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Big 12 spotlight: Teams trying to raid the state of Texas

College programs in Texas have it hard enough recruiting against each other and the rest of the Big 12 Conference, but teams from the rest of the country and other Power Five conferences are starting to create a footprint in the Lone Star State. Here are five teams that are starting to develop a bit of a pipeline in Texas.

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Josh Jynes
Josh Jynes

The Buffaloes did well to sink their teeth into DeSoto last year when they signed wide receivers Laviska Shenault and K.D. Nixon - and very nearly, offensive lineman Xavier Newman. From DeSoto in 2018, offensive lineman Josh Jynes is already committed and Lo'Vante Shenault, brother to Laviska, is primed to be a top 2019 prospect in the state. In addition to the staff’s efforts in DeSoto, other players - particularly in the same area - could take a hard look at Colorado down the road as well, such as Bishop Dunne offensive tackle Kievan Myers or Bishop Lynch’s Jarek Broussard.


Calvin Avery
Calvin Avery (Nick Lucero/

Illinois is trying to snag players perceived to be on the second-tier of prospects in the state, and players are seemingly giving the program some serious consideration. Bishop Dunne defensive tackle Calvin Avery recently included the Illini in his top 12 and several of his teammates said they’ve been impressed with what they’ve heard about the program this spring. Illinois is the top offer for Grapevine quarterback Alan Bowman, who seems primed for a big senior season. If Illinois plays its cards right, it could also be in the mix for guys like Christoph Henle and Carson Schleker.


Gemon Green
Gemon Green (Nick Lucero/

Michigan is starting to be a name mentioned more and more around the state. After landing Rivals250 offensive lineman Chuck Filiaga last year, the Wolverines have already picked up commitments from DeSoto twin defensive backs Gemon and German Green. Michigan made it into Rivals100 WR Jalen Preston’s recently released top 12 and is in the top 10 for tight ends and good friends Malcolm Epps and Mustapha Muhammad. Rivals250 defensive tackle Keondre Coburn also included the Wolverines when he trimmed his list down to 16 this past weekend.


Arjei Henderson
Arjei Henderson (

Oregon is catching a lot of attention from Texas recruits this spring - primarily thanks to new offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo, who joined the staff after spending the previous two seasons at Oklahoma State. If things go well for the Ducks this season, 2019 could be a big year in recruiting Texas for them as well. Wide receiver Arjei Henderson, who recently decommitted from Oklahoma, said Oregon is one of three teams in his top 10 that is looking good to him right now. Fellow 2019 receiver Trejan Bridges likes Oregon early on as well. Four-star 2018 receivers Jaylen Waddle and Miles Battle both traveled out to Eugene for the team’s spring game, so the Oregon brand is rebounding quickly in Texas.


Jalen Preston
Jalen Preston (Nick Lucero/

The Utes came so close to picking up a commitment from Rivals100 running back Eno Benjamin in last year’s class, but still came away with commitments from Frisco-Lone Star teammates Jason Shelley and Jaylen Dixon as well as El Paso, Texas, wide receiver Tyquez Hampton. In 2018, the Utes have offered close to 40 Texas recruits, but were included in four-star receiver Drue Jackson’s top six, as well as Jalen Preston’s top 12. Head coach Kyle Whittingham and his offensive assistants have really found a way to click with recruits in Texas, and could pull a few out of the state again this year.