Could Muschamp have an edge in Texas?

Can Florida head coach Will Muschamp soar in the rare air of Texas recruiting? (AP photo)

Among the many reasons for Texas A&M to (someday) move to the SEC, many have speculated that such a move would open up some major TV markets and expand the league’s ability to recruit in some of the nation’s most fertile ground.

Surely more than a few Florida recruiting fans are dreaming of head coach Will Muschamp using all of his Texas connections to give the Gators an advantage.

Not so fast.

For starters, Muschamp was not responsible for any specific territory while he was defensive coordinator at Texas. So you can throw out the idea of his Texas connections (although I’m sure he has some).

Also, I’m told Muschamp didn’t personally recruit a whole lot of players, and when he did they were often out of state. He had a no-nonsense approach to recruiting and was therefore typically matched up only with players who would respond to such a tact.

The dream of Florida suddenly gaining a foothold in the rich state of Texas may just be a fantasy … for now.

“Unless the Big 12 completely breaks up I think it’ll take a while. Because that’s the dominant conference around here. It’s on TV,” said Brian Perroni, a national recruiting analyst for who covers the southwest region. “I think it’s still going to be a little hard for SEC schools to come in. Once Texas A&M — assuming they move over there — once they really get in the groove and start play those schools and (the SEC is) on TV (in Texas) on a regular basis and in College Station on a regular basis, then I think it will happen. I think the real full effect will probably take three or four years to kick in.

“Muschamp will probably have a little bit of an advantage but I think Florida may be a little far away. LSU, Arkansas, maybe Ole Miss and Mississippi State would probably have the fastest results because they’re geographically closer and kids don’t want to go where they feel too far away from home.”

Recruiting in the state of Texas is a different animal. It happens early, and it’s dominated by UT. The Longhorns typically send out very few offers and usually get who they want. Head coach Mack Brown has created a lot of exclusivity with his offers.

Since Muschamp came to UF many fans have pondered the idea of him flipping recruits from UT or at least competing for undecided prospects. It hasn’t happened and likely won’t.

The Longhorns are coming off a 5-7 season and still got just about everyone they wanted in their Class of 2012.

“You could be the greatest recruiter in the world and I don’t think you’ll see them flip kids from Texas,” Perroni said. “Now if you want to steal kids from Texas A&M or Baylor, that’s a different story, but not Texas.”

Florida actually has more than one coach with Texas ties.

Derek Lewis, who played tight end for the Longhorns and was a graduate assistant there as well, recruits the state for Florida. But in all of my research I am not aware of a single offer the Gators have made to a Texan in this cycle.

“Almost everybody recruits the state of Texas,” Perroni said, “but the ones that put one recruiter on the whole state don’t do nearly as well as the ones that have a guy in Dallas and a guy in Houston and really do a good job of combing all of the small schools trying to find the diamonds in the rough.”

So Florida fans can sit tight and enjoy the advantages inherent in their home state and region. The Gators can and do get everything they need here in the southeast. Muschamp has already done very well by focusing primarily on Florida and Georgia, with a special nod to North Carolina for this class as well.

Fans can certainly keep an eye on the Texas A&M situation and look forward to the possibility of the SEC expanding into another state loaded with high school talent. But it is unlikely such a move would alter Florida’s short- or long-term approach.

“It might help to go in and cherry-pick a kid every year or two for Florida, but I think it could help a school like Ole Miss that does recruit Texas heavily. Kids might see that as a second-tier offer, but if it was a home conference they might be more excited,” Perroni said. “I don’t think it’ll really affect Florida too much to be honest. There’s just so much talent in the southeast.”


  1. The SEC already does play on TV in Texas every Saturday and most people in Texas love the sport of football enough that they would rather watch a good SEC matchup on CBS than a weak matchup between Texas and Baylor.

  2. UF has recruited successfully in Texas before Muschamp. We always have had a couple of Texas products on the roster, Omaris Hines for one. UF’s prime recruiting area is Fl., Ga., the Carolinas, and the midwest and NE. I don’t think it will change with the arrival of Muschamp.

  3. “The SEC already does play on TV in Texas every Saturday and most people in Texas love the sport of football enough that they would rather watch a good SEC matchup on CBS than a weak matchup between Texas and Baylor.”

