The No. 3 ranked player in the Lone Star State, per 247Sports, held offers from the likes of Alabama, Texas, Clemson, LSU, Oklahoma, among many others, and spoke to AggieScoop this week about his decision to commit to the Aggies.
“When it came down to it, Texas A&M just felt like home to me,” Leal said of his decision. “I loved the atmosphere, the fans, the coaches and just the way it is up there with the students and the players.”
Just a few weeks ago, the 247Sports crystal ball was in heavy favor of the Texas Longhorns. While it was a very tight battle between the former rivals, the 6-4, 280-pounder explains how the Aggies were able to overtake Tom Herman’s program for his pledge.
“I was going back and forth between Texas and Texas A&M for months,” he said. “It was a close one. I decided on A&M because, one, it’s the SEC and that would put me in a better position to go into the draft. I also feel more comfortable there. The coaches did a great job recruiting me.”
As soon as Jimbo Fisher and his staff touched down at Easterwood Airport, they were on the phone recruiting. Leal recalls being one of the first players contacted by the new coaches.
“I remember seeing that Jimbo (Fisher) has been hired on TV, and that next day, they all texted me at once,” he said. “Then, I went up there on a visit and I talked to all the coaches individually. They told me all about the family and just welcomed me. Honestly, they welcomed me into their arms like they had been there forever. It automatically felt like home.”
This news will make headlines and potentially have a major impact on other top recruits who are considering the Aggies. The All-American pass-rusher plans on becoming a class leader for the maroon and white so he will get to work immediately on top targets.
“With me leading the class, and with me committing there, A&M is going to be on the map again,” he said. “I know a couple of guys who have texted me and asked me a couple of questions. I’m trying to get those guys to commit and I also have a couple guys at my school that I want to come with me. There are a few guys out-of-state that I’m talking with. I don’t really know everyone yet, but once I do, it’s going to be a mission to get them.”
Of course, schools are not going to stop recruiting the First-Team All-State selection but Leal is confident in his decision.
“I’m 100-percent committed,” he said. “I’m extremely excited to be a part of Aggieland. It’s a dream come true honestly.”