October 4, 2011
Players in Texas don't mind realignment talk
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ALLEN, Texas - The potential loss of the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry and a possible breakup or rearranging of the Big XII has left longtime Texas football fans in an uproar.
The specter of lawsuits and political intervention has been the talk of the state. At least among the adults.
The high school kids who will head to these schools? They don't seem to be bothered a bit. They're not into nostalgia; they are into the here and now.
A recent trip to three of the top high programs in the state - DeSoto, Allen and Euless Trinity - found conference alignment was of little concern to the top recruits.
Jonathan Williams, a four-star running back at Allen rated as No. 13 at his position in the Rivals250, said he's headed to Missouri. And that he doesn't care where Missouri may be headed.
"It doesn't bother me if they go to the SEC or stay in the Big 12," he said. "It is the place I want to play and am excited about it.
"I think it may make a difference to some people but not to me."
Michael Richardson, a three-star defensive end at DeSoto, is headed to Texas A&M. Period.
Even those who hadn't committed - such as Trinity linebacker Brian Nance - said realignment was not going to be a factor moving forward.
"I don't really care about that," he said. "I am not going to let it influence my decision."
Nance potentially could end up at a Pac-12, Big XII or SEC school. He said he'll find that out later.
"It would be nice to have those teams settled and done moving just to have it out of the way, but it doesn't play much of a role for me," he said.
Texas coaches see a bigger picture. They know how realignment could impact recruiting moving forward.
"It is going to change the landscape in Texas that is for sure," DeSoto's Claude Mathis said. "Time will tell how but it will make people think about things more that is for sure."
But even Mathis admits the impact will not be universal.
"It is probably going to have more impact with parents than kids," he said. "The kids [are not] going to be in Texas all the time anymore and some won't like that."
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