Don't think Mack Brown's revolutionized recruiting in the state of Texas? Think again. As Mack continues to dominate the state by hand picking his guys during February of their junior years, other teams in the mix for Texas talent are scrambling to get an edge.
The latest tactic? Offering scholarships to sophomores, a tactic Mack has wisely said he won't touch. The reverberations from Mack Brown's power in the state are being felt at schools like Texas A&M, where coach Dennis Franchione has already picked up commitments for 11 kids for his 2008 class. That's about half his class, and most of the state's top talent is still up for grabs, with Mack yet to extend a single offer.
The race to grab commitments from players before Mack's decided to bring them in to Texas for junior day workouts is a slippery, dangerous slope for the competition. Franchione might wind up with a haul of early commitments who ultimately prevent him from filling out a robust class with better talent, while the best in the state aren't likely to make commitments prior to getting word of whether they'll be receiving a junior day invite from Brown.
Still, I expect this trend to continue, rather than fade away. Desperate competitors will continue to look for ways to beat Mack Brown at his own game, but the reality of the situation is that Mack is the one who's making the rules, and trying to skirt them is far more likely to lead to a backfire than to force Brown to react differently than he wants to.
In the meantime, keep an eye on your freshman son's cell phone. Coach Fran may be sending him a text any day now.