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Friday, May 9, 2014
Early Offer: Everything isn't better in Texas

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Many observers of football in Texas agree the SEC’s impact on the recruiting trail in the Lone Star State is going to only grow in the future. However, not every SEC team is making a beeline to Dallas, Houston and East Texas to recruit. Plus, both USC and UCLA did their best to impress one of the nation’s top corners recently.

Mark Richt
Mark Richt and Georgia will dip into Texas on occasion -- see Matthew Stafford -- but it's more the exception than the rule.
Some SEC schools stay home
It wasn’t exactly a shocker to see that Texas A&M has signed the most Texans of any SEC program over the past 13 years with a total of 254. It also makes sense to see Missouri second with 91, considering the Tigers were in the Big 12 until 2011. Arkansas (74) and LSU (44) have recruited Texas heavily over the years because of close proximity to major talent pools in Dallas and Houston. Then Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee have started pushing harder into the state, signing a combined 21 players in the past five classes alone.

But Auburn, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina don’t seem to believe things are bigger and better in Texas. Over the last 13 years, Florida has signed only nine Texas recruits, followed by Auburn with five, Georgia two and South Carolina one.

“It's no surprise to see Auburn, Florida and Georgia staying near home,” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said. “There's a lot of guys in the state of Florida and in Georgia that those programs have to evaluate and are exceptional players. So when you have that many guys to evaluate, you have to spend a lot of time making sure. It's a little easier to get that guy. He's more familiar with you, your coaching staff, the university and your odds of signing him become higher.”

LA battle brewing
Long Beach Poly is always home to some of the West’s best prospects each year, and 2015 is no exception thanks to No. 20-ranked Iman Marshall. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound, four-star cornerback has offers from over 25 schools, but most assume, as it has with many Poly kids in the past, it’s going to come down to a UCLA and USC battle. Both schools played host to Marshall recently when he made unofficial visits to the two campuses. Marshall said what stood out to him most about his time at UCLA was the excitement and passion head coach Jim Mora showed during practices. He said the practices were very upbeat and the Bruins also pitched him hard on their new planned football facility. Marshall also liked what he saw at the Trojans’ spring game, especially with the defense. He also pointed out the strong USC tradition is alluring for him.