As they say, everything is bigger in Texas – including the influence of athletes. Texas is known for its competitive sport teams at a variety of level. Many of the star athletes we see today are products of Texas. If they don't have roots in Texas, they may have played in one of the top college athletic programs in Texas, or perhaps on one of the many professional teams based in the state.

This list showcases the top 25 athlete influencers in Texas, ideal candidates for any brand looking to appeal to a Texas market. Whether they are born and raised in the state or a star of a professional franchise, all of these athletes call Texas home. Using OpenSponsorship's AI-powered platform, this list was generated from unique insights into athletes' personal, collegiate, and professional backgrounds and follower demographics. This range of professional athletes has a combined 4.5 million followers located in Texas. With an emphasis on athletes who were born in or attended college in Texas, this list ranks the most influential athletes in the state. 

  1. JJ Watt
    As a star defensive end for the Houston Texans for the past 10 seasons, JJ Watt has become a Texas star. His philanthropic efforts after Hurricane Harvey helped raise over $41 million for residents affected by the natural disaster in the Houston area. 
  2. Dez Bryant
    This former wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys was born in Galveston, TX and currently resides in Dallas. Despite now playing for the Baltimore Ravens, Dez Bryant's Texas ties remain strong with 19% of his 5.8M following located in Texas. 
  3. Deshaun Watson
    As the current quarterback for the Houston Texans, Deshaun Watson is a full-time resident of Texas. The Texan fans love him with 15% of his 2.8M following living in Texas.
  4. LaMarcus Aldridge 
    This current San Antonio Spurs player resides in San Antonio, Texas. With his two seasons playing basketball with the University of Texas at Austin, his Texas following grew to 16% of his 1.2M following.
  5. Noah J456
    This e-sports star was born in Texas and currently lives in Austin. Born and bred in the big state, 6% of his 6.4M followers are located in Texas.
  6. Justin Verlander
    As the 2017 ALCS MVP and 2x Cy-Young Award winner, Justin Verlander's pitching has made a splash in Texas baseball. A starting pitcher for the Houston Astros since 2017, he has 2.1M followers.
  7. Jose Altuve 
    While not a native to the US, the current second baseman for Houston Astros has made Texas his home. From his residence in Houston, Altuve has 19% of his 1.7M followers in Texas.
  8. Morgan Simianer
    Rising to fame in the Netflix series Cheer, Morgan Simianer showed off her Texas roots. Currently attending Navarro College in Corsicana, TX, her 1.3M following is composed of 17% Texans. 
  9. Alex Bregman
    This current infielder for the Houston Astros helped the team bring a World Series back to Houston in 2018.  As a 2-time All Star, Alex Bregman has gained a large Texas following with 35% of his 977K followers being Texans. 
  10. D’Onta Foreman 
    A current running back for Houston Texans, D'Onta Foreman grew up in the state. After attending UT Austin, he accumulated quite the Texas following with 54% of his 89K followers from Texas.
  11. Connor Williams
    This Texan was born in Coppell, TX, attended UT Austin for college, and is the current offensive guard for the Dallas Cowboys. With a lifetime in the state, 36% of his 111K following can relate to the Texas lifestyle.
  12. Charles Omenihu
    The current defensive end for Houston Texans has lived all over the great state. Born in Houston, raised in Dallas, and attending school at UT Austin, Charles Omenihu covers the large map. 48% of his 48K following lives in Texas.
  13. Brian Cushing
    This former linebacker for Houston Texans wanted to stay in Texas and became the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the team. His persistence is reflected in the 46% of his 794K followers who are located in Texas.
  14. Tony Romo
    An iconic former quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, Tony Romo played 15 seasons for Dallas, and later transitioned to the sports entertainment space. In his long career, he gained 27% of his 1.3M followers from Texas.
  15. Carlos Correa
    This Puerto Rican shortstop for the Houston Astros resides in Houston. Due to his spectacular performance for the World Series winning team, 26% of his 1.2M following is located in Texas.
  16. Sanya Richards-Ross
    As a retired Track+Field Olympian, Sanya Richards-Ross resides in Austin, TX, after attending college there. 11% of her 516K following is from Texas
  17. Deion Sanders
    A former NFL and MLB player, Deion Sanders built his life in Texas after playing with the Dallas Cowboys. Coaching his son's football team in Cedar Hill, TX, Deion has retained 12% of Texans out of his 1.1M followers. 
  18. Errol Spence Jr.
    This winning boxer was raised in Texas and resides in Desoto, TX. Taught his skills by his father, Errol Spence, he grew in prominence with 16% of his 869K followers in TX.
  19. Daniel House
    After playing for the Houston Cougars and Texas A&M in his college career, he is now a current Houston Rockets player. Never straying far from Houston, 28% of his 89K following is located in Texas
  20. Donovan Wilson
    This current Dallas Cowboys player played college football at Texas A&M, maintaining 46% of his 41K following that lives in Texas.
  21. Jaylon Smith
    Currently residing in Dallas, TX and playing linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, Jaylon Smith has 23% of his 1.1M following living in Texas.
  22. Demarcus Lawrence
    This current defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys resides in Dallas and 29% of his 771K following is located in Texas.
  23. Patty Mills
    Now a San Antonio local, this current San Antonio Spurs player, has 20% of his 838K following in Texas.
  24. Youlieski Gurriel
    This talented Houston Astros player resides in Houston and has gained a 406K following with 40% located in Texas.
  25. Ivan Rodriguez
    A former Texas Ranger, this Hall of Fame catcher has received numerous accolades over his 21-year career with the MLB. Currently residing in Dallas, 23% of his 209K following is from Texas.  


These athletes would be perfect additions to the marketing plans of Texas-based brands or national companies who are looking to target a Texas audience. Work with one of these top athlete influencers and receive higher engagement and awareness among their following. View all of these athletes' profiles and begin working with them now by joining OpenSponsorship!

Ashton Jimenez

Written by Ashton Jimenez

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