Midlands Mailbag (1/22/14)

National recruiting Analyst Greg Powers answers some questions from the Midlands mailbag...

Is it safe to say that after years of playing second fiddle that Texas A&M is currently in the drivers seat as far as momentum & in state recruiting?

Powers: A&M has been in the drivers seat the past couple of recruiting cycles. They finished No. 1 in the region last year and are on pace to finish No. 1 again in 2014. They will restock on offense with players like No. 1 ranked QB Kyle Allen and the No. 1 rated wide receiver in Speedy Noil. But you have to be impressed with what they have been able to on the defensive front. They will be bringing in the nation's top defensive end in Myles Garrett and will have signed six high level defensive tackle recruits in the past two classes. Two years down the line they may have the most talented DL rotation in the country.

What is the latest on Texas? Any concern on how they might finish?

Powers: Texas will get its fair share of recruits heading down the stretch. It is just going to be different than it has in year's past. They will take a strong look at in-state talents, but it is obvious with Charlie Strong's connections that the Longhorns are now out searching every nook and cranny to find the right type of players to fit in to its schemes. Texas could be a national recruiting machine, it has just never had to be that because it has had such a heavy focus on acquiring in-state talent the past 10 years. It is a new Texas under Strong and I think the recruiting trail will reflect that change. It should be one of the more fun stories to follow heading in to signing day.

What's the latest on Solomon Thomas?

Powers: Thomas father reported on Monday that Solomon has cut his list down from five schools to three schools. Thomas will be taking an official visit to Arkansas this weekend and possibly heading out to UCLA the weekend after. It will be a battle between those two programs against Stanford. The smart money is on Stanford after Thomas found out that he would be admitted to the school during his official visit on January 13th. He will announce on signing day and I expect it will be the Cardinal barring any last minute surprises. Unless he is blown away on his Arkansas visit...

How is Art Biles doing on the recruiting trail coming off a Big 12 title?

Powers: Briles has a lot to pitch down in Waco right now. They have a proven offense that in the past few years has helped them produce a Heisman Trophy winner, a Big 12 championship and big wins over fierce recruiting rivals like Oklahoma and Texas. The past two classes Briles has snagged commits from three out of the top four wide receivers in the state. His in-state recruiting ties run deeper than anyone elses and the Texas high school football coaches respect him. That is a great combination going forward when you factor in the new stadium and facilities that the university has invested in. I don't think we will see the Baylor most of us grew up with return in the near future.

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