Georgia Tech commits and prospects had something to share with their Twitter followers Monday – copies of their official scholarship offers received from coach Paul Johnson. It’s part of the Tech recruiting office’s continuing push to appeal to prospects through social media. Monday (Aug. 1) was the first day that schools can make written scholarship offers to rising seniors, though most have already received verbal offers.
Commits including offensive linemen Demetris Harris and Michael Minihan, Buford High linebacker T.D. Roof, McEachern High cornerback Jaytlin Askew and kicker Joseph Bulovas tweeted the letters they received, as did a few players Tech is recruiting – New Orleans cornerback Tre Swilling (son of Tech great Pat Swilling), Mobile, Ala., safety Kendric Haynes, Hawaii defensive end Aliki Vimahi, Long County High safety Tariq Carpenter and Westminster defensive end Cortez Alston.
The letters are virtually identical. Alston’s reads:
Congratulations on your tremendous achievement both on the football field and in the classroom. Our staff believes you have the ability to be an outstanding defensive end at the collegiate level. We encourage you to work hard in all phases of your athletic and academic careers.
Through the recommendation of (Westminster) Coach Gerry Romberg and the evaluations of Coach Lamar Owens and our staff, we strongly believe that you have the qualities we are looking for when offering a student-athlete the opportunity to join the Georgia Tech Football family. We are therefore prepared to offer you a full grant-in-aid athletic scholarship provided the following requirements are met:
1. You meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements & Georgia Tech undergraduate admissions standards.
2. You maintain a record of excellent character and integrity.
3. There is still a scholarship available at your position.
The third item requires some explanation. We decide every year how many scholarships will be awarded at each position offensively, defensively and specialists. However, we offer more scholarships than we can actually sign. When we get a solid commitment from a young man to attend Georgia Tech, we let everyone at that position know just how many scholarships are available. You, in turn, will then know how to proceed in your decision making process and timetable. We just want you to know how the process works. I’m sure the other universities have explained a similar process to you as well.
A full grant-in-aid athletic scholarship covers tuition, fees, room, board, books and other expenses up to Georgia Tech’s maximum cost of attendance as this is what the NCAA permits.
We plan to be completely open and honest with you in your recruiting process and we hope to receive the same in return from you.
Again, congratulations on your accomplishments thus far, and we look forward to seeing you soon.
Head Football Coach
Many letters from other schools are roughly similar, particularly when noting the contingencies. Some use the letter to make another pitch. Tech’s letter has Johnson’s tone – straightforward and not flashy. Of the ones letters I read, it was the only one that went the extra step of personalizing it by mentioning the prospect’s high-school coach and area recruiter. It also was the only letter that included a commitment to honesty with an expectation for the same from the recruit.
Does it make a difference in recruiting? The answer is probably the same for a lot of tactics in appealing to the hearts and minds of 18-year-old males. It can’t hurt.