Last week, Ole Miss continued to make news in the field of recruiting when Clifton Garrett, a linebacker who will have or already has a bajillion offers to play college football in 2014, tweeted a picture of 54 letters from Ole Miss, all of which were handwritten.
On a side note, Arizona State should either mail smaller pieces or slap a "do not bend" stamp on their letters that will be ignored by the post office. Also, Todd Graham should give up the Garth Brooks microphone because only Garth Brooks can do the Garth Brooks microphone.
But as for Ole Miss' assault of letters, these were not 54 letters saying how much the Ole Miss coaches enjoyed watching Clifton Garrett play and can't wait for him to get to Oxford for a visit to show him all the great things happening at Ole Miss. That would be silly, and there's no room for silliness in the serious, non-insane, perfectly normal business of recruiting.
Instead of losing a 17-year old's attention somewhere between the second and third sentence of the second letter, Ole Miss chose to go with a more interactive approach, giving Clifton Garrett the chance to choose his own recruiting adventure.
A sample of the adventure provided by Hugh Freeze and staff:
The actual interview can be found here, but this is a much quicker version, because you'd rather spend four minutes doing something else than listening to Houston Nutt, Ron Zook, and studio bro ask Hugh Freeze the same stock questions he answered all day. Also, you should know that my memory possibly confused a few of the details of the interview.
B-Team Studio Bro: "Right now, we want to welcome in Hugh Freeze, head coach of the Ole Miss Rebels, who just signed one of the top classes in the country. Coach, good to have you here, and you know a lot of people have taken notice of this class and wonder what is going on down there, but what do you say to those people who might be a little skeptical of how Ole Miss was able to land this class?"
Hugh Freeze: "Well, like I've said before, we had some help from the Good Lord above, as well as some natural ins with some of the bigger names in the class. Robert Nkemdiche's brother was already here, Laquon Treadwell's best friend was here, and Antonio Conner is just down the road at a school that Ole Miss has historically had success at getting kids to come to Oxford."
Ron Zook: "Coach, Ron Zook here, talk about your recruits using social media to contact one another and recruit other players to come to Ole Miss to make it a special class. LITTLE PRODUCER PERSON LIVING IN MY AUDITORY CANAL, WAS THAT HOW I WAS SUPPOSED TO ASK IT?"
Freeze: "Uh, well, uh, yes, it was certainly big for us. The kids really believed in what we were doing and they wanted other players to know about it and come join them at Ole Miss. Laquon Treadwell was huge for us in that area."
Houston Nutt: "Coach Freeze, Houston Dale here, some friends call me HDN, but not usually. Sometimes though. At least I think they do. I've heard it before. Anyway...
(sends 118 texts to his entire address book)
"Like I was gettin' around to sayin', Antonio Conner, big time recruit. Fast. Strong. Big. Looks the part. South Panola. Lance Pogue. Great school. How did you go about recruiting him?"
Freeze: "Well, as you know Coach Nutt (inner monologue breaks into deep laughter), that's an important school for Ole Miss. It's in our area and produces lots of great kids, so it's important we do all we can to make sure those kids want to come here above anywhere else. But I felt some pressure on getting Tony. He's one of the local guys we really needed and I'm glad he chose to stay close to home and sign with us."
Nutt: "One more question, Coach Freeze. You've been at Ole Miss one year. Won seven ball games, lost six. Won that Compass Bowl over there in Birmingham. A fine city. Great history. Lotta great games played there. Archie Manning had one of the best. But, even with all that, have you ever won back-to-back Cotton Bowls for the first time in 50 years?"
Nutt: "Didn't think so. Oh, and you're welcome for Denzel."
B-Team Studio Bro: "Coach Freeze, thanks again for joining us. Congratulations on a great day, and good luck next season."
Get more great SEC analysis over at Belly of the Beast.
Because how else would a teenager, especially a black teenager, get his hands on that much cash unless it came from a rich man, nay, a rich WHITE man who is associated with Ole Miss. Yay, slightly-more-than-casual racism!
Treadwell deleted the picture shortly after posting it because someone who is smarter than a teenager, which is pretty much everyone who is not a teenager, probably told him that posting pictures of cash for a large group of strangers to see is not the best of ideas. I can only imagine the wonderful, eloquent messages he's received through Twitter and Instagram since yesterday (though I hope most of the Instagram comments were "WHERE IS THE FOOD?").
Despite the oceans of possibilities as to how Treadwell got the cash (assuming it was him), people remain convinced it came straight from Hugh Freeze's wallet or the bank account of an older, WHITE Ole Miss booster. This, of course, cannot be true because of one simple piece of evidence.
At Ole Miss, $100 bills are like coins under the couch cushions. And Laquon Treadwell is considered the best wide receiver prospect in the country. You don't go giving couch cushion coins to someone that good.
