It hasn't been much of a secret in Texas A&M recruiting circles in recent weeks that the Texas A&M Aggies were in outstanding position to get 2013 Sharpstown (TX) linebacker Reggie Chevis. After all, his top five released roughly two weeks ago included Alabama in the second spot, a school that had not and has not offered the 6-3, 240-pound prospect. Other schools on the list had never received visits.
There was little shock, then, when the commitment of Chevis to A&M broke during the early afternoon on Tuesday, as broken by Taylor Hamm of GigEm247.
The Aggies were able to overcome some communication issues with Chevis to secure his pledge:
In regards to the leader, Texas A&M, Chevis had voiced his displeasure about not having spoken with new Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin ($), but that conversation eventually happened and apparently to the satisfaction of the big linebacker. During the same interview in which Chevis discussed his conversation with Sumlin, the Sharpstown star also revealed that he would have committed to A&M on the spot had he been offered at the Junior Day he attended back in February.
Chevis revealed that his decision was one that had been on his mind for some time ($):
I always grew up an Aggie fan but I just had to make sure it was the right decision. I've been knowing for a while that I would be an Aggie. It was just a situation where I wanted to see if there was any school that, in my mind, could beat them just to make sure it was the right decision. That's why I kind of took my time with my decision. Nobody changed my mind about A&M. I feel like no school in the country can change my mind now.
Regarded as an SEC-type of linebacker due to his size, physicality, and athleticism, Chevis will be a strong fit for the Aggies as they make their move to the most rugged conference in the country.
Here's the full scouting report on Chevis:
But what about Chevis makes him so special?
In short, it's a combination of size and athletic ability. There are certainly linebackers out there who are taller and a handful who are bigger (though not many at 240 pounds with a year of high school still left), there are few who can move at 240 pounds like Chevis, who is also blessed with a great deal of natural strength.
To be considered an SEC-type linebacker (add some quotations marks there, if you'd like), a middle linebacker has to be able to take on and beat blockers in the run-heavy league. An evaluator need watch no more than the first play on the highlight reel below to see Chevis do that. Twice, actually, on the same play.
Since he often plays close to the line of scrimmage as a 9 tech (and even with his hand on the ground as a defensive tackle), he has more experience in the trenches than many linebackers, which also gives him a chance to refine his angles to chase down ballcarriers downfield with his typical bad intentions.
Besides his overall level of physicality and toughness, what sets Chevis apart is his flexibility, which contributes heavily to his general bounciness and ability to sink his hips prior to impact with a ballcarrier. However, he does sometimes have issues re-directing in short spaces, which could partly be a function of mass, as his flexibility does appear more than adequate in other situations.
Chevis has admitted in the past that he needs to improve his ability to drop into coverage and has been working in those areas this spring to put some drops on his highlight reel during his upcoming senior season. His speed won't be a liability as he works there, but it also won't be his biggest asset and he'll have to learn to identify and read pass concepts in the same way he does running plays.
Reggie Chevis #3 MLB/DE Sharpstown high School c/o 2013 (via HoustonFootballPreps)