Five-star athlete Terry Bussey reaffirmed his commitment to Texas A&M on National Signing Day by pledging to the Aggies, giving new coach Mike Elko his first five-star signee as he builds momentum towards his first season. Though Bussey committed to Texas A&M in September, the Aggies had to fend off a late push from powerhouses like Georgia and LSU to secure his signature.
Bussey, a product of Timpson (Texas) High School, elected not to sign with Texas A&M during the early signing period in December and decided to go the distance while entertaining overtures from other schools. He took an official visit to Georgia the weekend of Jan. 26 and was in Baton Rouge a few days later for an unofficial visit at LSU.
But Texas A&M got the last crack at him as Bussey took an official visit to see the Aggies the weekend of Feb. 2 — just a handful of days before national signing day.
Bussey is one of the most unique and decorated athletes in the Class of 2024. The No. 16 prospect nationally and No. 3 player in the state of Texas, Bussey plays quarterback, every position in the secondary and often fields punts and kickoffs for Timpson. He was named Mr. Texas Football in 2022, becoming the first junior to earn such an honor since Kyler Murray.
In 2023, he led Timpson to its first state championship in program history despite missing several games due to injury. He ends his high school career with more than 11,000 total yards and almost 180 touchdowns, including both defensive and special teams scores. He also starred in track and field, basketball and baseball for Timpson.
The 5-foot-10 Bussey participated in both the Under Armour All-America Game and the Polynesian Bowl. He played slot receiver and had an interception as a cornerback in the Polynesian Bowl.
Genuine positional fluidity
It’s not rare to see athletes play all over the place in high school, but it is a bit uncommon to add a player without a great sense of where they will star at the next level. In Bussey’s case, that isn’t a bad thing; he can do just about anything on the football field and gives Texas A&M a rare level of versatility.
It seems the Aggies are still figuring out what, exactly, they want to do with him, as evidenced by the fact that his two primary recruiters were defensive backs coach Ishmael Aristide and wide receivers coach Holmon Wiggins. Given his size, Bussey’s future likely lies in the slot — on either side of the ball.
There’s a good chance that Texas A&M just allows him to practice at multiple spots as he prepares for his first season with the aim that he’ll naturally settle in somewhere. On one hand, offense is enticing with his ability to make plays with the ball in his hand, but defensive backs rarely come with ball skills like Bussey’s, and his unique background as a quarterback would give him a mental leg-up when facing opposing offenses.
Maybe the Aggies could use him in a two-way role — à la Colorado’s Travis Hunter — though that’s increasingly rare in modern college football. Regardless of where he finds a permanent home, Bussey has an early path to the field as a special teams standout, both in a coverage role and as a potential game-changing returner.
Big win for Elko
It’s hard to think of a bigger win — off the football field, at least — for a first-year head than fending off multiple SEC powerhouses to secure the signature of an in-state, five-star recruit. From an optics perspective, adding Bussey is huge for Elko and the program’s momentum.
It also saves the Aggies from having a rather lackluster haul from their own home state. Bussey is the only top-10 Texas product, and just one of three ranked inside the top 20, to sign with Texas A&M during the 2024 cycle.
But he is the highest-rated player from the state of Texas to sign with a Texas-based university. The state’s top two prospects, quarterback DJ Lagway and linebacker Justin Williams, signed with Florida and Georgia, respectively. Texas A&M also signed three prospects in the top 15 of Texas’ state rankings, which ties with Texas for the most of any program nationally.
Though it might not be flashy, it is an impressive haul for the Aggies given the national recruiting battleground that Texas has become in recent years — especially given the added context that Elko was hired in November, just under a month before the early signing period.