Recruiting inner-city Dallas and Houston, Pt. 2

By the time signing day arrives for the 2003 class, and with Big 12 South recruiting classes that will only be 8, no team will have the same head coach it started out with in 1996. Baylor will have had four head coaches in those eight years, twice as many as every other school. Would these changes in leadership be factors in the numbers of athletes recruited from the inner-city schools of Dallas or Houston, or were other things involved, such as won-loss records or play-off success?

Once upon a time, inner-city school Dallas Carter was winning or competing for state championships. Recruiters from all over the country were knocking down the field house door to get to the bountiful fruits of those efforts, high school football recruits. Organizers even set up and executed a regular season game between a top school from Florida (I think) to meet Carter in the regular season. Of course, travel expenses and time consumption made that sort of thing an "extravagance" to educators and we haven't seen a repeat, but it did go to show just how serious the two states take their high school football. It also "popularized" the schools involved, in this case, Dallas Carter.

However, all that was coming to an end. State championship games were being played by schools from Lufkin, Austin, Midland, Katy, Tyler, Denton, Brenham, and others, but not by Dallas or Houston inner-city schools. Houston Madison got within a game of the state championship, but fell short. Now, we'll continue with the breakdowns.

For the second recruiting season in succession, Baylor would not sign a recruit from an inner-city Dallas school. Texas, meanwhile, would sign 1 (LB Rashad Thomas from Dallas Carter), ironically who came out in the newspapers a couple of weeks before with a commitment to Baylor, however, Baylor had never offered him. Texas A&M, like Baylor signed none, but Texas Tech, like Texas, signed only 1 (RB Foy Munlin from Kimball). Neither of the Oklahoma schools signed a single player from a Dallas inner-city school, making it the leanest year so far with only 2 players taken.

From inner-city Houston, the Bears took 1 (QB Kerry Dixon from Washington), but in a reversal from Dallas, Texas signed none. Texas A&M took 1 (RB Keith Joseph from Lamar) and Texas Tech, in another reversal, didn't take any. The two Oklahoma schools had no reversals as they made it a clean sweep by not signing a single recruit from either the Dallas or Houston inner-city schools. After all was said and done, only 4 athletes from all those schools were signed by Big 12 South teams.

Baylor broke it's string by taking 1 recruit (LB Jamaal Harper from Bryan Adams) from a Dallas inner-city school. Texas took 1 (OL Jonathan Scott from Carter), Texas A&M took 2 (DB Ronald Jones from Carter and DB Jarvis Mays from Kimball), but Texas Tech didn't take any. Oklahoma, fresh off winning it's 7th National Championship didn't sign any, and Oklahoma State completed the blank by not signing any either. All-in-all, doubling the output of a year ago, four were signed from the inner city schools of Dallas.

Baylor didn't sign any from Houston inner-city schools, Texas only signed 1 (OL William Winston from Madison), Texas A&M signed 2 (WR Terrance Thomas from Washington and DL Johnny Jolly from Forest Brook), while Texas Tech signed 1 (RB Ivory McCann from Forest Brook). Oklahoma, although signing a couple from neighboring Galena Park North Shore, and one each from Friendswood Clear Brook and Channelview, didn't sign any from the inner-city. Oklahoma State, who seemed to concentrate mainly on players from Oklahoma, didn't either.

Baylor made it two years in a row for Dallas inner-city recruits by taking 1 (DL Corey Ford from Skyline), but Texas, although hitting the suburbs, didn't sign any. Texas A&M signed 2 (RB Bryce Reed from Samuel and LB Kelvin Flood from Kimball), but Texas Tech didn't sign any. Oklahoma continued its string of "non-signings," while Oklahoma State ended its string by signing 1 (WR Dameon Collins of Bryan Adams). Numbers-wise, it was no better than the previous year as four were signed.

Baylor got back in the race on Houston inner-city recruits by signing 1 (TE Jeff Garner from Austin), while Texas got what many felt was the "jewel" among the inner-city recruits when it signed 1 (QB Vincent Young from Madison). Texas A&M signed Young's teammate as it took a total of 2 (RB Courtney Lewis from Madison and DL Johnny Jolly from Forest Brook {a re-sign}). Texas Tech took 1 (WR Jarrett Hicks from Sharpstown). Meanwhile, Oklahoma signed its first since 1998 with 2 signatures (DL Calvin Thibodeaux and DB Brodney Poole from Westbury), but Oklahoma State didn't sign any.

This year will differ from the others years because instead of talking "signees" we are talking "commitments." Baylor, with new head coach Guy Morriss and staff on hand, jumped into the Dallas inner-city schools in a big way by obtaining commitments from 3 (DB's Josh Bell and Nick Fellows from Skyline, and Braelon Davis from Carter). So far, Texas doesn't have a single commitment from an inner-city school, neither does Texas A&M, but Texas Tech has 1 (DB Chris Parker from Sunset). Oklahoma has 1 (DT Steven Coleman from Skyline), but Oklahoma State, so far has none.

As well as Baylor has done this year in Dallas, they're on the opposite end of the spectrum with no inner-city school commitments. Not only that, but they have only two commitments from the Greater Houston area, and both of those were committed by the previous staff. Texas doesn't have any either, although it did hit a couple of private schools and the suburbs. Texas A&M , nor Texas Tech have commitments from any inner-city school. Oklahoma, meanwhile stepped up again to grab 1 (DE John Williams from Lamar), while Oklahoma State garnered a commitment from 1 (DT Brad Girtman from Memorial). All in all, mainly due to Baylor, the Dallas inner-city schools showed a slight improvement over the two previous years, but in a reversal of sorts, only the two Oklahoma schools have had any success with Houston schools.

Now, with all the data in, here are the new totals:

2000 – Dallas - 2 - - - Houston - 2

2001 – Dallas - 4 - - - Houston - 4

2002 – Dallas - 4 - - - Houston - 7

2003 – Dallas - 5 - - - Houston - 2 incomplete / commitments

So, before showing the individual school totals of how many were taken from each area, what conclusions can be drawn? At a glance, it appears no one has done any worse or that much better than anyone else. To say this school or that school has neglected or "left untouched" this area or that area is to say all of them have or none of them have. There were certainly times when either or both areas were neglected and when both areas were reaped, although much more "reaping" seemed to take place in earlier years. As the championship games moved out among the Austin, San Antonio, Lufkin, Odessa, and other smaller cities and big towns or suburbs, so did the recruiting. When "inner-city" schools in Dallas and Houston start playing for the state championships, the recruiting will return.

After all the totals were in this is how it looked (numbers in parentheses indicate how many of the total number shown were commitments from this year):

TEXAS - 13 (8 from Dallas, 5 from Houston)
BAYLOR - 11 (3) (7 from Dallas, 4 from Houston)
TEXAS TECH - 11 (1) (7 from Dallas, 4 from Houston)
OKLAHOMA - 10 (2) (3 from Dallas, 7 from Houston)
OKLAHOMA STATE - 9 (1) (4 from Dallas, 5 from Houston)
TEXAS A&M - 8 (4 from Dallas, 4 from Houston)

Looking at the totals, there is only a difference of five players over 8 years (so far) between the team with the most and the team with the least. It's certainly much closer than I thought it would be. If we remove the current commitments, this is how it would look:

TEXAS – 13 (8+5)
TEXAS TECH – 10 (6+4)
BAYLOR – 8 (4+4)
OKLAHOMA – 8 (2+6)
TEXAS A&M – 8 (4+4)

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