Was This The Most Clever Recruiting Tactic Ever?
I don't know about you but this recruiting trick definitely wouldn't have worked on me.
Last night I went down a recruiting rabbit hole and came across one of the most bizarre recruiting tactics ever pulled off.
I’m still confused how the hell this worked.
This story is from a few years ago, but I doubt you’ve ever heard it.
The Story of JT Granato
JT was a highly recruited Quarterback out of Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas.
He passed for 9,000 yards and 81 touchdowns during his high school career and was named conference player of the year as a senior.
Granato was labeled as a three-star quarterback and one of the top 150 players in Texas.
His impressive resume on the field led to a bunch of scholarship offers including from Rice University and University of Houston.
JT was a highly sought after recruit and a bunch of coaches wanted to land his commitment.
Rice’s Wild Recruiting Tactic
While many college football coaches try to shower a recruit with pitches and fancy visits, the Rice football staff took a different approach.
The Rice Owls and their coaching staff decided to go after JT Granato's cat. Seriously.
His damn cat.
Somehow sending a letter to his family cat in a witty maneuver convinced him to commit.
The letter read:
To Kitty Granato,
"Please help us to get J.T. to choose Rice.” It then added, “Paw me in case you have any questions”
Granato later said that he thought Rice’s gesture was extremely creative, but he also recognized that the program really wanted him. Really, really wanted him.
I’m not a cat-person so this would never work for me.
I do applaud the creativity though.
The Staff Meeting
I would have paid to be a fly on the wall during their staff meeting when the coaches came up with this idea.
“Yo, I think we should send a letter to his cat convincing him to commit” - 23 year old recruiting assistant
“What the hell did you just say Johnny” - head coach
“I agree, we need to be creative. How else are we gonna separate ourselves?” - QB coach
“Alright. This better work or I’ll fire both your asses” - head coach
Where’s Granato Now
Granato lasted a year at Rice before transferring to Missouri State.
It looks like he graduated in 2020 according to the school website.
Maybe Rice should have sent the cat a letter convincing him to say.
Or maybe Missouri State sent his cat a DM convincing him to transfer.
Either way this was a wild recruiting tactic.
Congrats to the coach at Rice that pulled this off. I’m sure you’re coaching somewhere else now, but I’d love to have a conversation.
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