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November 8, 2007With speculation and rumors swirling about the fate of head coach Dennis Franchione and the rest of the Texas A&M coaching staff, it only seems natural for other schools to keep recruiting the 24 current Aggie commits in the class of 2008. While many are waiting to see how the coaching situation turns out before making definitive statements of whether or not they are planning to stick with their pledges, that is not the case with Andrew Wolridge.
The 6-foot-2, 235 pound athlete from Lexington, Texas committed to A&M in late-May and he maintains that he is as rock-solid today as he was on the day he pulled the trigger, no matter who the head coach is next year in College Station.
"I don't care about all that," said Wolridge of the speculation that Franchione will not return in 2008. "It really doesn't matter to me. I'm an Aggie and always will be.
"I like all the coaches, really. But if (Franchione's) done, he's done. Just like a lot of guys have said - I didn't commit to the coaches, I committed to A&M. I like A&M, I like all the traditions and it's just a chance for me to stay close to home and play big-time college football."
Despite the fact that Wolridge has played organized football for quite some time, he has only had one head coach so he figures the adjustment will be tough no matter what.
"Really, I've never been through a coaching change in my whole entire life," said Wolridge. "Coach Holcombe has been my coach my whole life, even in junior high. I've never been through a coaching change so it's all new to me no matter what."
Wolridge said that there are many factors that drew him to A&M in the first place and those are the same things that are keeping him in the fold as a commitment.
"I know so many people at A&M," he said. "In Lexington, most of our top ten (percent of the graduating class), they all go to A&M. I've got support all around there. My family's close to there and a lot of my friends are there.
"I know Martellus (Bennett); I talk to him all the time and Anthony Lewis, I talk to him a lot too. They're just saying, 'You're gonna love it up here.'"
Despite the fact the he has completely shut down his recruitment, Wolridge said that many schools have continued to contact him. The attention increased even more once people started to openly predict that Franchione would not be around next year.
"Kansas called me, Texas Tech has called me and Missouri has called me," said Wolridge. "Now the funniest thing is Kansas State called me and this guy talked so fast that I didn't even catch his name. He said 'Hello Andrew' and I was like, 'Yes sir' cause I didn't know who he was. He said, 'This is coach something from Kansas State. How are things with you and A&M?' I said 'good' and he just said, 'Thank you,' and hung up the phone. That was the entire conversation.
"One school I don't think I'll ever hear from again is Oklahoma. You know, they were supposed to offer me the day that I committed to A&M. (OU assistant head coach) Bobby Jack Wright called coach Holcombe and told him that they planned to offer me. Coach Holcombe then called A&M and let them know. A&M was gonna wait until camp to offer me but I talked to coach Fran that afternoon and he offered me and I committed.
"So I talk to Bobby Jack Wright that night and I told him that I had actually just committed to A&M. He tried to get me to go up there for their camp still. He said, 'I want you to think about that camp. Our linebackers here, they win the Lombardi award and we win championships here at OU.' And he said, 'If you don't like winning championships, I guess you made the right choice.' I just said 'whatever' and hung up on him. He was a jerk so I just hung up on him. I aint going to Oklahoma."
Wolridge has seemingly become the de facto leader of the 2008 Texas A&M recruiting class. He tries to keep tabs on all the other commits and how they are reacting to the news of the possible coaching change.
"I talked to Markelle Martin last night on MySpace and he said it didn't matter to him, he's coming at the end of the semester," said Wolridge. "He's going to A&M no matter what. I talk to Kyle Mangan all the time too and he's going no matter what.
"I talk to Kyle Mangan more than anybody and he doesn't care. (Tommy) Dorman, he doesn't care. I'm gonna have to call Kapron (Lewis-Moore) and see what he thinks about it. The only recruit in the whole class that I have not met is Lamar Harris. Other than that, I've met everybody and I try to talk to everyone."