ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Four-star defensive back Toney Hurd Jr. (Missouri City, Texas/Thurgood Marshall) put an end to a whirlwind month committing to Texas A&M during the Under Armour All-America Game on Saturday.
Hurd picked the Aggies over California, Oklahoma State, Oregon and Auburn.
"Basically it came down to just being comfortable," Hurd said. "I know they are going to provide me a great education. I know for a fact that I'll be receiving great coaching from Coach McMillan and Coach (Van) Malone. It's a great conference that passes the ball a lot and I'll be put into great positions. At the end of the day, my mom can come see me play. I love my mom to death, so that played a big part in choosing Texas A&M."
Hurd, the No. 120 prospect in the ESPNU 150, appeared to be headed to Notre Dame after committing October 30, but that all changed in early December after the firing of head coach Charlie Weiss.
Aggies defensive back coach Van Malone kept in contact with Hurd throughout the process and built a strong relationship. That ended up being invaluable when Hurd's plans changed.
"We have a great relationship. I can call him anytime and I know for a fact that he will answer the phone. If I have any questions, he answers them straight forward with me and doesn't beat around the bush," Hurd said. "It's almost like a father son relationship. We have had a close bond throughout the process."
Texas A&M hosted the Houston area prospect on December 11 and impressed the 5-foot-9, 180-pounder.
"For the most part I would have to say I knew I wanted to go there during the visit. I saw a lot on the visit. I saw the actual apartments I'll be living at, got to interact with the players that I'll be playing with and I could see myself there during the trip," Hurd said.
After giving thought for months to going away from home to play, staying close to his mother won out.
"Early in the process, like a lot of other recruits, I said 'I want to get out of state. This is my one opportunity to get out of the state and play ball.' As it got closer, I didn't think my mom would be able to get out to see me in California. In the end, staying close to home and my mom was big." Hurd said.
He becomes the 24th commitment for the Aggies and fourth off the ESPNU 150, joining fellow Under Armour All-Americans Corey Nelson (Dallas/Skyline) and Luke Joeckel (Arlington, Texas/Arlington High), as well as four-star offensive lineman Jake Matthews (Missouri City, Texas/ Elkins).
Gerry Hamilton has covered recruiting in Texas and the Southwest for more than a decade. He can be reached at email@example.com.