The Texas A&M Aggies will start the 2013 football season with a loaded backfield at the running back position and were able to further secure the long-term future there with the Tuesday evening commitment of 2015 Katy (Texas) running back Rodney Anderson while on an unofficial visit for fall practice.
A highly-coveted running back in the early going of 2015 recruiting, Anderson held offers from Auburn, Baylor, Houston, Michigan State, Texas, and Texas Tech, and was also receiving interest from Alabama. Ranked as a early consensus four-star prospect (247Sports and ESPN have released their initial rankings), Anderson is considered the No. 2 all-purpose back in the country, the No. 19 player in the state of Texas, and the No. 137 player in the country.
The first running back offered in a class that will see the Aggies take two backs, the 6'0, 204-pound Anderson told SB Nation Recruiting at the Texas 7on7 State Championship in July that A&M, Texas, and Baylor were the three schools standing out for him.
"I like the whole environment. It's huge and it would be a great opportunity to play at Kyle Field. I like the way the coaches held practices and it was a really fun environment," Anderson said at the time when asked about the Aggies.
The renovations to Kyle Field are an appeal for the Katy back and he also said that the success in the SEC last season caught his attention.
A replacement for 2013 Nebraska running back signee Adam Taylor when Taylor went down with an ACL injury early in the 2011 season, Anderson ran for more than 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns despite his youth before seeing 68 fewer carries last season with Taylor's return, but boosting his yards per carry to over 10. He also displayed his versatility out of the backfield, adding 436 receiving yards on more than 20 yards per catch.
Want even more versatility? Anderson also scored three punt return touchdowns to bring his total on the season to 26, no small feat given that Taylor hogged 44 touchdowns for himself.
As a result of his proven receiving prowess, Anderson is projected to spend some time as a wide receiver at Texas A&M working out of the slot as he has been doing in high school. The question mark surrounding his projection to the college game is that he's perhaps a bit high-cut, but still within the ideal range for a college running back in terms of his height and he physically looks like an older player, not surprising after his massive production as soon as he stepped onto campus at Katy.
A long strider with good speed, Anderson has the vision to bounce plays outside, but is also decisive north-south when necessary and capable of getting behind his pads to use his strength to break arm tackles. Since he does have a long stride, he's not the most explosive player in short areas and his feet aren't great in terms of jumps cuts, but overall he's a well-rounded back who knows how to win and has proven durability.
Anderson is the second 2015 pledge for the Aggies, joining Houston (Texas) Clear Lake tight end Jordan Davis. The two commits are good enough to rank No. 9 nationally and No. 5 in the SEC in the early going.