The addition of BYU, Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston to the Big 12 has a huge impact on high school recruiting, and athletes themselves have already made that clear.
As these schools are suspected to join the conference in either 2023 or 2024, some high school recruits may not initially be playing in the Big 12 upon their arrival to campus, but the excitement is already there.
Heights defensive lineman DeMone Green, a big target for Dana Holgorsen and the Coogs, said "I feel like [the expansion] will bring more exposure to not only the Houston football team, but the city as a whole" in a text to VYPE Media. Green, who also has offers from SEC schools, went on to say that the addition of Houston "definitely" has an impact on his decision.
Yates wide receiver Randy "Bobo" Masters shares this shift in views on eventual Big 12 schools, and his connection to one of the programs may have just gotten stronger. In November of 2020, Masters committed to Cincinnati, but later decommitted this past January. Now, he says "The schools that moved into the Big 12 are definitely some to look into now". Apart from Cincinnati, the former Shadow Creek 5A Champion has offers from Houston, and three current Big 12 teams, among many others.
Klein Oak Junior Kaleb Black has been pinned as a want for both Houston and Kansas, and although he has lots of time to decide exactly which program is the best for him, he noted that "The move is great for them and definitely increases the weight they hold".
While most of the athletes asked about the move said that it made an impact on their decision, Dekaney's Jonah Wilson took a much different approach. Wilson, who has already visited Houston's facilities, said "I already liked Houston, Big 12 or not. It's my city, who wouldn't want to put the city on your chest and bring a national championship home? That holds more weight than the conference we play in". Despite already receiving offers from Texas A&M, LSU, and others, the four star receiver is seriously considering his hometown program, something that Cougar football has struggled with among top tier Houston-area athletes for years.
Even though BYU, Cincinnati, and UCF may not have a huge presence in the Texas HS recruiting scene, interest and the offers that go along from those programs will become a much bigger deal to athletes in no time as a result of the changes. As for The University of Houston, this may be their first real chance in decades to keep some of the best talent in the city.