There shouldn’t be any surprise that Mizzou’s move to the SEC has some initial backlash from recruits with some of them from the state of Texas backing out. In the long run, the Tigers will be able to continue to recruit in Texas and will have success. The only thing that will change is the pitch to potential recruits.
Sure the easiest way to spin a spot on the Missouri roster to a Texas kid is to tell them that playing for Missouri will still bring them to their home state during their career, but there are a few things to keep in mind when wondering how Mizzou’s recruiting will go in Texas.
Texas, as we know, is a big state. For a kid who lives in the Houston area, it’s 800 miles to Columbia. That same family would still have to travel over 500 miles to get to Lubbock. Not that big of a difference for a weekend trip. Plus, one of the Texas trips would have been taken away each year with A & M’s move to the SEC , but the Aggies will be Mizzou’s cross-division rival, so they’ll be coming back to Texas every other year anyway.
Still not convinced? Mizzou is moving to the highly regarded SEC. They’re games will start airing on ESPN and CBS and with new television deals on the horizon, look for more opportunities to see the Tigers.
Not only do players from Mizzou go to the NFL, but a majority of them came from the state of Texas. I remind you of Chase Daniel, QB for the Saints, Danario Alexander, WR for the Rams, and Sean Weatherspoon, LB for the Falcons. So while mom and dad may not be able to make a trip to Knoxville, TN, they can bet plenty of NFL scouts will be watching that conference.
So, perhaps the kids were sold on playing in front of their parents, but Gary Pinkel and his staff are smart enough to change their pitch. The other facet of the recruiting process that the average fan doesn’t consider is that Pinkel’s coaches have built up a good reputation with high school coaches in Texas. Missouri has shown that they turn Texas football players into successful citizens after college and take care of student-athletes. That reputation will continue no matter where the Tigers play. When players talk to their high school coaches, they’ll get strong, positive feedback.