Two of the area’s top receiver recruits have committed to Pac-12 schools within the last week. And neither decision — Aledo’s Ryan Newsome to UCLA or Dallas Skyline’s Carlos Strickland to California — was particularly surprising.
The Pac-12 continues to make inroads in the Lone Star State.
Four other Dallas-Fort Worth prospects are expected to sign with Pac-12 schools on National Signing Day on Wednesday, including McKinney North running back Ronald Jones, the nation’s No. 68 overall player, according to Rivals.
Two more top area running backs also could head west: Plano West’s Soso Jamabo is considering UCLA, among others, while Washington is in the mix for Rockwall’s Chris Warren.
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UCLA also had chances to land the state’s top player, linebacker Malik Jefferson, and receiver Deandre McNeal, before both Mesquite Poteet players committed to Texas.
So, since when did Pac-12 schools become such an attractive option for Texas high school players?
In recent years, it’s actually been more of an amplified interest from the schools doing the recruiting, than the players choosing the schools.
In 2002 — the earliest year in the Rivals database — 28 Texas products landed at schools now in the Pac-12. (That includes Colorado and Utah, which joined the conference in 2011).
Since then, only the 2013 class has featured as many Texas recruits (28) to the Pac-12.
But over the years, the number of Texas high school players with offers from Pac-12 schools has grown gradually.
In 2002, 69 received offers. This year: 127. That number peaked at 135 in 2010 and 2012.
The key jump happened between the 2007 and 2008 classes, when the number of players with Pac-12 offers ballooned from 81 to 109.
The result hasn’t been seen as much in the number of Texas players to Pac-12 schools but more in the quality of the players. From 2002-2008, nine Rivals four-stars or higher went to Pac-12 schools from Texas.
Since then, 21 four-stars or higher have either signed or committed to Pac-12 schools from Texas.
Here’s a year-by-year breakdown of Pac-12 offers to Texas prospects:
2002 Offered: 69. Signed: 28.
2003 Offered: 68. Signed: 19.
2004 Offered: 75. Signed: 21.
2005 Offered: 93. Signed: 21.
2006 Offered: 95. Signed: 18.
2007 Offered: 81. Signed: 16.
2008 Offered: 109. Signed: 17.
Key signees: Andrew Luck (Stanford), LaMichael James (Oregon), Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State)
2009 Offered: 132. Signed: 19.
Key signees: Stepfan Taylor (Stanford)
2010 Offered: 135. Signed: 21.
Key signees: Lache Seastrunk (Oregon), Josh Huff (Oregon)
2011 Offered: 106. Signed: 20.
Key signees: Ty Montgomery (Stanford)
2012 Offered: 135. Signed: 26.
Key signees: Bralon Addison (Oregon), Chance Allen (Oregon)
2013 Offered: 130. Signed: 28.
Key signees: Eldridge Massington (UCLA), Caleb Benenoch (UCLA), Torrodney Prevot (Oregon)
2014 Offered: 120. Signed: 18.
Key signees: Solomon Thomas (Stanford), Brandon Simmons (Stanford), Zach Whitley (UCLA)
2015 Offered: 127. Committed: 15.
Key commits: Carlos Strickland (California), Ronald Jones (USC), Ryan Newsome (UCLA)