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Recruiting in Texas would heat up if Texas A&M joins the SEC

by Jenni Carlson Published: August 20, 2011

And why wouldn't they? Texas is one of the most fruitful recruiting areas in the country. Just look at the number of Big 12 schools that build their programs on the backs of Texans.

Texas has only nine players from outside the state, while Baylor has just a dozen. Even though Texas Tech has more than those two schools combined — the Red Raiders have 25 out-of-state players — don't be fooled. That still means that more than three-quarters of their roster is comprised of in-state players.

And, of course, the schools south of the Red River aren't the only ones drawing from the state's recruiting well. Oklahoma has 60 players from Texas, OSU 66.

Heck, even Iowa State has 22 Texans on its roster.

If the Cyclones can go into Texas and recruit, who's to think the likes of Mississippi or Mississippi State or any other SEC team trying to upgrade its talent can't go in there and have success?

Adding to the intrigue is the SEC's reputation in recruiting.

Recent days have reminded us that NCAA rules are being violated everywhere. Miami. Boise State. Ohio State. Oregon. All have ongoing scandals. Still, the SEC is the epicenter of the recruiting racket.

A year ago today, Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida were dealing with agents run amok; LSU had an ongoing NCAA investigation; and Tennessee was wondering what might come in the wake of Lane Kiffin. And that was before any of the Cam Newton saga involving Auburn and Mississippi State came to light.

Dirty South, indeed.

But you have to wonder — if SEC teams bring any dirty tactics to the recruiting scene in Texas, would Big 12 teams be more likely to turn them in? It's one thing to recruit almost exclusively in SEC country. It's quite another to try and stick your hands into another conference's recruiting honey pot.

There's no doubt that an A&M-to-the-SEC move would have an impact on recruiting in the Big 12.

The only question is just how significant it would be.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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