Breaking down Arch Manning’s $280,000 visit to Texas and how it helped Longhorns get involved
College football is a sport where recruiting is often as important to success as the actual pre-game planning.
And in that effort, it doesn’t pay to be cheap. Just ask Texas, which according to a report by Athleticism spent $280,000 on a three-day official visit of nine recruits – the most important of whom was No. 1 overall recruit Arch Manning.
The tour would have included everything from a cruise on Lady Bird Lake, a stay at a luxurious five-star hotel, a stop at Topgolf, and an open bar for parents. And this is only part of the expenses incurred during the visit, all at the expense of Texas.
With that, The Sporting News takes a look at the epic bill that helped Manning – and other key recruits – commit to Steve Sarkisian and Texas:
MORE: Arch Manning gave Steve Sarkisian time to turn things around in Texas – for now
Arch Manning Recruitment Tour
friday june 17
According to The Athletic, Texas spent a pretty penny just to bring Manning and several key recruits to campus for their three-day trip in June (17-19): $21,000 in airfare, car services and other travel expenses.
After the players and their parents arrived Friday at the Four Seasons Austin – where Queen Elizabeth II stayed during a trip to Austin in 1991 – they were treated to a spread including chicken fillets, pizza, greens, a soft pretzel bar and a quesadilla station.
Players then proceeded to their rooms, where they had personalized snacks and cookies, not to mention personalized 6-inch round cakes with burnt orange frosting and “TEXAS” written on the side in white frosting.
The Athletic reports that Texas spent $46,696 on the 34 rooms, which were used by recruits, their family members and some Texas coaches and staff. This does not include a reported lunch buffet that cost $17,319.71.
Later in the day, Texas held six photo ops around Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. To help keep the vibe light – and keep rookies and their parents from getting bored – the Longhorns rented speakers for $3,359.12 to maintain acoustic quality.
To end the evening, the recruits and their families had a meal on the eighth floor of the stadium which welcomed more than 100 visitors. The meal would have included an open bar of cocktails, beer, wine, cutlery hire, bartending fees and an ice sculpture. Final price: $29,129.40.
After returning from DKR, the parents and recruits discovered that Texas had thought ahead and prepared another lunch buffet identical to the one they had enjoyed earlier in the day.
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Saturday June 18
The rookies started the second day of their visit with another five-figure bill: $10,226 for a buffet breakfast, omelet station, liquor and wine.
After a standard tour of campus and Texas athletic facilities, recruits and their options were given the option of taking a shuttle to Topgolf or another shuttle back to the Four Seasons.
The 75 guests who attended Top Golf racked up a tab of $9,497.72, which also included beer, liquor and food (three types of fajitas, guacamole and queso, rice, black beans and desserts) .
Later that night, the recruits and their parents attended dinner at III Forks, an upscale steakhouse with only three locations nationwide (the other two are in Dallas and Jacksonville, Florida).
The menu included 46 7-ounce lobsters, 34 bone-in rib eye, 26 8-ounce tenderloins, 17 New York strips, sea bass, chicken fried lobster, and lobster macaroni and cheese, among other items ordered. After tipping $6,000, the trip to III Forks totaled $36,900.
But wait, there’s more: After dinner, the recruits, their parents, and coaches/staff embarked on an hour-long cruise on Lady Bird Lake that included an ice cream bar and a view of the city’s skyline. Austin. Total price: $2,357.50.
MORE: Arch Manning’s recruiting effect: Texas sees flood of quality hires for Class of 2023
Sunday June 19
The next day, the recruits and their parents skipped the buffet instead of breakfast at Sarkisian’s: arguably the most important aspect of the trip. There, the rookies were able to chat with the sophomore head coach and, in some cases, decide whether or not to participate.
Will Randle, three-star tight end of the class of 2023 and Manning’s teammate at Isidore Newman High School (New Orleans) signed up that day: a harbinger of things to come. Three days later, Manning followed suit:
— Arch Manning (@ArchManning) June 23, 2022
The total bill for Manning’s visit in June was approximately $280,000. The following weekend, however, was even more important: The Athletic reports that the route was almost identical to that Manning and Co. had enjoyed the previous week, but because it featured 14 recruits instead of nine, he trained a higher bill: around $350,000, which brought the two-weekend total to nearly $630,000.
MORE: Inside the Manning football family tree: How Arch Manning is related to Peyton, Eli and Archie
The tactic appears to have worked, as The Athletic reports that, of the 11 visitors who did not commit on the latter of the two visits, nine have committed. In all, 16 of the 23 recruits visited over the two weekends signed up.
If Texas can turn those commitments into wins in the years to come, the Longhorns and their fans will see it as a good investment.