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June 8, 2011
HOUSTON- More than 60 of the top prospects from the Greater Houston area descend on the Houston Texans' practice bubble for a VYPE Magazine photo shoot.
The bubble is noisy with so many high school prospects and their families, yet a trio of players seems to hold court in the cavernous building. Television cameras, reporters' microphones and the eyes of many participants are drawn to the three prospects and seem to hang on their every word.
It becomes apparent - the three are old friends.
Houston (Texas) Klein Forest quarterback Matt Davis is the most outspoken of the bunch. The Rivals250 passer seems to know everybody in the room. Many approach him to say hello. They all ask how he is doing after tearing his ACL early in his junior year. Davis assures them he is fine.
Alongside Davis are Spring (Texas) Dekaney running back Trey Williams and Missouri City (Texas) Hightower wide receiver Bralon Addison, both U.S. Army All-Americans. The three are pretty much inseparable all afternoon and they have a common bond.
All three are committed to Texas A&M.
Davis and Williams play in the same district in North Houston, Addison is from the south side. He knows the other two well, though.
"I played pee wee ball and AAU basketball with these guys," Addison, a Rivals250 prospect, says. "I've known them for a long time. We've always been close. I keep up with how they do on Friday nights and they watch for how I do too."
Davis and Williams both pledged to the Aggies on the same day in mid-April. They had driven to College Station for the spring game and decided to give head coach Mike Sherman their commitments. Addison was with the two on that day as well. However, he had to wait a little while before joining his friends on the commitment list.
"I was still committed to Oklahoma State at the time," Addison says. "I wanted to make sure I called them and let them know how I was feeling before I did anything with A&M. I knew I wanted to go to A&M though. I wanted to anyway and it helped even more when Trey and Matt committed."
"We knew he was going with us," Davis chimes in. "We weren't going to go off and leave him. He was coming with us, no doubt about it. He just had to let (Oklahoma State) know."
Addison made it official with the Aggies two weeks later and the three have been on a mission to bolster their class even further.
"We talk to everybody we know about coming to A&M with us," Williams, the nation's No. 24 overall prospect, says. "We're going to make this the best class ever and we're going to win."
The three players are the first up for the photo shoot. The plan is to have them on the cover. A fourth prospect is on the cover as well. Humble (Texas) defensive tackle Paul Boyette Jr. is flanked by the trio.
Boyette is committed to Texas and Davis is not a fan of that decision. He works on Boyette all evening, trying to get him to switch.
"You're going to be an Aggie," Davis says. "You know you want to play in Aggieland. We need to call up Coach Sherman right now and tell him you're switching. You're coming with us."
Davis is relentless. Though he is half-joking, there is still a serious tone in his voice. He wants Boyette to change his commitment and does not like taking no for an answer.
The next weekend, Davis and his Klein Forest teammates are in Austin to take part in a 7-on-7 tournament. His team happens to be matched up with Austin (Texas) High, the team on which Texas receiver commit Cayleb Jones plays. The two know each other well from recruiting trips.
"(Davis) wants to take a picture with him throwing up the 'Horns," Jones says. Davis does not find it funny. He spends the next several minutes trying to flip Jones' commitment as well.
"Come and join the best," Davis says. "Things are happening in Aggieland. You know you want to Gig 'Em in the picture. You know you want to."
Back at the practice bubble, the three prospects have finished with their part of the photo shoot. Though most of the other players leave once they are done, the trio sticks around. Davis wants to throw the ball around a bit. He makes Addison cover Williams. All eyes are again on the three as they play a simple game of catch. Davis shows his arm is fine and then wants to prove he can run as well. He lines up at receiver matched up against Addison.
"I had to get out there and show him that he couldn't hold me," Davis jokes. "Really though, I wanted to run and show them that I'm all healed up and ready for the season."
Davis then heads over to talk to South Houston (Texas) safety Kenneth Marshall. Davis returns after a bit, smiling. He has been doing more recruiting.
It pays off two days later. On Friday, Marshall calls the Oklahoma State coaches and decommits. Though he does not immediately switch his pledge to the Aggies, he makes no secret that he plans on doing just that. Davis is pleased.
"I knew we could get him," he says, later. "People are realizing that A&M is going places. We're going to do some special things. People need to come and play with us."
It is never a "me" with Davis. He uses "us" and the collective "we." Though he is talking about the entire A&M class in general it is clear that he is also referring to himself, Williams and Addison. The three childhood friends are joining each other in college and that seems to be exactly the way they wanted it all along.