Back in 2004 the top overall prospect in the country was a stud running back by the name of Adrian Peterson. Yes, that one.
Nearly every recruiter in the country was drooling over the skill set and immediate spark that he could bring to their program. Except for one. Oklahoma running backs coach Cale Gundy had a slightly different approach, and we all know how that worked out for the Sooners.
“I really almost try to scare players away when I recruit running backs.” Gundy told The Oklahoman when it comes to recruiting his position guys. He went as far as to tell Peterson a decade ago that "we'll win with or without you."
Pretty gutsy move, but Gundy knew exactly what he was doing.
The byproduct (or perhaps the direct intended result) of Gundy's strategy is that he's getting guys that want to play for the Sooners, beyond the shadow of a doubt. They want to suit up in the crimson and cream so bad that nothing you could throw at them is going to scare them away...no matter how hard you try.
“When I watch film and I find my running backs that I know have the talent to play here, that’s just half of it." Gundy shared. "Then you’ve gotta find the character. Then you’ve gotta find out if he’s the fit you want at Oklahoma.”
“But at the end of the day, at the end of their career, five years from now, 10 years from now, they’ll realize it was the best decision of their life.”
While it may not be the right approach for every coach, or prospect, it's certainly an interesting strategy to keep in mind as you make your recruiting calls and chase after the top guys on your board for the 2015 class. If it helps you land your own version of Adrian Peterson, isn't it worth a shot?