Matt Rhule made a big announcement today in front of Texas' high school football coaches that should help ingratiate himself with the group.
Rhule was an 'out of the box' hire for Baylor, given his lack of experience in the state of Texas.
During the Texas High School Coaches’ Association’s coaching school, which is underway in Houston, Rhule probably earned some fans.
He announced that Baylor will not recruit players that leave the state for boarding schools like Florida's IMG Academy.
IMG recruits some of the top recruits from all over the country. According to 247Sports, the team's roster this fall features two five-star and 10 four-star recruits.
Rhule wasn't the only one to rail against IMG. Texas' Tom Herman also knocked players leaving the state, but he came short of Rhule's declaration. From the Houston Chronicle:
"I don't understand it," Herman said when asked to speak on players leaving the state to join other programs in an effort to gain an advantage. "I get nervous that one of those things is going to take off here in the state of Texas. I'd be happy - if you've got any kids out there that are thinking about moving - if you want to put me in touch with them and me telling them it's not going to matter in terms of their recruitment because it doesn't.
Herman later clarified that he will still recruit IMG players.
Texas football can be very provincial, giving Rhule a disadvantage as an outsider. He is a New Yorker who played at Penn State, and has coached at Temple, Western Carolina, UCLA, Buffalo, Division III Albright College, and the New York Giants. Of all of the other FBS coached in the state, only UTSA's Frank Wilson also took his job without any other experience as a player or coach in the state.
Herman previously coached at Texas as a graduate assistant, was an assistant at Sam Houston State, Texas State, and Rice, and most recently, head coach at Houston.
Kevin Sumlin was a Texas A&M assistant and Houston head coach before taking over the Aggies.
Gary Patterson has been at TCU since the 1990s, beginning as a coordinator.
SMU's Chad Morris, Texas Tech's Kliff Kingsbury, and Rice's David Bailiff are all Texas natives.
UTEP's Sean Kugler is an alumnus of the school.
North Texas' Seth Littrell previously coached at Texas Tech, while Texas State's Everett Withers was defensive backs coach at Texas.
That leaves Rhule in a pretty big hole in terms of experience with the local coaches, but making a splashy promise like this is a good way to win them over, even though it is a definite risk. No coach wants to lock himself out of IMG.