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Texas are 'redefining' the borders of in-state football recruiting


(SportsDay)
The cold war between Texas and Texas A&M's football teams continues to fill the space in the offseason, with both sides stockpiling several of the state's top recruits.
On Tuesday, Texas landed senior tight end Malcolm Epps, a 4-star recruit out of Spring Dekaney. The addition comes two days after Richland senior linebacker DaShaun White, also a 4-star prospect, committed to A&M.
So far in the 2018 recruiting cycle, the Longhorns and the Aggies have landed 15 of the state's top 30 prospects in 247Sports' composite ranking. Texas has the No. 2 class in the country, while A&M checks in at 11th.
This momentum seems different from years past. To Jeff Banks, an A&M assistant and the Aggies' top recruiter, the moves made by the Lone Star State's traditional powers signal a shift in the recruiting landscape.
In June, Banks said A&M and Texas are on the verge of reestablishing their in-state recruiting dominance. 
"What you're seeing is a redefining of the borders," Banks told The News. 
It's looked that way throughout the summer, with both sides trading key commitments. The Longhorns have recruited well under new coach Tom Herman, while A&M has continued to recruit well as coach Kevin Sumlin enters a pivotal sixth season in College Station.
The last time the two teams combined for at 15 of the state's top 30 players was in 2015, when Mesquite Poteet linebacker Malik Jefferson (Texas) and Allen quarterback Kyler Murray (A&M) were among the top of the class.
But in this case, Texas and A&M are landing more highly-coveted recruits. Ten of the top 15 recruits have made non-binding pledges to play for the Longhorns or the Aggies. Texas currently has four of the top five players in the state.
"Our coaches have been recruiting their tails off, and that has paid some tangible dividends thus far," Herman said at Big 12 media days in July. "And I think that's, in large part, due to their relationships with the high school coaches in this great state."
In the past few years, out-of-state powers have poached some of the state's most talented players. As of now in the recruiting process, only of the state's top 15 players according to 247Sports, Yoakum wide receiver Joshua Moore, is committed to an out-of-state school.
That might change between now and December's signing day. And in the end, it may not significantly alter the future of both programs.
At the very least, however, it shows that the Longhorns and the Aggies might be reestablishing old ways on the recruiting trail.
"Now that it's back to being A&M vs. Texas," Banks said, "I think the kids are saying, 'Ooh, do I go to Texas or do I go to Texas A&M,' and that's pretty cool."



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