The Aggies continue to put together an impressive 2015 class.
The Texas A&M Aggies continued their recruiting surge in East Texas with a Friday pledge from Newton (Texas) cornerback Roney Elam, who announced his commitment via Twitter (and Instagram):
Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin preceded Elam's official announcement with his trademark tweet:
The 6'3, 170-pounder chose the Aggies over his other finalist, the LSU Tigers. The Texas Longhorns had also been in the mix for his services, but were essentially eliminated in recent days.
Elam also held offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Baylor, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech, among others, but his recent visits to Baton Rouge and College Station suggested that he would pick from those two schools.
In the 247Sports Crystal Ball projections, Texas A&M had a robust lead over LSU at 56 percent to 24 percent in the days before his announcement. The Aggies trended hard during June for Elam, but there were enough recent predictions for the Tigers to install LSU as the leader in Elam's Crystal Ball at the time of his pledge.
Elam is rated as a consensus four-star prospect, the No. 27 cornerback nationally, the No. 41 player in Texas, and the No. 287 player overall in the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Long and lean, Elam has elite size for a cornerback, but will likely need to add some strength to his frame before he's ready to compete in the notably physical SEC. In fact, he actually measured in at 6'3.5 at the ETSN combine in 2013, where he ran a respectable 4.56 laser-timed 40 that is plenty fast for a cornerback of his size. However, with a 4.37 pro agility shuttle, he doesn't quite have elite change-of-direction ability or reactive quickness.
With good ball skills and recovery speed, Elam should be able to make up for his lack of short-area excellence. Once he adds the strength to become a press corner and jam opponents at the line of scrimmage effectively, his 33.6-inch vertical will allow him to compete with tall wide receivers for jump balls and few of them will have a speed advantage against him.
It may take some time for him to develop, but Elam has the tools to become a lock-down corner in college with his combination of size, length, and athleticism.
Elam joins fellow East Texas prospects like defensive tackle Daylon Mack, safety/outside linebacker Justin Dunning, and safety Larry Pryor. The Aggies now have 20 pledges in the 2015 class, which ranks No. 2 nationally and No. 2 in the SEC in the 247Sports Composite team rankings, behind SEC rival Alabama.