When it comes to recruiting, no one does it better than Nick Saban and his staff at Alabama. As Steve Spurrier has recently pointed out, the Crimson Tide seemingly locks up the mythical national recruiting championship every year. (And since they're not winning the SEC every year, the Ol' Ball Coach says they're not maxing out their talent.)
The latest recruiting move by Bama is already catching eyes on social media. As top prospects head to a camp in Oregon called "The Opening," several of them received personalized photos of themselves in Alabama gear. Most went straight to Twitter with their photos.
Along with a photo of each player, the card includes the following stats regarding the Crimson Tide: 15 national championships (yeah, right), 60 bowl appearances, and the #1 ranked recruiting classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. Even more interesting, beneath each player's likeness and name are the words: "NEXT TO BE BUILT."
There's no question that Alabama effectively sells its ability to develop high schoolers into big money professionals. Again, see the #1 ranked recruiting classes of 2012, 2013 and 2014. But the "next to be built" line -- specifically the use of the word "built" -- flat-out suggests that these kids are commodities. They're product, not players, not kids.
That's certainly how today's student-athlete is viewed and most of these top prospects are looking for a program to develop them, polish them, and then ship them off to the NFL. Still, it's a bit surprising to see Bama referring to its targets in such a manner. Not wrong, mind you, just surprising.