Recruiting is just one of the many ways college athletics have evolved throughout the years. In the new era of collegiate sports you must have an impressive coaching staff that you can feel comfortable with, a solid team, great facilities, tradition and history, a passionate fan base with an online presence—and a great graphics department. As ESPN’s Recruiting Nation put it- “Any school can offer a scholarship…what helps some schools get ahead of the pack?”
ESPN outlined some of the best pitches from various schools that are used to reel recruits in. Notre Dame’s pitch to the top dual threat quarterback in the 2015 class pictured him among ND’s 7 Heisman winners, suggesting he is next. Butch Jones had the right idea, sending Mother’s Day cards from Tennessee to the ladies that care for his football prospects. Northwestern went with a superhero theme- photoshopping 3-star recruit Tyriq Thompson into Superman, coming in to “save” the program. Of course, Georgia’s hand-drawn portraits made the list. Ohio State is reminding recruits of their NFL success, photoshopping them in with Rodger Goodell with the phrase “Will you be next?”.
— Matt Elam™6⃣9⃣ (@FballIsLife69) November 21, 2013
Also making the list- none other than the University of Kentucky. You’ve seen recruits and now-players (like Drew Barker or Stanley Williams) tweet out a number of the letters they receive from UK.
— -Drew Barker- (@D_Barker7) September 15, 2013
UK has become notorious for flooding the mailboxes of potential players, but these aren’t just any letters. Often this mail these high school players receive turn into posters or pictures. The one making ESPN’s list was tweeted out by Logan Stenberg- a three-star offensive tackle by 247sports who committed early April. 16 letters made into a poster that resembled a 30 for 30 cover called #WhyNot. Personally- this is one of my favorite pitches to date.
— Logan_Stenberg (@LBStenberg) April 28, 2014
So does all this mail and promotion and photoshop (or in UGA’s case drawing) work really work? Judging by UK’s successful sign day and good start on the 2015 class I would have to think yes. If this thinking is true, we owe the graphics department in the recruiting office a huge thank you.
Stoops probably has some of this photoshop art in his office somewhere, but instead of the famous “Attack Every Day” UK football has become notorious for, it reads “Attack Every Mailbox”- and that is exactly what he has done. Well done, Stoops.