I was thinking about this the other day...how much of a difference does UMD being a UA school (in addition to its birthplace as well as the man who created it) mean to a recruit? I see lots of references to it across many posts, but never have I seen a recruit say "Yes, I chose Maryland, and it's awesome that they're a UA school" Maybe they CAN'T say as much, I don't know.
I fully understand the influence that brands have, especially over a 17 or 18 year old kid. The name and the swag that comes along with it. UA has crafted the "protect this house", bad ass, go to war image. If I were younger, I'd think it's the shiznit too. Actually I'm not younger, but I still think it's the bee's knees. This pondering is not to defame or minimize UA and the inroads it has made in the apparel, branding, and recruiting wars. I'm 100% a UA/Plank/Maryland fan.
It's more to ask how much of a difference you think it makes when a recruit is down to a final list of schools...I'd imagine that who the coach is, school prestige, chance to win championship, playing time, hotness of girls, etc all play a bigger role in their decision. As long as the gear is free, whatever, give it to me. Or are the brands reaching kids at such a young age now that it really does play a factor? "I like both coaches the same, but school X rocks UA and school Y rocks Nike, and that's why I went with school X".