Both the past few days and the past few months of football in the state of Texas have changed the face of high school recruiting as we know it. With the surprising success of the Texas A&M Aggies and the TCU Horned Frogs massive surprise win over the Texas Longhorns in Austin on Thanksgiving, it’s reasonable to posit the recruiting landscape will look vastly different in the spring as assistant coaches and recruiting coordinators hit the road post-season.
Traditionally, the Aggies and Texas Longhorns have fought for a foothold in talent-rich Southeast Texas– along with the LSU Tigers. Given A&M’s huge success in it’s inaugural season in the SEC, fence-sitters from the 2013 and 2014 classes have likely tipped to the Maroon and White. Don’t be surprised to see de-commits from Texas and LSU alike who will turn to Texas A&M going forward.
The Aggies rolled the dice as an institution that a move to the SEC would give them the clout needed to once again become a premier team in college football. The impression was this would be a long-term benefit– no one could have figured this long-term benefit would indeed be a short-term windfall.
Texas A&M isn’t the only team in the state which could take away some potential recruits from the Texas Longhorns going forward. With the addition of the TCU Horned Frogs to the conference, Texas fans and those close to the program alike were concerned about how the balance of recruiting could shift– especially in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.
The Metroplex has traditionally been a battle between Texas, TCU and the Oklahoma Sooners for the first-tier talent in the region. Obviously, you’ll see a few high-profile guys from the Metroplex on out-of-state teams each year– particularly those in the mix for BCS bowl games– but in large part, the area’s best become either Sooners, Longhorns, and now, possibly, Horned Frogs.
TCU’s visit to Austin to take on Texas this past Thursday was about more than filling in for the Aggies on a day which is steeped in tradition, it was about taking on a challenge which could pay huge dividends.
TCU’s impressive win over Texas on national television in a prime slot should earn the program plenty of new interest from those in the state who hadn’t considered them previously.
In short, this season has been a net win for Kevin Sumlin and Gary Patterson and one of concern for Mack Brown.
While the change in the state’s recruiting balance may not be pronounced immediately, it is certainly shifting in a new direction.
Kris is the host Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.