<
>
EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
Get ESPN+

What coaches really think of recruiting stunts

When the recruiting dead period ended Jan. 13, college coaches came to life. The most visible men in the sport spent the run-up to national signing day dancing, dabbing and doing anything they could conjure up to win over top prospects.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh, a national curiosity from the moment he returned to his alma mater, has arranged sleepovers at recruits' houses and even climbed a tree at one. Alabama coach Nick Saban has been spotted dancing, hitting the Dab and playing Pop-A-Shot with recruits. Weeks after a group of colleges banned the use of hoverboards on their campuses, USC coach Clay Helton appeared on a video riding one and smiling.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly didn't drive the team's equipment truck 920 miles to Georgia to woo recruit Demetrius Robertson, but he had top assistants there to document the 18-wheeler's grand entrance. New Georgia coach Kirby Smart showed up to a recruit's house last week with a bulldog puppy (not UGA).

The home visit has taken on a whole different meaning in this recruiting cycle. And thanks to social media, everything is documented.

The methods have been called bold, brilliant and buzzworthy. They've also been called silly, creepy and fake. Some wonder if the stunts are even necessary, especially for a coach like Saban who last month won his fifth national title.

Six FBS coaches weighed in anonymously on the recent recruiting shenanigans. Some praised the tactics as creative and necessary in a competitive environment. Others questioned the motives behind the displays, how necessary they really are and asked where things will go next.