The Blitz: WAC renews alliance with ASUN, one LSC president seeks a "Texas-centric" conference, and former TVCC quarterback leads Mexican team to title

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It was another busy week on the small college front, and we are going to bring “The Blitz” to you in a different format this week. The news is listed by conference beginning with FCS.

This week’s news features another football alliance between the Western Athletic Conference and the ASUN for the 2022 football season, a push to eliminate the final year of transition for Tarleton.

Also, one president of a Lone Star Conference school’s desire for a “Texas-centric” conference, a former Trinity Valley quarterback winning a title in Mexico, and multiple commitments and transfer news.

Western Athletic Conference

  • The WAC and the ASUN renewed their football alliance to ensure an automatic qualifier in the FCS playoffs in 2022. The conferences are currently finalizing the process to award the automatic bid this season, which is made difficult with schedules mostly set at this point in the offseason.

  • The WAC made another big announcement last week, releasing a statement supporting Tarleton and Utah Tech's (formerly Dixie State) requests to be eligible to earn the conference’s automatic qualifier in NCAA championships beginning in the 2022-2023 school year. Both schools are ineligible for the postseason and set to start their fourth and final year of transition from Division II to FCS in 2022-2023.

  • Sam Houston announced its first non-conference home-and-home series as a member of FBS against Hawaii for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

  • Abilene Christian had another big week on the recruiting trail earning commitments from two wide receivers. New Mexico’s Zarak Scruggs and Cisco’s Blayne Taylor announced their intention to transfer to ACU.

  • Tarleton received a commitment from former Southwestern Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and All-American wide receiver Dejuan Miller. In addition, Montana State wide receiver Jaden Smith announced he is returning to Texas to play for the Texans.

  • UT Permian Basin wide receiver Jordan Smart and Washington running back Caleb Berry announced their intentions to transfer to UIW.

  • North Texas defensive lineman Trenton Ward is transferring to Sam Houston while Bearkats’ running back Ramon Jefferson decommitted from Colorado.

  • Two Lamar players are transferring to Navarro, with former Grandview standout Dane Jentsch and linebacker Caimyn Layne announcing their decision to play for the Bulldogs.

Southland Conference

  • Texas A&M-Commerce Director of Athletics, Tim McMurray, released a statement announcing he is leaving the Lions to accept an upcoming professional opportunity. Eric Coleman was named the Interim Athletics Director, and McMurray plans to remain in an advisory role through mid-June.

Lone Star Conference

  • Matt Brown of interviewed West Texas A&M president Dr. Walter Wendler for Collegiate Sports Connect on the future of DII and his idea for a Texas-centric conference. Dr. Wendler is very optimistic about the future of DII sports and restated his desire not to move to FCS. Rumors have swirled for months around West Texas A&M, Midwestern State, and Angelo State over whether they will remain in the LSC or follow Tarleton and Texas A&M-Commerce to FCS. The development of a “Texas-centric” conference has not gained much traction but is something we will keep an ear out for in the future. 

  • West Texas A&M announced changes to its 2022 and 2023 football schedule. The Buffs will open the 2022 season at home against Western Colorado in Week 1 before traveling to Adams State for a Week 2 contest. WT will open the 2023 season at Western Colorado and host Adams State in Week 2.

  • Angelo State offensive lineman Willis Patrick announced he is transferring to FCS Jackson State.

American Southwest Conference

  • Riley Zayas from posted a fantastic story on All-ASC defensive tackle Caleb Bell transferring from Hardin-Simmons to Mary Hardin-Baylor.

  • Edna wide receiver Layton Ressman, Navarro Early College athlete Keillan Moore, and Marble Falls kicker Logan Barnes committed to Texas Lutheran.

  • Southwestern picked up a commitment from Cedar Creek offensive lineman A.J. Sinor.

  • McMurry announced the addition of Bruni DL Jonaven Villarreal, Austin Northeast Prep ATH Jerod Thomas, Stafford DL Braylon Rideau, Santa Fe OL Canton Kempf, Mart ATH Kei’Shawn Clater, Bandera DB Luke Barnett, Rockport-Fulton LB Payton McAlister, Grapeland HS OL Jason DeCluette, and Waco Robinson DE/LB Darren Gassaway to the War Hawks 2022 recruiting class.

  • Mary Hardin-Baylor defensive end Behnjamin Marin entered the transfer portal.

Sooner Athletic Conference

  • Wayland Baptist had a big week in recruiting with commitments from Abilene High athlete Alquan Livinston, Mineral Wells running back Tristan Gray, and Reagan Country athlete Dylan Dodd.

  • Waco La Vega defensive lineman Jamien Henley signed with SAGU, while the lions also received a commitment from East Central Community College offensive lineman Kemani Shaffer.

Southwestern Junior College Football Conference

  • Former Trinity Valley quarterback Shelton Eppler led Fundidores de Monterrey to its first-ever title in Mexico’s Liga de Futbol Americano Profesional. Eppler spent last fall with the Aalborg 89ers in Denmark and finished his collegiate career at Northwestern State.

  • Former Navarro defensive tackle Trevon Mason signed a rookie free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

  • Former Trinity Valley defensive back Kenneth George Jr. signed with the Tennessee Titans.

  • Blinn defensive back Blake Thompson signed with Iowa State.

  • Cisco running back Christian Mosley committed to North Carolina Central.

  • Army offensive lineman Turner Hilburn announced his intention to transfer to Navarro.

  • Temple quarterback Matthew Duncan has committed to Trinity Valley.

  • Texas defensive back Marques Caldwell announced he is transferring to Navarro.

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