Nacogdoches safety Brandon Jones has more scholarship opportunities with 38, including an offer from the Aggies. He is uncommitted.
The two linemen helped guide Mineola to the Class 3A Division I state championship game last season. It was the first time the school reached the state level in football.
Mineola's offensive backfield, consisting exclusively of underclassmen starters, rushed for 4,465 yards and 53 touchdowns in the 16-game campaign behind the line.
The Andersons' non-binding commitments to Texas A&M are especially disappointing to its SEC competition. Auburn, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Missouri and Vanderbilt also offered the prospects.
Texas A&M finished its 2014 season with a win against West Virginia in the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl for an 8-5 record. It received seven votes in the final Associated Press poll and tied Oklahoma for the 10th spot outside the Top 25.
Despite a small step back from more successful years in 2012 and 2013, the Aggies took some of East Texas' absolute best talent in its most recent recruiting class. Gladewater defensive tackle Daylon Mack, Newton defensive back Roney Elam, Lufkin offensive lineman Erik McCoy, Sulphur Springs defensive back Larry Pryor and Whitehouse defensive back Justin Dunning signed with the program.
"I want to thank every school and all the coaches who gave me the opportunity to play at their school," Riley Anderson wrote in his own statement. "I am truly blessed with the opportunities I have. I also want to thank my parents, my teammates, my teachers and coaches for everything they did to help me get where I am today."
Competing schools are free to continue pursuing the two linemen until they sign their letters of intent.
2016 East Texas Football Players With Division I FBS Offers
- Austin Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-4, 289 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, TCU, Texas, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Riley Anderson, OL, Mineola, 6-5, 287 – committed to Texas A&M; additional offers from Arizona State, Arkansas State, Auburn, California, Cincinnati, Houston, Illinois, Kansas State, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, SMU, Southern Miss, Texas, TCU, Texas State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, Vanderbilt (27)
- Demarco Boyd, RB/LB, Gilmer, 6-0, 215 — committed to Texas; additional offers from Baylor, Florida State, Texas A&M (4)
- Zach Hall, ATH, Tyler Lee, 5-11, 170 – offers from Baylor, Texas Tech (2)
- Travon Fuller, CB, Athens, 6-0, 160 — committed to Texas A&M (1)
- La’Darius Hamilton, LB, Corrigan-Camden, 6-1, 220 — offer from ULL (1)
- Keenen Johnson, ATH, Alto, 6-1, 190 – offers from SMU, ULL (2)
- Brandon Jones, S, Nacogdoches, 6-0, 190 — offers from Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Baylor, Boise State, California, Florida State, Georgia, Houston, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, Stanford, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UCLA, USC, Washington State (38)
- Braylon Jones, DT, John Tyler, 6-3, 285 – offers from Air Force, Army, Houston, Navy (4)
- Bronson Massie, DE/LB, Lufkin 6-3, 202 – offers from California, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Texas State (4)
- Cody Mitchell, TE, Jasper, 6-5, 225 — offers from Missouri, Texas State (2)
- Kendrick Rogers, WR, Frankston, 6-6, 207 — offers from Cincinnati, Houston, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Mississippi State, North Texas, SMU, ULL, ULM (9)
- Aphonso Thomas, RB, Van, 6-0, 190 — offers from Colorado State, Kansas (2)
- Andre Wiley Jr., OLB/S, Liberty-Eylau, 5-10, 170 – offers from Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech (2)