No, for a player that good, we break out the $3,000 bills. Never heard of a $3,000 bill? That's because you and your school are poor.
The $3,000 bill is the rarest of all the bills and features a picture of Dickie Scruggs and Trent Lott laughing at a cocktail party. It came into existence during the Dubya Bush administration because good folks take care of other good folks. How do you think Ed Orgeron's 2006 recruiting class was in the top 15?
So stop thinking that poor people's currency came from Ole Miss. If Treadwell posted a picture of money that came from Ole Miss, you'd see him gambling it at the roulette table on the gaming floor of our private Airbus A380.
Recruiting is all about the people. Which, as former Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt once said, makes college football coaches "in the people heppin' business."
Sadly, Houston Nutt is not gainfully employed as a head football coach, though he continues to receive large checks from Ole Miss (SEXTON'D). But, as a career coach, Nutt will never be able to get through people heppin' season without doing some heppin' of his own, regardless if it's connected to recruiting.
Since he's got a lot of free time on his hands and a steady income (WHAT WERE YOU DOING, PETE BOONE?), he's been finding ways to hep' the people out there who need some heppin'. And what a public servant he's become. I see a future in politics or anything else in which you don't have to be very good at your job to keep it.
A few of the ways he's been there for the people:
Career Fair Volunteer
Here he's able to stay in touch with the young people and explain what companies are all about. This one here is about space and NASA. Big time projects. Satellites and shuttles. All the space stuff. Hey, here's a frisbee. It's orange. Good luck out there.
Rain Gauge Reader For Local Weather Station
Whenever it rains, Nutt goes out to the backyard, checks his rain gauge, and calls it in to the meteorologist. Other than seeing his name on the news at noon, he's most proud of his Storm Team 12 windbreaker.
Enricky Davis Fan Club President
Still working on drumming up some members, but he's passed out a lot of flyers, so the membership situation could be changing soon.
Fill-In Judge For Judge Joe Brown
No, he's not a real judge, but there are a lot of folks out there who, once they get that dispute over $101.27 worth of party balloons straightened out, can get on the right track to getting their lives in order.
Teacher Of How To Sneak Up On Other People
Sometimes, people need to be scared for fun. Shocked. Surprised. Whatever you want to call it. Birthdays. Welcome home. Some great moments in life, birthdays. Special times.
After his out-of-nowhere 5th-place finish at the National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner, North Carolina, many would-be hollerers have sought the services of this great natural talent. Nutt doesn't charge his students anything because PETE BOONE.
Substitute Calculus Teacher
While he doesn't really care for the math all that much, he's got a bunch of sweaters in his closet that he's been meaning to wear for the past 10-15 years.
A marginally factual and hastily thrown together preview of tonight's main event will be up later this afternoon, but for now, a few memories of spending multiple hours in and around Legion Field, where Ole Miss proved that 6-6 was a generous record for Pittsburgh.
1. Game day organization and attention to detail were largely ignored by those who operate the logistics arm of the Compass Bowl, but rather than complain about it, both Ole Miss and Pitt should use it as motivation to never wind up in Birmingham again
2. Traffic before the game was somewhat irritating, as Birmingham cops blocked off streets and used only a few main streets to funnel people to Legion Field, but given the area surrounding the stadium, this could have been a preemptive strike on property loss/damage reports they'd have to fill out as a result of people choosing less-traveled paths
3. Quite possibly my favorite part of the in-stadium experience was that the people selling food/drink/miscellaneous items pretty much wore whatever was in their closet that morning; no uniforms or identification of any kind were used by the Compass Bowl, but if a dude was behind a fold-out table and said beers were $5 a piece, I trusted him
4. Actually, my favorite part of the in-stadium experience was Birmingham's mayor, speaking before the game, when he welcomed the fans of each school and said, "And Pitt fans, (slight chuckle) welcome back!"
5. If you have a television that was manufactured after 1997, you have a higher quality visual display that the jumbotron/screen at Legion Field; my favorite part of the screen was a black rectangle that spent the first quarter blocking portions of the screen
6. As for the game, the Ole Miss defense wins the MVP, as they dominated up front and only allowed points when the Ole Miss offense (AHEM, BO WALLACE) turned it over; if they can get some depth at defensive tackle, the defensive line has a chance to be very good next year
7. And Bo Wallace, UGH, if he stops making the handful of authentically horrible decisions he makes in every game, he could be one of the better quarterbacks Ole Miss has ever had; Hugh Freeze's offense is good for any quarterback, but he has the arm strength and enough athleticism to pile up some strong numbers over the next two years
8. Finally, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the impressive display of daytime fireworks offered by the Compass Bowl; Ole Miss game day operations circa 2007 could have used some pointers on how to have daytime fireworks without knocking out power to the stadium