Playing in a BCS conference was important to A.J. Justice when picking a school.
Justice, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety, said that before he committed to SMU in August, he was told that the Mustangs would likely be joining either the Big East or Big 12 while he was in college.
Besides the fact that SMU is a program on the rise, being a part of an automatic-qualifying conference intrigued Justice.
After months of deliberation, SMU was announced as a new Big East member a couple of weeks ago and will officially join the conference in 2013.
"I like that a lot," said Justice, a three-star recruit out of Stratford High School in Houston (the same high school Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck attended). "I'm really excited. That was definitely an important part of my decision."
Justice is excited about becoming a Mustang, although he said the fact that June Jones almost left the program for Arizona State a few weeks ago scared him.
"I didn't like it," Justice said. "But I talked to my recruiting coach [Jeff Reinebold] and he cleared things up for me.
"If [Jones] had left, that would have majorly affected my commitment. I'm not sure [what other schools I would have looked at] but I would have put myself out there to see what was available."
But SMU fans don't need to worry about losing Justice anymore. Asked if he's a solid commit now, Justice said, "Yes I am."
Justice was supposed to take his official visit two weeks ago, but there were some paperwork and NCAA clearinghouse issues that hadn't been resolved, so he's rescheduled for a weekend in January.
Right now, Justice is playing basketball (he's a forward) and says he may run track to stay in shape for football. He runs the 100, 200 and 400-meter events and said he may do hurdles as well.
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