Rice's purr-fect recruiting pitch

In college football recruiting, as long as it’s within the rules, it’s never a bad idea to go above and beyond to show how much you want a player. Coaches get to know an athlete’s parents, and that can ultimately mean a coach knowing every little detail about a recruit.

The Rice Owls took it one step further this week. Rice showed love to a recruit’s cat. And apparently, it worked.

Rice picked up a commit in three-star quarterback J.T. Granato from The Kinkaid School in Houston. According to Houston TV station KRIV, Rice scored the commitment after mailing -- get this -- a handwritten note to Granato’s cat, White Sox.

This was posted on the Twitter account of Granato’s father, John:

The note in the letter -- which was addressed to “Kitty Granato,” read, “Please help us to get J.T. to choose Rice.” It then added, “Paw me in case you have any questions.”

Granato had offers from Rice and Houston and interest from multiple schools from coast to coast, including Texas A&M, Maryland, Houston, TCU and Yale. He thought Rice’s gesture was extremely creative, but he also recognized that the program really wanted him. Really, really wanted him.

“I mean it was really funny honestly,” Granato said. “It was just so crazy how hard they recruited me.”

When asked about the cat’s thoughts, Granato said: “She didn’t care. She doesn’t care about anything.”

How often can someone admit a cat helped to get him a scholarship? So much for dogs being man’s best friend in the Granato home.

All jokes aside, Rice is getting a quarterback who put up solid numbers en route to winning Texas’ Southwest Preparatory Conference state championship last season. Granato threw for nearly 3,400 yards and 42 touchdowns.