Handwritten letters still impactful

College coaches are finding personalization still has a place in recruiting

Updated: April 11, 2013, 1:55 PM ET
By Jeremy Crabtree | ESPN RecruitingNation

In this age of writing in 140 characters or less, some college football coaches have found that going old-school is the best way to sell their program to high-profile recruits.

Instead of focusing on social media campaigns that feature fancy Facebook pages, trending YouTube videos or catchy hashtags, some schools have found character limits limit their opportunities to build relationships with prospects.

Every school can send a prospect a postcard or a pamphlet. Schools have even redesigned their official websites and launched social media campaigns with recruiting in mind. But many of those things are generic and not personal enough to impress recruits.

That's why many college coaches are returning to one of the most tried and true instruments in the recruiting world -- the handwritten letter. What might seem strange and outdated to many high school students today is becoming a renewed tool in the arsenal of college coaches.

"We at Oklahoma State think that the new social media campaigns are great, but the old-fashioned handwritten note still hits home the best," said Van Malone, who is heading into his second season coaching cornerbacks in Stillwater after earning a reputation as one of the Midlands' top recruiters at Texas A&M and Tulsa. "I write to all the people who will play a role in the process because they want to feel like they're a part of the process."


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Jeremy Crabtree

RecruitingNation, Reporter