The race continues to keep up recruiting

It's safe to say that recruiting isn't the same as it used to be. Heck, I think it's safe to say that it isn't even all that similar to how it was only five or six years ago. Between technology and just the ever-evolving tactics of recruiting, the ways to lure kids to schools varies seemingly with the wind. Well, at Nebraska, as head coach Bill Callahan might tell you, the wind blows all the dang time.

When did text messaging become this big deal? I don't even have text message capability on my cell phone. It was six years ago and I was feeling good that I had a cell phone at all and now, dialing someone up from your car isn't enough. Now you have to be able to text message them as well.

There was a time in my life where I thought I was hip, you know, with things, up with the times, current with technology, verbiage, and music.

Now, I'm just like everyone was with me when I was a kid, not understanding any of it.

I can't keep up

But as much as the demands are upon someone like me to keep up with technology, think about what your average collegiate staff has to do in trying to figure out how to utilize that technology to their advantage in recruiting.

They have to, because someone else, doing what they are doing, somewhere else in the country, already figured it out.

And it's not just technology, but the tactics of recruiting itself that has changed or at least, certain things have become more noticeable about how people do things, why they do them and how that translates to successful or unsuccessful recruiting.

Take Iowa State for example: Head coach Dan McCarney, the guy everyone likes to like, he has a personal touch in that he personally offers every single kid they are going after. Whether it's by the phone, in person, hand-written letter, whatever - when that official offer is finally extended, it's McCarney that's doing the extending.

Not bad

Take Virginia, a school that a couple of years ago was very Texas-like in that they had almost their entire class committed even before their regular season began. What they do is send out these nifty hand-written letters and not just a couple.

A ton

If they want a kid pretty badly, this kid is getting hand-written letters not just from the regional guy that's going after him and the position coach he would eventually play for, but every single coach on that staff. If they are allowed to recruit, they have a letter in that big envelope, each with a personal message to that young man.

Not bad

Of course, you have the text messages, some kids getting as many as a hundred of these a week, all with personal messages, because with technology, it's cheap for the school, easy to single out a player and tell them how special they are and you know that young man will get it, providing his phone isn't shut off, because the bill got too damn high, due to all the text messages he was getting.

Then there's the offer itself, some schools using this to show they want a kid, because sometimes that works better than anything else could. I mean, seriously, what shows a kid you want them more than giving them a written offer, guaranteeing them a full ride if they come to your school?

Of course, some schools take it to the extreme like a Rutgers or Ole Miss, who seemingly offer anyone with a pulse.

Hey, it's the thought that counts.

As it is, all of these are good philosophies, some of them really good. And Nebraska has utilized them all. As the brief amount of time has gone by since Bill Callahan and company have arrived, their recruiting tactics have changed with the ever-present wind.

When they first arrived, they went after anyone and everyone, because there was three weeks to go and Bill Callahan was doing much of the leg work himself. The following year, Nebraska once again went after anyone and everyone and I have the aching ear to prove it, trying to keep up with the almost 300 offers they seemingly tossed to the wind.

That ended up turning out pretty good, though.

The next year was the same, offers aplenty, and while the class didn't impress as many this time with the so-called "stars", they might have filled needs. The thing is, the way they got these kids changed in the span of a single year.

Did you know that Bill Callahan is now offering a lot of the kids they want personally, ala Dan McCarney? You probably figured they text message and I'd put their efficiency at it up there with the pioneers of this recruiting philosophy. They have always sent tons of hand-written letters, but that has since seemingly increased as well.

There is a difference with this year, though, the philosophy seeming to be more about going after who they think they can get, rather than going after anyone that they might want on the team.

That's probably the biggest challenge for a school located in the middle of nowhere, with a miniscule population base throughout the state. They are obligated to offer tons of kids and most of them are playing outside of the Nebraska state line.

To make matters worse, they are attempting to get most of these kids from states like Texas and California, who are loaded with preps, but almost every single one of them is waiting by the phone hoping either the Longhorns or Trojans call their name, telling them to come on down.

So, that means that everything "normal" schools do, which reside in the more prep-populated places, Nebraska has to take one, even two steps beyond.

You text message five times, we'll do it ten. You send 10 hand-written letters, we'll send 20. It's not to take anything away from the personalities that Nebraska has, because they have some recruiting juggernauts, but come on, it's not like all the other schools have a bunch of robots.

This is how you have to play the game

And it IS a game, though, one might be hesitant to call anything you can spend a million bucks on a year, a game. Well, unless your last name is Gates or Buffet. But it's one that schools play every year with thousands of kids from Hawaii, Maine and as far away as Europe or even Japan.

Bill Callahan has seemingly grasped a little more about how this game is played and implemented it into his own strategy of recruiting. And the success seems to have followed, especially where he's been personally involved.

There was a time where Corey Young was leaning toward Iowa State, mostly because of the fact that there WASN'T that kind of communication with Callahan, but there most certainly was with McCarney. Callahan fixed that, Young went to Nebraska and it would appear that this year, the head coach is out on the hunt again.

The great thing for Husker fans is that as good of recruiters as this group always was, it seems they are only going to get better. For those that have been in the college game awhile without interruption, they have acclimated to the changing face of luring the best prep athletes in the land.

For coaches like Bill Callahan, who are still working their way back into it after a considerable time away, they are finally getting all this stuff down.

That's good, real good in fact. There's only one problem:

You know that with the impossible rate of increase in technology and all the neat and cool ways you can get a hold of all these kids, from Lincoln to Germany, the second you get used to the new rules in recruiting, you are a step behind.

Because tomorrow, they are all going to change.

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