High School Football

The Big 12 is dominating DFW football recruiting

The time is fast-approaching for many of the nation’s top football recruits to make permanent the promises made perhaps a few days ago, or years in the past.

A brand new phase of recruiting season reaches crunch time Dec. 20-22 with the NCAA’s first ever early signing period.

The Star-Telegram’s Top 100 recruits for the Class of 2018 has perhaps a handful of players signing that National Letter of Intent in December.

Others will wait until the traditional big day in February. This time it’s Feb. 7, 2018.

“It’s pretty good for colleges because it confirms commits, and it’s kind of another big day in recruiting,” said Grapevine quarterback Alan Bowman, who is signing early and enrolling at Texas Tech in the spring.

Whether next month or in February, the Big 12 is far and away the leader in commitments among a the area’s elite.

Yes, with eight NCAA national championships since 2006 the SEC has long been regarded as the best conference in college football, but when it comes to recruiting Texas players, 26 from the Star-Telegram list are headed to the Big 12.

“The Big 12 is on the rise,” Bowman added.

Power 5 commitments number 48 on the list, so the 26 making that non-binding promise to the Big 12 means 53 percent of the area’s best are headed to a Big 12 school.

The next closest is the Big Ten with eight. The SEC and Pac-12 have six apiece. ACC has two.

“That’s pretty consistent and what we’ve been seeing the last three years,” said Greg Powers, who works with recruiting for the websites 247Sports and Scouts.

Over the previous two seasons, about 55 percent of Power 5 players in the Metroplex have signed with Big 12 schools. The SEC has landed 16 percent.

“Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tech Tech — they sign a bunch of guys from DFW,” Powers said. “When you have a recruiting base close to campus, you have a good chance at signing some great players.”

Still, the top three area recruits — Arlington Lamar defensive end Bobby Brown (Texas A&M), Dallas Carter defensive end Jarell Cherry (LSU) and Richland linebacker DaShaun White (Texas A&M) — are headed to the SEC.

Brown and White are the only A&M commits in this year’s class from DFW, which matches last year’s Aggie haul from the Metroplex. The two are also members of high school teams still in the playoffs, which wrap up Dec. 20-23 with UIL championship games at AT&T Stadium.

Which activity gets more attention — early signing or the title games — remains to be seen.

Two Tarrant County players in the Top 20 are headed to the Big 12: Fort Worth Eastern Hills linebacker Byron Hobbs (Texas) and Fort Worth All Saints receiver Jaylon Robinson (Oklahoma).

Both are signing next month.

“I’m focused on University of Texas and having an immediate impact on the team,” Hobbs said.

Another Big 12 commit in the Top 20 is Justin Northwest offensive lineman Darrell Simpson (Oklahoma). He’s still deciding whether to sign early or wait until February.

“People like to hate the Big 12, but it’s one of the top conferences in the country,” Simpson said.

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