Reaping The Benefits
While the focus of Arkansas football fans is on the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area this weekend for the Southwest Classic match-up in Arlington with Texas A&M, the Razorback coaches are thinking about Houston.
Because with the Aggies joining the SEC next year, the Houston media will be focusing more on that league now and thus more on the Razorbacks.
Arkansas already loves recruiting in the Houston area – in addition to DFW – so that just makes things easier according to Razorback assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Tim Horton.
"We are going to be in the Houston Chronicle every day now because they are going to be reporting on SEC football as opposed to (just) Big 12 football," Horton said. "That Jefferson-Pilot game is going to be on in Houston, Texas where they have been showing (just) Big 12 games."
Anything that can help grab a prospect's attention is good for Arkansas per Horton.
"It just gives you so much more exposure, which captures young men's attention, so we think it is going to be really positive," Horton said. "Obviously they are a great school and have a great fan base and facilities and resources that just gives the SEC another very valuable member."
Adding A&M to the SEC is good for both the league and Arkansas according to Razorback head coach Bobby Petrino.
"I think that is good for us," Petrino said. "It's good for our recruiting. There's been a number of guys in the last three or four years that we didn't get to come here and they grew up watching Big 12 football and maybe chose a different school because they were used to it so much. All of the publicity, exposure, everything that we get now with A&M coming in in the state of Texas, I think helps us a lot."
Arkansas has signed 17 players in the last four years from the state of Texas, including several starters (Knile Davis, Travis Swanson, Tramain Thomas, Cobi Hamilton and Colton Miles Nash).
The Razorbacks have four 2012 commits and one 2013 pledge from Texas right now and obviously want to continue getting players from the Lone Star state.
Most of those current and future recruits have mentioned getting to play the Southwest Classic at Cowboys Stadium as one of the factors that helps them choosing Arkansas.
"We always enjoy going to Dallas," Petrino said. "It's a great venue for our players, their families and all our recruits form the state of Texas."
The Razorback staff will have seven coaches on the road in Texas on Friday night watching the current Arkansas commitments and potential 2012 and 2013 targets.
"It's of great benefit for us to be able to saturate the state of Texas with coaches the night before we play there," Horton said. "There are some great high school players down there and we hope some of them will be Razorbacks. We are going to work hard to make sure that happens."
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