Stadium atmosphere in victory against USC bodes well in eyes of recruits

CJ Vogel

A record-setting number of fans filled Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium last Saturday evening to watch the Texas Longhorns battle the USC Trojans.

Perhaps the most important visitors in attendance, other than Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, Mo Bamba, Malik Jefferson and yodel boy Mason Ramsey, were some of the best high school football prospects in the nation.

The Longhorns hosted close to 50 high school prospects during the marquee matchup with the Trojans, and several of them were there on official visits.

“You had 40-some odd guys offered or “offerable type” guys that were here unofficially … There’s some really positive things to having official visits on a game day weekend,” head coach Tom Herman said at a press conference Monday. “Our recruits got to see our atmosphere, which was unbelievable, got to see a win against a Top-25 opponent and got to experience Austin.”

The matchup with USC allowed for great emphasis to be put on out-of-state recruits, especially those from the western United States. Earlier this recruiting cycle, Herman went to Arizona to snag a commitment from tight end Brayden Liebrock who was in attendance Saturday night for the USC game.

“When I first walked out there, I could not believe how many people were in those stands,” Liebrook told The Daily Texan. “You could hear every bit of that record-breaking attendance. It was an awesome thing to see.”

Despite half of the 16-man class coming from outside of Texas, there is no shortage of communication between the group.

“We have a commitment group chat so we all stay connected and can talk to each other,” Liebrock said. “When another player joins the #fUTure19, then we add him to the group chat.”

A return to Austin is currently in the works for Liebrock, who’s hoping to see more of the same from Texas students.

Among the uncommitted recruits in attendance last Saturday was four-star wide receiver Elijah Higgins from Bowie High School in Austin.

“The atmosphere was unreal,” Higgins said. “Nothing really surprised me too much.”

The in-state recruiting rivalry has stepped up with Texas A&M’s hiring of Jimbo Fisher. However, the Longhorns did a tremendous job of countering the Aggies’ big recruiting weekend that featured No. 2 Clemson visiting College Station.

Despite the current 2019 recruiting class being the focus of the weekend, the atmosphere at DKR also struck a chord with future classes of Texas recruiting.

Darius Snow, a 2020 safety from Hebron High School in Carrollton, applauded the atmosphere against USC.

“It was definitely one of a kind,” Snow said.

When asked where his weekend visit to DKR stood in ranking with other stadiums, Snow was quick to name it in his top five.

Although Snow won’t be making his college decision based on which school has the best atmosphere, it certainly did not hurt seeing 103,000 fans scream “Texas Fight!” last Saturday night.

Texas is hoping for a similar atmosphere this Saturday when the Longhorns host No. 17 TCU at 3:30 p.m.