The wins being piled up by TCU and Baylor have done wonders for the schools on the recruiting trail.
In a survey of North Texas football players during November, 71 percent said TCU and Baylor have become the class of the state.
The survey, which included some of the nation’s top recruits as well as top underclassmen, was taken by 41 players, although not every athlete provided an answer for every question.
“Texas athletes have a drive and hunger that comes from a sense of being underrated amongst the prospects from Florida and California, so seeing a college near who has the same mentality and is playing with a chip on their shoulder like us Texas athletes do draws our attention greatly,” one blue chip recruit said about TCU.
It was that kind of swagger that one recruit said endeared Baylor to him.
TCU and Baylor headlined the top two schools that recruits said were the most fun to visit. The Horned Frogs and Bears also had the coolest coaching staffs, according to the poll, with Baylor wide receiver coach Kendal Briles mentioned by name.
Texas A&M, which reached new heights in popularity under coach Kevin Sumlin, is in the midst of a roller-coaster season after the departure of quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Most North Texas recruits have stayed on the ride, saying the Aggies still hold high marks in popularity.
“They will stabilize when they get the QB situation under control,” one recruit said.
But many of the 30 percent who said A&M’s popularity has dwindled cite unfulfilled expectations as the reason for the decline.
“The fact that they were so hyped up to be one of the best teams this year, many people and recruits were disappointed and are now questioning them,” one recruit said.
There are still a few recruits who put little stock in wins, swagger and coolness.
One player said his sole reason for picking a future school is its kinesiology department.
Some simply just don’t buy into the hype.
“Coolness and popularity don’t make my decision,” one recruit said. “I care about how comfortable I am at the college and other things as well.”
Most fun school to visit?
3. Texas Tech, LSU, Ole Miss
Also mentioned: Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Arizona State, USC, Tennessee, Missouri, Stanford, Midwestern State
Most fun activity on visit?
1. Being on field during pregame
2. Meeting players
3. Watching practice
Also mentioned: Visiting dorms
“I loved seeing the tradition each school has, and how into the games all there fans are.”
“I liked the walk to the stadium at Ole Miss”
Top methods of contact used by college coaches?
2. Phone call
3. Email, text messages
Also mentioned: Face-to-face, FaceTime
Preferred methods of contact?
2. Phone call, Text message
“I prefer Twitter, because it’s what I’m on majority of my free time and during the day.”
“Doesn’t matter. I won’t answer if I’m busy.”
Notable: Facebook, mentioned as a method in surveys over the past two years, has dropped off the radar.
Programs that boast the coolest coaches?
3. Texas Tech, Ole Miss, USC, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Arkansas, Colorado, LSU, Notre Dame, Iowa State, Stanford
Programs with the least favorite coaching staffs?
1. Oklahoma State
2. Midwestern State
Also mentioned: TCU, Tulsa, Houston, Baylor
Most difficult programs to work with in the recruiting process?
Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oregon, Ole Miss, Missouri, SMU, Oklahoma State
Interesting recruiting tactics?