To lure the No. 1 recruit in the 2023 class — Arch Manning, nephew of Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli Manning — the Texas Longhorns spent more than a quarter of a million dollars on one weekend.

According to a report from The Athletic, which obtained receipts and expense invoices for the weekend via open records requests, the University of Texas spent nearly $280,000 to host Manning and eight other recruits for an official visit during the weekend of June 17. That weekend included travel, rooms at the Four Seasons Austin, an open bar for parents, all-you-can-eat food throughout, and entertainment.

The Athletic broke down where and how Texas spent all of the $280,000 for the weekend:

  • $21,000 on airfare, car service, and other travel expenses for the recruits and their families
  • $46,696 on 34 hotel rooms at the Four Seasons Austin, a 5-star hotel near campus
  • $17,319.71 on a lunch buffet on Friday
  • $1,813.74 on custom cakes and other personalized snacks in the hotel room of each recruit
  • $3,359.12 on speaker rentals for photo shoots in two separate places — DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium and the Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center — so that families wouldn’t get bored waiting for their turn in front of the camera; the speakers were, according to The Athletic, to “keep the acoustics pleasant” because music played in an empty DKR causes an echo
  • $29,129.40 on a dinner buffet at DKR that included over 100 guests, cocktails, beer, wine, flatware rental, a bartender’s fee, and an ice sculpture
  • $11,880 on an open bar social event at the rooftop/poolside bar at the J.W. Marriott for the recruits’ parents
  • Another hotel buffet at 2 a.m. Friday night
  • $10,226 on a breakfast buffet on Saturday
  • $9,497.72 on a trip to Top Golf for 75 total guests that included food and drinks
  • $36,900 on dinner at III Forks Steakhouse that included 46 7-ounce lobsters, 34 bone-in ribeyes, 26 8-ounce filets, 17 New York strips, sea bass, chicken fried lobster, lobster mac and cheese, and a $6,000 tip
  • $2,357.50 for an hour-long boat cruise on Lady Bird Lake
  • $31,628.75 on another late-night social for recruits’ parents at the W Austin hotel

Manning committed to UT on June 23.

Money well spent?

The New Orleans (La.) Isidore Newman quarterback is the No. 1 overall recruit in the 247 Composite. He’s the crown jewel for the No. 2 recruiting class in the country — a Texas class that features verbal pledges from three 5-star recruits, including Manning, and 13 4-star recruits.