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Mack Brown Encouraged Recruits to Look Around At Other Schools

The widespread exodus of the 2014 class might have something to do with encouragement to explore other programs from the former head coach.

Ronald Martinez

Imagine being a teenage football recruit taking your official visit to the University of Texas. You're excited to finally get on campus and experience everything that Austin has to offer. You're an emotional mess, expected territory with your age, and all of your excitement about committing to Texas and your future is effectively curb-stomped when Mack Brown announces his retirement.

That's what happened to Texas safety commit John Bonney, a Houston product who has wavered on his commitment ever since Mack Brown stepped down. The four-star safety has taken recent visits to Auburn and Baylor, and with just days left before National Signing Day, it is very possible the Bonney ends up at another program, potentially one that is competing with Texas year after year for conference championships. So what happened with the Longhorn recruits during the awkward 'Awards Banquet Weekend' that made them start dropping like flies? Bonney shed some light on what he was told during his official visit:

I was at my official visit when Mack Brown resigned and he told us all to go look around. He said he'd even talk to other coaches for you and everything because he really just wanted the best for us as players.

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This isn't meant to start another "WEHATEMACKBROWN" thread, but to consider an alternate explanation as to why the current Longhorn staff is having trouble maintaining commitments from the 2014 class. There are a lot of reasons why commits would want to look around at other schools besides being encouraged by the head coach on their official visit, but it does raise the question of "What is the proper procedure?" for a head coach in this situation. Especially when that head coach is still employed with the University. It's all a bit ironic coming from the man whose mantra for so long was: "You commit to the school, not the coach."

Is it better to encourage the recruits to trust the University to provide them with the best coaches in the country? I would be shocked if Mack Brown didn't sell the school as best as he could to these recruits before he left. Or are there so many factors in play that the best route is to tell them to look around? Regardless, there has been a lot of attrition with the 2014 recruiting class, this is a very possible reason why.