Lake Highlands senior defensive end Reid McCann can attest to the exposure being in the state football playoffs can bring. He got a one-on-one talk last week with movie star Will Smith at a school pep rally that also included a visit from Tony Romo.
McCann also picked up his first Big 12 scholarship offer this week. Iowa State recruiting coordinator Scott Fountain made the move Monday night and Iowa State defensive coordinator Wayne Bolt visited Lake Highlands on Tuesday.
"Coach Fountain says he plans on visiting my house sometime next week," McCann said. "And he will be calling frequently, and hopefully setting up an official visit soon. It is awesome to hear from a Big 12 school."
McCann did well at summer camps and had an offer from Harvard early. The 6-3, 228-pounder has had interest from several schools including Rice and TCU. But it's been the chance to shine in two playoff wins that's also helped McCann prove himself over ever-increasing quality of competition.
An improved defense with McCann and standout linebacker Austin Jones has been a big reason for the Wildcats' improvement from 2-8 last season to 10-2 this year.
Lake Highlands also got a break to move out of the same UIL district with the Plano ISD schools and Allen, but the Wildcats are no realignment qualifier. Lake Highlands won their first outright district Skyline for the top spot.
Lake Highlands and Skyline still are playing in the state's regional semifinals of the Division I and II brackets.
Lake Highlands meets Klein Oak (9-1) in the Class 5A Division II Region II semifinals at Round Rock on Saturday afternoon.
Lake Highlands' football success helped build school and community enthusiasm for a pep rally for its volleyball team last week when Smith and Romo made appearances. Smith was in Dallas at various events to promote a new movie and Lake Highlands was celebrating its volleyball team's first UIL state tournament berth. The football team is one victory away advancing its farthest since reaching the '98 state semifinals and losing to Midland Lee.
McCann wants to keep the good times rolling.
"I am having a blast," He said. "I'm not ready for it to be over."