The Texas A&M Aggies needed some good news on Wednesday after the high-profile arrests of two players on Tuesday for aggravated robbery and got it with the commitment of Houston (Texas) George Ranch defensive tackle Kinglsey Keke:
Rated as a consensus three-star prospect, Keke has a rating of 89 from 247Sports, which makes him a near four-star recruit. The No. 31 defense tackle nationally and the No. 62 player in the state of Texas, the 247Sports Composite rankings have him as the No. 536 player in the country.
He held offers from approximately 20 other programs, including Baylor, Florida, Houston, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Miami, Missouri, Mississippi State, North Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon State, TCU, Texas, and Texas Tech, among others.
Following an offer from the Longhorns in early April, it appeared as if Keke might be a Texas lean with several predictions coming in to the 247Sports Crystal Ball projections. However, it was Texas A&M that eventually won out, filling a major need created by the Tuesday dismissal of defensive tackle Isaiah Golden, one of the two players charged with aggravated robbery.
Keke shared his reasoning for committing with Taylor Hamm of GigEm247:
"I decided to go with A&M because of the things they have been doing over the past few years," the 6-foot-3, 290-pound Keke said. "They have good tradition; they're a good school and I feel like they have a good 2015 recruiting class coming in. I think A&M will get the defense right and I think I'll be able to help get it right with them.
"This decision was very hard for me because I always envisioned myself going to Texas. I just thought Texas A&M was the best fit for me."
A 6'3, 290-pounder who has grown from a defensive end as a sophomore, Keke has played in multiple fronts in high school -- with his athleticism, he's a player who can play up and down the line of scrimmage at this time and has the frame and quickness to retain his movement abilities at well over 300 pounds.
In terms of skill level and developmental trajectory, Keke looks a lot like Texas defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, another former high school defensive end, with his massively powerful lower body.
Keke's punch is evident in one play on his highlight reel that shows him knocking an offensive tackle back into his quarterback before making the play on the passer.
For a young player, he does a nice job of bringing his hands consistently and packs a significant amount of power with them because of his natural strength. When he uses his leverage effectively, it's a combination that is essentially impossible to stop for overmatched opponents.
And he also impacts passing lanes, knowing when to track the eyes of the quarterback and get his hands on the football, something that he does with frequency.
Keke is the 13th pledge in the Texas A&M recruiting class, which ranks No. 5 in the country and No. 3 in the SEC.