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It took a while for Mildren to recover from Royal's dynamic presentation,
"Where do we stand, Jack?" was Royal's first question. "Is Texas in this?"
Mildren offered up several uh-uh-uhs.
"If you come to our place," said Royal, "you must know that your opportunities for success after graduation will be greater than they would be if you went anywhere else. If you plan to live in Texas you ought to attend the university. It's that simple."
Mildren, who is a most presentable and likable young man, one who has a quick handshake, a thorough knowledge of football history and the ability to converse with his elders, slowly managed to get across the idea that Texas might have too many good football players.
Royal said, "You're a competitor, Jack. Come to our place, roll up your sleeves and show 'em who's best. The challenge is there. The question is whether you're man enough to meet it."
Jack was hit hard by Royal. His competitive nature was aroused. He had not really ever thought that Texas would be where he would wind up, but now he did. He'd show 'em, just as Royal had challenged him to. Jack was in the perfect frame of mind to meet the easygoing entourage from TCU.
TCU's approach to recruiting over the years has always been wonderfully homey. Its basic appeal is to the small-town or country boy who wants a howdy-type campus and who likes to whip the big guys. There was a time when all of the TCU coaches chewed tobacco and pitched coins at a line outside the stadium in their spare time. A few years ago when TCU built a handsome field house with new offices for the staff, a Fort Worth columnist predicted the coaches wouldn't like it because there was no place to spit.
Jack Mildren did not hear precisely a country-boy kind of argument from Fred Taylor when the TCU coach showed in Abilene with an assistant, Allie White, and an alumnus with a private plane, Oilman Dick Lowe.
"All of the schools are good," said Taylor. "You won't be disappointed with any of us. But TCU's close to your home, and we beat Texas last year, don't forget. We're on the winning path. We're getting close to the top, and you can take us all the way."