Reggie Chevis (middle) relaxes during a Team USA practice (photo by the author).
Receiving an offer from Texas A&M was a "dream come true" and the tough linebacker has big plans for the defense when he arrives in College Station.
It wasn't exactly that a secret that 2013 Sharpstown (TX) linebacker Reggie Chevis was heavily favoring the Texas A&M Aggies prior to committing on June 12th. In Austin for the upcoming World Championships, the big, athletic linebacker spoke with SB Nation about his decision.
Wearing a backwards A&M hat and Aggie sweatpants, Chevis' attire made his college choice clear. It's a decision that he knew he would make for some time before making it official.
"A couple days after they offered me," said Chevis. " I've been a Texas A&M fan for almost my whole life. Once I got the offer, it was a blessing, a dream come true."
Several factors helped extend his recruitment early into the summer.
"I wanted to wait and explore all my options, allow my team a chance to get evaluated through the spring, so that's why I waited after spring to make my commitment."
Besides that fact that he's been an Aggie fan for most of his life, Chevis spoke about what stood out to him in regards to Texas A&M.
"The whole Wrecking Crew, SEC thing made me lean towards the SEC and try to turn the whole recruiting class around. I feel like I can help with that and build something."
While the A&M recruiting class has gotten off to an exceptionally strong start under new head coach Kevin Sumlin, the defense could certainly use some help. Well aware of the glory years for the A&M defense back in the 1990s, the 6-3, 240-pounder believes that he can help the group return to that former glory.
"I want to bring the Wrecking Crew back. I want to be a part of that, so that's one of the reasons why I committed."
Known as an SEC-type linebacker with his physicality and ability to come downhill with reckless abandon, Chevis said that the move to the SEC played a major role in his recruitment, despite the positive feelings towards A&M he has felt for so long, calling the change of conferences "95%" of the reason why he pledged to play his college football in College Station.
Chevis said that he did think seriously about his top five schools (which also included Alabama, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and Arkansas), but the serious contender could have been Alabama, which was number two on his list when he released his top five.
The good news for the Aggies was that while Alabama seriously evaluated Chevis, the Crimson Tide had only one available scholarship in the 2013 class at inside linebacker and took a commitment from another prospect without offering the Sharpstown product, leaving him on the outside looking in.
Now in the fold for A&M, Chevis is already working on several uncommitted Aggie targets, including Alief (TX) Taylor defensive end Torrodney Prevot and Houston (TX) Westfield defensive tackle Hardreck Walker.
"He's definitely interested, but he's got all his options open, so he's taking his time. I really can't speak on that," said the future Mike linebacker of Prevot and the star defender's recruitment.
As for Walker, Chevis did drop a nugget about the defensive tackle's recruitment: "He really likes Texas A&M."
The playful Chevis doesn't have any summer plans besides competing for Team USA in Austin, but he did say that he's working on developing his ability in coverage prior to his senior season. In his own opinion, he's already made progress there.
"I want to work on my pass-coverage ability. Playing in a conference like the SEC, you have to be ready to come downhill and drop back into coverage, so I felt like I need to work on that, but it's come a long, long way."
Just how far has it come?
"I feel like a DB sometimes," said the playful linebacker with a wide grin, drawing laughter from a nearby teammate.
He certainly doesn't look like a defensive back, and that's exactly why the Aggies needed a linebacker like Chevis to ease the transition to the power football purveyed by future A&M opponents in the nation's toughest conference.