SEC feels at home in Texas

HOUSTON -- Strake Jesuit coach James Clancy doesn't care what the numbers say. He ignores that only 36 of the 425 Texas high school football players who signed in 2014 picked SEC schools. Clancy, who played football at Tulsa, coached at Oklahoma State and has been a high school coach in Texas for eight years, knows the SEC's recruiting invasion of the Lone Star State is coming. He sees it every day with his own eyes walking through his locker room.

"When I first started, all you would see would be [University of Texas] sweatshirts on all the kids," Clancy said. "When you see high school football players wearing sweatshirts now, you see Alabama, you see LSU, you see Auburn and you especially see [Texas] A&M. You would never have seen a kid in Texas wearing an Alabama sweatshirt before A&M joined the SEC. When I was at OSU, Dallas and Houston were still Big 12 country. Now with all the success the SEC has had, those places are becoming more and more SEC territory."

Much was written about how Texas A&M joining the SEC would open up the floodgates for conference schools to raid the deepest talent pool in the country. No state produces more Division I recruits year after year than Texas, and that talent fueled the success of Big 12 programs like Texas and Oklahoma for decades. Even Big 12 teams that have tasted success in the last 10 to 15 years like Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State were built on the foundation of Texas high school football players.

But many observers of Texas high school football agree the SEC's success on a national stage is starting to whittle away the Big 12's traditional stranglehold of the Lone Star State.

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