With a drama-free signing day, Texas A&M quietly hauls in a quality class

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin and his staff had a relatively quiet national signing day. There was no signing day drama. No decommitments. There was one last-minute signee to add some depth and quality to the class.

Everyone the Aggies expected to sign did. And that's the way Sumlin liked it.

"I think these guys have a chemistry that's really, really good," Sumlin said. "[We had a class] that stayed together without a bunch of guys decommitting, going other places or doing something crazy today."

Part of that was by design. Of the 27 signees the Aggies inked, nine of them are already on campus as early enrollees. That includes their top five recruits: ESPN 300 prospects Kellen Mond, Anthony Hines III, Hezekiah Jones, Jhamon Ausbon and Roshauud Paul.

The player the Aggies were most concerned about coming into the week, three-star athlete Devodrick Johnson, who visited Baylor over the weekend and seemed to be wavering, calmed the masses by affirming his commitment on Tuesday night and signed Wednesday morning.

Three-star defensive tackle Joshua Rogers, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound prospect from Houston, picked the Aggies to make himself the 27th and final member of the class.

When the dust settled, the Aggies had the nation's 11th-ranked class, an impressive finish for a team whose November and December on the field were forgettable.

"It's a class that I think is probably our most complete class since we've been here, across the board," Sumlin said.

Ultimately, this class will be judged on how well it develops in a few key areas: the defensive front, where the Aggies signed five defensive linemen and two linebackers; quarterback (where Mond, theoretically the quarterback of the future, figures in); and receiver, where the Aggies lost three starters off their 2016 squad but brought in the Ausbon-Jones-Paul trio.

The Aggies have immediate needs at all three of those positions, particularly defensive end (where the Aggies signed ESPN JC 50 prospect Michael Clemons as well as a pair of high school prospects) and quarterback, where Mond will come in to compete with redshirt freshman Nick Starkel for the starting job. The sooner some of these players are ready to contribute, the better for the Aggies.

Mond will be particularly interesting to watch develop because the Aggies thought highly enough of him (and the other recruits he had a strong bond with) to essentially pass on ESPN JC 50 No. 1 prospect Jarrett Stidham, who signed with Auburn. A heavy pursuit of Stidham -- who started three games, appeared in 10 and threw for 1,265 yards and 12 touchdowns with two interceptions as a true freshman at Baylor in 2015 -- would have likely meant the Aggies would lose Mond and put their status with other recruits, such as Jones and Ausbon, in jeopardy.

It's a calculated risk, but how it pans out will be fascinating to see.

Overall, the Aggies had a solid day. While they finished 11th in the country, they finished just fourth in their own division in this recruiting cycle, behind SEC West brethren Alabama (first), LSU (seventh) and Auburn (ninth). The Aggies have to improve in that area if they're going to make real strides toward SEC West title contention.