January 31, 2023

The early signing period for the class of 2023 took place on December 21-23. At Texas A&M, some players signed their National Letters of Intent (NLI) with the Aggies. For some, it marked the end of a long-term commitment to Maroon and White, while others announced A&M earlier in the week. So it’s now a month later, the Aggies have announced an 18th signing that was inked back in December.

The Aggies have now received the NLI from a major prospect, both literally and figuratively, as Humble (Texas) Atascocita Nose Tackle Samu Taumanupepe was announced as the newest signatory. He waited until Monday, his 18th birthday, to officially announce it and asked A&M to do the same.

The 6-foot-3, 380-pound defenseman is a type of player Texas A&M doesn’t currently have on campus. He has great presence in the middle, is very good as a run stopper and also helps pick up multiple blockers, allowing the linebackers to make plays.

Taumanupepe is athletic for a player his size, and his film features a defender who can also discard blocks. The SEC is a line of scrimmage league and the standout defensive lineman will be able to help the Aggies in that regard. He’ll join one of the best defensive-line rotations in all of college football, so there’s not a lot of pressure on him to perform early, but after about a year in the weigh room he has a chance to be a threat on offense.

He had visited Aggieland for unofficials a few times during his high school career, as teammates had signed with A&M. Last summer, however, Taumanupepe became an Aggie prospect himself. It was offered at the team’s big recruitment pool party and barbecue in late July. Two days later he was on the mandatory list.

Taumanupepe had received other offers from companies including Baylor, Miami, Oregon, TCU and Texas throughout the process. But when he got the one from Texas A&M, he knew right away that he wanted to be an Aggie.

Taumanupepe will graduate next spring and then enroll at Texas A&M in time for summer school in late May.

WHO: Humble (Texas) Atascocita DT Samu Taumanupepe

COMPOSITE RANKING: 3-Star, .8678, #94 DL, #151 in Texas

COMMITMENT DATE: 8/1/2022

A&M’S MAIN COMPETITION: Baylor, Oregon

OLDER STATISTICS: 60 tackles, 6 TFL, 1 INT, 1 PBU

AWARDS: District 21-6A First Team Selection; Houston Touchdown Club Defensive Player of the Year Finalist

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