- After signing the best recruiting class in history, Texas A&M’s practices have been called into question.
- And now, as Jimbo Fisher rants about the lack of NIL involvement in the class, one of the program’s top recruits reportedly put the school on blast.
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UPDATE: Enai White has directly refuted the report with tweets found below. We have also reached out to the PHSFCA for comment but have not heard back.
Texas A&M and Name, Image and Likeness are currently at the forefront of college football headlines. Meanwhile, one of the program’s top-ranked recruits reportedly exposed the school for threatening to withhold his NIL compensation.
Earlier this year, a report surfaced about an alleged price tag for the Aggies’ top-ranked recruiting class. It is literally the best class of all-time across all schools in the nation, and it comes one year after the team went 8-4. Meanwhile, the price of oil is up and NIL has inflated the financial relevance of money in recruiting— even though it has always been a factor, as Jimbo Fisher has said in the past.
Despite the fact that there are programs all across the country are weaponizing NIL, Texas A&M remains adamant that it does not. Fisher continues to stand on his soapbox and spin a wild narrative about his program’s disassociation from the landscape of recruiting in the modern era of college football.
High school seniors are signing six-figure deals left and right. One top-ranked quarterback is believed to have signed for upwards of $8 million. FCS players are being recruiting to FBS programs with NIL. The reigning Biletnikoff winner reportedly transferred from Pittsburgh to the Pac-12 for a large sum of money.
NIL and recruiting go hand-in-hand at many schools all across the country.
But, according to Fisher, NIL deals are not being used to entice recruits to Texas A&M.
He claimed that only one of the early enrollees in Texas A&M’s Class of 2022 has signed an NIL deal. While that might be true, much of the NIL happenings are being done behind closed doors, some of the deals may not kick in until they officially begin the fall semester, and his comments do not reflect the other 19 (!!) commits in the class.
In fact, there is at least one commit who has yet to enroll in College Station that has a deal.
Enai White recently put Texas A&M on blast over a threat in regard to his NIL, per a report.
White, a four-star defensive end recruit committed to A&M, is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is the No. 2-ranked player in the state. As a result, he was invited to participate in the Big 33 Football Classic. The all-star event featuring the top high-school football players in Pennsylvania and Maryland has been played since 1957.
However, he recently pulled out of the game ahead of the Memorial Day weekend event.
White is no longer on the roster and his spot has been replaced. The reason, per a report from Eric Epler of PennLive.com, had direct correlation to his NIL compensation.
According to a source, a Texas A&M signee couldn’t play in an All-Star football game in his home state due the threat of his NIL money being taken away.
— Kyle J. Andrews (@KyleJAndrews_) May 20, 2022
According to Epler of PennLive.com, a release from an official with the Pennsylvania High School Football Coaches Association stated why he withdrew. The release said that White was told by Texas A&M not to participate in the Big 33 Football Classic. Likely to avoid injury. And if White did play in the game, he was told that the money associated with his deal would be withheld.
(AUTHOR’S NOTE: I have seen the release and can corroborate the report.)
Now, the release may have been referring to an NIL Collective associated with the Aggies. It may have been speaking about the school directly.
If it is the former, it is a big claim. If it is truly the latter, it is an astronomical claim.
Not only would White’s claim that Texas A&M told him not to participate in the game expose the school for potentially using NIL to entice him to Texas A&M, it would completely discredit nearly everything that Jimbo Fisher has ever said about the topic. Either way, White is not playing in the game.
UPDATE: White has since responded to the report.
White has responded to the report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, but the Inquirer did not report on the original release that we have seen. White has also tweeted about the report.