Coaching staffs have to be creative when it comes to attracting a football recruit’s attention. Let’s face it, when it comes to turning a teenager’s head, staff members are competing with other schools, girlfriends, social media and … ahem … selfies. So how does a staff make its school stand out on a daily basis?
Let’s face it–every top school has great facilities, accommodating coaches, big stadiums, great fans. It’s a tie all the way around, so being different works.
Georgia went creative recently with D’Andre Walker. Walker is a coveted in-state defensive end out of the town of Fairburn. He received a sketched portrait of himself, with half of his Langston Hughes H.S. jersey on, and the other half in the well recognized black and red of Georgia. It’s not a half-bad drawing, and up top Georgia head coach Mark Richt wrote “red and black looks good on you” and then signed it. It appears to be Richt’s handwriting, though it’s unclear who did the drawing.
Walker promptly Tweeted out a photo of the sketch, which is exactly what Georgia’s staff wants a recruit to do. Currently, Walker seems to be a Georgia-Auburn battle.
For the record, I’ve heard a few interesting stories from recruits on this very topic. Matt Barkley told me during his senior year in high school that Colorado sent him a pizza box full of fake money with the faces of the coaches on each bill, with a note saying “your education is worth a lot of money”. He said that was the most unique form of communication he ever got, so it obviously made an impression. Another recruit said Arizona sent color photos of all the cheerleaders. One recruit said an assistant coach at Texas Tech challenged him to an arm-wrestling contest, and made the kid promise to commit if he could beat him. The recruit won.