    What is the difference between watching UT vs. Baylor or say LSU vs A&M? LSU = UT and Aggie = Baylor. Aggie only had two 9 wins seasons over the past decade in the Big 12. Over the past decade, you guys have been just as irrelevant as Baylor. Now all of a sudden you think the SEC will make most Texans care about the SEC or Aggie even more than they do now just because you decided to run there? LOL Get real. TCU and Texas Tech have been better programs than Aggie over the past ten years. And like you said, the SEC already has a footprint in TX’s TV markets, but overall. UT and the Big 12 still owns the markets in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and etc. The only way UT loses footing is if it has a few more 5-7 seasons which won’t happen. Mack Brown will be fired first.

    Bottomline, regardless of conference, TX kids grow up of fans of the state schools rather than a conference. I don’t know what’s so hard to understand about that. Recruiting in TX won’t help Arkie, the MS schools or any other middle to bottom tier SEC school just because they are in the SEC and may play Aggie once a year. The SEC school that will benefit the most is LSU because of location and because they can actually win. It may help Aggie a little for a minute, but after getting their head stomped in every year, they will become even more irrelevant in the state. TCU will recruit better than Aggie in a few years and they are in the Big East. You know why? Because TCU knows how to win. The only thing that’s stopped them from recruiting on par with Mack Brown was the fact that they weren’t in a AQ conference. Now they are in one and if anyone should be scared, it’s Aggie. So please SEC, hurry up and take them, but be prepared for them to demand a portion of the $100M/10yr deal UF has with Fox.

    Concerning Muschamp, his role is absolutely understated in this article when it came to recruiting for UT. He was absolutely a beast on the recruiting trail and got us more than just OOS kids. As a matter of fact, the only OOS kid he got us was Jordan Hicks – TX doesn’t even take many OOS kids. He also got us Jackon Jeffcoat in that same class as Hicks which was huge. He is also responsible for the stellar defensive haul we got in the 2011 class. He is part of the reason why we were able to keep most of that class together (we had one decommit) after the season we had and after losing most of our coaching staff. He told the kids to stick with TX even after it was announced that he was leaving. The kids loved him here.

    This is the deal concerning SEC recruiting in TX and how it relates to Muschamp as well as others in the SEC. Schools like Arkie, the MS schools, Kentucky’s, and etc of your world aren’t going to be anymore appealing to TX kids just because they are in the SEC and just because Aggie bolts to there. The main schools in the SEC respected in TX are UF, Bama, and LSU. Auburn is respected to a certain extent because they just won the title, but nowhere near the level of the three previous schools I mentioned. Muschamp and Saban are both rockstars in TX. Obviously Muschamp from his time with TX and Saban I think is respected by everyone because he’s won titles at two different schools. Both have connections here. Both as well as their two staffs come to high school coaching clinics in TX. so they know and have relationships with TX high school coaches which is key. The thing is both have offered some of the same TX kids as Mack Brown, and neither has beaten Mack out for one yet. Why? Like the article said, because of location. Why would a TX kids go there if they can go to the flagship school in the state, win and play for a title as well? Just being in the SEC is not enough. UT offers the same, if not more than those top SEC schools to TX kids. The Ags going to the SEC isn’t really going to make that much of a difference. The kids can still win at UT, will get even more TV exposure, UT has been in the hunt for a title minus this past year, and Mack Brown does a good job of putting kids in the NFL. I think UT is 2nd behind tOSU with active members in the NFL. The same scenario would apply even if comparing middle to bottom tier schools in TX to their equivalents in the SEC. The only advantage one of those could use over the other is players put in the NFL I guess. What good is playing int he SEC or Big 12 if you’re not winning anyway. Recruiting will be affected very little by Aggie going to the SEC. The real threat to instate recruiting is TCU. TCU is the one to watch when it comes to recruiting TX over the next few years. I’m more afraid of them threatening than anyone else. They are in a great location, going to a AQ conference, and have a great coach who can win.

    Anyway, I guess we will see. If Muchamp or Saban were at LSU, I would be crapping my pants. LSU gets a decent amount of kids from the Houston area, but Miles is no Saban or Muschamp. If either were at LSU, they would be snatching kids out of TX like Stoops was when he first got to OU.

    Anyway, good luck to UF this season. Muschamp is still loved here, so I will be pulling for him and you guys. Hope you guys have a better season his year.