Every year it seems there is a battle within a battle in SEC recruiting. It's a game of one-upmanship in which schools look to get the most attention with new and creative ways to sell their program.
A couple of years ago, Alabama overloaded the mailbox of running back Alvin Kamara with 105 letters in one day. It worked, as today Kamara is on the Crimson Tide roster. Such success often results in copycat maneuvers, as Tennessee followed suit a year ago with athlete Stanton Tuitt (who ultimately chose to sign with Auburn).
SEC recruiters have shown that there is little they won't do. From singing karaoke to sending pictures, photoshopped images, puzzles and more. This is serious business.
Now Georgia has hit on the latest in a long line of eye-catching recruiting pitches. The Bulldogs have sent hand-drawn portraits to prospects with a personal note from coach Mark Richt included. There was speculation Richt had drawn the pictures, but safety Rashad Roundtree was told by Georgia coaches that somebody working in the Dawgs’ football office had drawn the portraits. Four-star linebacker Roquan Smith was told the same thing.
“It was really cool,” said Roundtree, who has Georgia among his leaders and also has scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Ohio State, South Carolina and others. “Only a few people got them. A lot of other mail is just stats and posters, but it’s nice to see something different. It made me feel one-of-a-kind.”
Smith, who has offers from more than 20-plus schools and lists Georgia among his leaders, said the portrait was the “most creative thing” he’s received in the mail and speaks volumes to how important he is to the Dawgs.
“To have them take their time to have somebody do that for me was great,” he said. “I loved it. It shows they take time out for their recruits.”
In the dog-eat-dog world of recruiting in the SEC, schools jockey to differentiate themselves when communicating with prospects. Most elite recruits receive around 50 letters a day from schools all over the country, but Georgia has done something that has caught the attention of recruits and separate itself from the other schools.
One rival SEC assistant coach said he wished he thought of the portraits and immediately sent his recruiting staff to come up with something “better.”
Have a look:
— D'Andre Walker (@LuxuryLife1K) April 2, 2014
— Tree (@Rashad_Tr33) March 31, 2014
— Hunnit_Gang1 (@RoquanSmith1) February 28, 2014