Dan McCarney talked a little at his press conference today about all the reasons UNT’s game against Rice is huge.
There’s the obvious with UNT on a roll, about to reach the six-win mark and snap its eight-year run of losing seasons. Getting to a bowl game would also be huge.
Here’s another reason, Rice is loaded with guys who were also offered a scholarship by UNT.
Now it does go both ways. UNT has also won some head-to-head battles with Rice for players. Cyril Lemon had an offer from Rice. So did Daniel Prior.
But just think about what UNT’s roster might look like with these days:
Phillip Gaines — The preseason C-USA Defensive Player of the Year, who plays cornerback, was a player UNT chased pretty hard.
Chris Boswell — One of the best kickers in the country picked Rice over UNT.
Zak Patt — One of Rice’s backup defensive ends was a head-to-head recruiting win for Rice over UNT.
Ross Winship — Rice’s backup defensive tackle was offered by two Texas teams — Rice and UNT — in addition to Colorado State.
Jaylon Finner — One of Rice’s backup defensive backs was also offered by UNT.
A couple of UNT players I talked to today mentioned the recruiting end of it as well when talking about why Thursday’s game is huge. It’s just another factor to consider.