Four-star safety Leon O’Neal Jr., one of the nation’s top 75 prospects, has been committed to Texas A&M for five months, but coach Kevin Sumlin’s job status could cause him to change his pledge.
“That is my coach that recruited me,” O’Neal told GN regarding Sumlin. “That is the coach that I talked to one-on-one, and he also spoke with my family. I know there is that saying where it’s not about the staff, it’s about the school. But let’s be real – a majority of the time you are with the coaches.
“I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect me. Let’s be completely honest: I have big Division I schools that I can go to that would have a set foundation already instead of coming to a school with a new foundation and a new coach. And everything would be a little more uptight with a new coach.”
O’Neal (6 feet 1, 190 pounds), from Cypress (Texas) Cy Springs in the Houston suburbs, is among the top five safeties in the nation and a top-75 prospect overall. He had planned to sign during the new early signing period, but is re-thinking things.
“Why sign early if you don’t know exactly what’s going on?” he said. “If I’m still curious about stuff, why would I sign? I’m still blessed with the opportunity to go to A&M and I’m still 110 percent committed until anything happens where I have to start thinking.”
O’Neal is one of the headliners among A&M’s 16 current commitments.
“We have guys in this class with very high character and very into it and positive all the time,” he said. “We know what we are up against with the head coach situation and all the other stuff going on.”
O’Neal said he has worked hard to get others to commit to Texas A&M.
“I got guys to commit to Texas A&M because I was honest with them and I let them know why I committed there,” he said. “I’m from Texas, my family gets to come watch me play in front of over 100,000 people and they have a really good class coming in.
“But if you lose the head coach, that’s when things could get shaky.”
O’Neal also considered Alabama, Texas, Ohio State and Oklahoma, and he made an official visit to Oklahoma in October.
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreenGN)
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