Adonis Ameen-Moore has been a fixture in Colorado high school football since his freshman season. Playing for state power Denver Mullen High School, Ameen-Moore has posted 1,000 yard plus seasons each year while his team has won multiple state titles. Due to his productivity and his team's high profile, (Mullen produces multiple DI players each year) Ameen-Moore has been on the radar of DI programs for quite some time. Currently five schools have offered Ameen-Moore, Scouts #68 ranked running back in the class of 2011, a scholarship. Two of the schools that have offered, Colorado and Kansas State, are deeply involved in the realignment process and each school's football program may be affected in very different ways with the shake up.
For Colorado, currently the only Big 12 school to officially be moving to a new conference, the Pac 10 move is a positive. The Buffs are now linked to Pac 10 academics and multiple high profile TV markets as well as an increased recruiting base. The move is not without hazards as Colorado, who has struggled in football over the past few years, could move to a conference that potentially has more teams, thus placing them even lower on the rung. Also, Colorado's football program was just sanctioned by the NCAA for failing to meet academic requirements, obviously not something the Pac 10 can be happy about.
Kansas State as well as their other Big 12 North brethren such as Kansas and Iowa State may soon be schools without a conference. The Wildcats, who themselves have struggled in football over the past few seasons, may find it difficult to bring players to Manhattan as this conference limbo continues. Potentially, the Wildcats like other Big 12 north schools not involved in outside conference courtships, could be relegated to lesser conferences, thus limiting the bowl game and TV revenues needed to run a top flight athletic program.
Ameen-Moore with the typical adaptability of the young says, "I mean the thought of the Big 12 breaking up does stink because I do like the Big 12 and I would like to play in it, but I don't see the conference changes playing a big role in my college decision" Following the same adaptable line when asked about the end of rivalries such as Nebraska versus Colorado Ameen-Moore says, "Sad to see those rivalries go but I guess they see that it's time for new rivalries to start."
Another Colorado prep football recruit with a vested interest in the potential conference shakeups is Marc Mustoe. Mustoe, a 6-7 270 pound offensive tackle, may currently be the Centennial state's hottest prospect. Going from a relative unknown, the Arvada West tackle with tons of upside has picked up twelve offers in the past two months. The majority of these offers have come from Pac 10 and Big 12 schools that could be affected by the potential changes. Mustoe, an honor student, comes across as very prudent regarding his thoughts on the changes stating, "Well these are crazy times, and I really need to give this some serious thought. Hopefully, this will get resolved in a timely manner so I can make an informed decision. It looks like the Big XII will fold, so I'm taking a hard look at the PAC 10, which now includes Colorado. I don't know where Kansas State will end up, but I am looking forward to hearing what the coaches have to say."
As athletic directors from multiple power conferences, discuss and debate money, TV shares and historic shifts in conferences, hundreds of young recruits such as Ameen-Moore and Mustoe will continue, in their own way, to assess and evaluate how the changes impact their future college choices. One thing is certain in this process, as always in sports, there will be winners and losers.
As Athletic Directors discuss historic conference changes, football recruits evaluate their potential college decisions.