College Football Needs to Restrict Number of Recruiting Letters Being Sent

Derrick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Barker (Hebron, Ky. Conner) is getting more fan mail than he knows what do to do with and the four-star quarterback prospect is putting his mailman through a considerable workout after a second school has sent him more than 100 recruiting letters. Not even two weeks after he received 115 letters from Kentucky another SEC program sent him 102 letters with Mississippi State the latest to use this over-the-top strategy to try and win over recruits.

This isn’t just used by schools at the bottom of the conference like the Wildcats or in the middle tier like the Bulldogs either, and the trend is quickly becoming used by more and more in the conference. The instigator of this whole trend in recruiting could be Nick Saban as Alabama sent Alvin Kamara more than 100 letters to try and convince the four-star running back to sign with the Crimson Tide.

Three weeks ago it was Butch Jones and Tennessee sending Stanton Truitt a barrage of letters, and he isn’t even considered to be in the same upper-echelon class as Barker or Kamara.

The 6-4, 210-pound recruit is the top prospect in the state of Kentucky and the sixth ranked pro-style quarterback in 247Sports.com composite rankings. Schools all over the country are coveting the strong-armed quarterback who is coming off a junior season that saw him throw for 2,072 yards and 22 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,455 yards and 18 touchdowns.

I think this style is annoying and if I were the parent of Barker or any of the other kids around the country getting this treatment I wouldn’t like this invasion and would be wary that my son was going to get an over-inflated sense of worth. Now if Kentucky or Mississippi State can secure a commitment from Barker, then those fans will say it was well worth it to land the talented signal-caller.

Deregulation’s have been made in terms of contact with a recruit whether it is phone calls, text messages and how many official visits a recruit can take. The one big loophole that needs to be changed in recruiting is the contact on social media and letters which can borderline on stalker-like behavior. Some will say if it works and the player signs with their favorite team, then it’s well worth it, but it totally disrupts the natural order of what recruiting used to be and should be like today.

It used to be about in-home visits from coaches that were waiting for you to get home from school, phone calls after dinner to talk about life and scheduling visits to tour the campus and meet the other coaches and stay with a potential future teammate for the weekend.

That’s still a part of the process, but it’s taken a back seat to mentions on twitter, marathon texting sessions and fan mail that rivals what Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift get from their obsessed fans.

Barker is visiting Tennessee today and one thing I’m sure of is that the Volunteers are saving themselves a lot of money in stamps by having Barker on campus. At least his mailman will get some relief on Sunday when there is no mail.

However, the 2014 Army All-American participant and his family may want to invest in a bigger mailbox because a player of his caliber is not gonna see these crazy recruiting tactics stop anytime soon.

What do you think about this recruiting “strategy,” is it a sign of the times or too much for a teenager?

Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter and add him to your Google network.

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