New Texas Tech football coach Joey McGuire knows his way around a prospect's living room. And his deep-seated understanding of that atmosphere - an understanding built in part by being on the other side of recruiting, as a high school coach with a 141-42 record - is why the Red Raiders are already being lauded for their in-state recruiting success.
What's been the winning pitch in those living rooms?
"I have six other former Texas high school coaches on this staff,'' McGuire tells me in an exclusive interview with Red Raider Review on Sports Illustrated. "That's a tremendous help. We have great connections in Texas. The coaches in this state know us.
"They know they can trust us.''
"Trust.'' That pitch is resonating. Since his early November arrival, McGuire has added 20 hard commits to the program, and importantly, 19 of the incoming student/athletes are from schools in the Lone Star State.
And McGuire tells me that's central to the plan to hopefully win now, starting with Week 1 on Sept. 3, and to sustain winning.
"That is huge for us,'' he said of succeeding in-state, "because the majority of this roster will be built on Texas players and the neighboring states. Our plan is also to built it with high school players and let them grow in our program.''
That plan might require a bit more patience than other paths. But McGuire, 50, long ago mastered part of that path. He oversaw a turnaround at Cedar Hill High in DFW, leading the school to 12 consecutive playoff appearances and three state championships. He then was part of a successful program at Baylor in his leap to the next level before overseeing the Red Raiders.
And overseeing the elements of "the pitch.''
Some of the most notable additions have been EDGE Isaiah Crawford, cornerback Calvin Simpson-Hunt, athlete Anquan Willis and safety Brenden Jordan. ... and more are surely coming to Lubbock.
"The kids and their families learn that we are player-centered - our players come first,' McGuire tells me of the theme of his program. "We have a great university to recruit to, where you can stufy a wide variety of things and get a great education in addition to playing football.
"It's our jobs to make our players the best version of themselves.''
And it's Joey McGuire's job to do the same with the Texas Tech football program - one sincere Texas-focused "pitch'' at a time.
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