Greetings from the Texas riviera. Been a while since I posted on Tidefans. I thought you all might be interested in some incite into how a relatively lightly recruited kid like Manziel becomes such an instant star.Many who regularly follow this forum probably already are aware of what I'm about to relate but this may be interesting to some.
Historically, Texas H.S. football was known for running backs and linebackers. Obviously, this was a manifestation of a high school philosophy that was ground oriented. Over the years, however, there's been a transformation in offensive philosophy that has changed Texas H.S. football dramatically and has made Texas the equal of California in terms of producing elite QB's and WR's.
I can go back to the days of Port Neches Groves in the Beaumont area or when the Detmers were tearing it up in the Valley but the transformation to the spread O and the development of quality QB's and WR's started with schools like Stephensville and Austin Westlake and exploded @ Southlake Carroll and others who joined the bandwagon. Then the UIL made 7 on 7 spring/summer leagues legal and as they say, the rest his history.
Now, there are Texas QB's playing at major college programs across the country and so many quality QB's are coming out of the state annually, that opportunities to recruit them by schools from coast to coast are huge. Stafford, Daniels, McElroy, Ponder, Luck and on and on and on are all products of Texas H.S. wide open offensive football. This transformation along with Bob Stoops bringing Mike Leach to OU has had a dramatic affect on Big 12 football. Everyone knows that the Big 12, specifically it's roots in the Big 8 and SWC was a physically punishing ground game league. OU, UT, Nebraska, Colorado et al were known for their relentless running attacks. Now, the spread has taken over the league and as you all saw Saturday, it has forced a change in D philosophy to combat the quick strike, YAC, athletes in space, manner by which Big 12 O's operate.
Add the "hurry-up" to the mix and it pretty much blows D stats out of the water. It's very hard to prepare for these O's week in and week out. However, these O's are all about timing and that's why many of us who follow it closely think these O's struggle in bowl games because the layoff disrupts the timing and the opposing team has a long time to prepare.
Guys like Manziel come out every year and are simply not recruited by schools you'd think would be all over them (see UT). Now, clearly, Manziel is special but he's a product of a metamorphasis in Texas H.S. football.
OU's entire recruiting philosophy in terms of D has been changed because of evolution of the Big 12. Don't forget, Sumlin was on our staff as O coordinator before he went to Houston. His O coordinator was a star QB @ TT under Leach who was also our O coordinator. If A&M can put a quality D on the field to match their O, they will be a force to be reckoned with. I think their move to the SEC was brilliant and they have a chance to blow UT and possibly OU out of the recruiting water in Texas.