You can accuse Bret Bielema of any number of things, but you can’t say he isn’t innovative.
The Arkansas head coach turned a new page in recruiting by sending a targeted letter to the principal of top wide receiver prospect Nico Collins.
Collins is a 6-foot-5, 195-pound wide receiver wrecking ball at Clay-Chalkville High. He’s a four-star prospect, one of the top-15 receiver recruits in the nation and the top overall prospect in the state of Alabama according to some services. He holds scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia and Michigan, in addition to Arkansas, and is expected to be a game-changing contributor from day one wherever he attends.
Bielema is trying everything he can to make sure Collins is playing his football in Fayetteville, going beyond recruiting letters to Collins, his coaches and family to also send missives to Clay-Chalkville principal Michael Lee.
You can see Lee’s letter above, with Bielema intoning, “class,” multiple times, seemingly underscoring the concept that much of Collins’ class is due to his time at Clay-Chalkville.
As one might expect, it’s far too early to know whether Bielema’s over-the-top outreach will bear fruit. It certainly doesn’t seem to have discouraged the teen, and it’s earned Arkansas more attention in the process.
Mission accomplished? We’ll all have to check back in early February.