Last season, Jimbo Fisher became the first former Nick Saban assistant to defeat his former boss. His second Saban upset has put the rest of college football on notice — and not entirely in a positive way.
Following national signing day, Texas A&M earned the No. 1 recruiting class in the country and the highest-rated all-time, per 247Sports’ rankings.
But several SEC coaches — including Saban and Lane Kiffin — have attacked Fisher’s recruiting tactics amid an online rumor that TAMU used a fund to entice players using NIL deals. Fisher vehemently denied those reports.
- Two Aggies are in the top 70 of On3’s NIL valuation rankings — including the second-highest-valued player in the 2022 football class, WR Evan Stewart.
- Five-star DT Walter Nolen — 247’s No. 2 overall 2022 recruit — has a projected valuation of $114,000.
NIL has undoubtedly changed the college football recruiting landscape — a reality that coaches across the country must embrace.
The No. 1 overall recruit, CB Travis Hunter, was allegedly lured to HBCU Jackson State at the promise of NIL deals, which head coach Deion Sanders has since denied. Hunter has the highest valuation in the 2022 football class ($865,000).
However his recruits got to College Station, the pressure will be on Fisher to perform in a tough SEC.
The Aggies have scored a top-10 recruiting class every year since 2019 — but haven’t played in an SEC Championship Game since joining the conference in 2012.