Monday, March 18, 2013
Updated: March 19, 3:56 AM ET
Tennessee pursues Stanton Truitt
By Kipp Adams
Tennessee first-year head coach Butch Jones is taking a page out of Nick Saban's recruiting playbook.
Last year, Saban and Alabama made an impression on ESPN 150 running back Alvin Kamara by filling up his mailbox. Tennessee has adopted a similar approach with another Georgia standout.
When he got home from school Monday, Stanton Truitt (Monroe, Ga./Monroe Area) said, he was told by his father to go check the mailbox.
"When I went to open it, it would not budge," Truitt said. "I pulled it down, and then some of the letters were hanging out, but they were all tied together by a rubber band.
"I was thinking there was no way these came from the same school," he said. "But I kept pulling on them and I thought the mailbox was going to break, but when I got them out I found out that all 102 of them were from Tennessee! It was crazy."
Nick Saban sent 105 letters last year to Kamara, who at the time had no favorites.
"That was the craziest thing I have ever seen," Kamara said in February. "I have yet to go through all of them. Some were handwritten, others were fliers. [Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart] is recruiting me for them, and I called him up and we talked. He just said that they were trying to let me know just how badly they want me."
Kamara picked the Crimson Tide over in-state Georgia on signing day, giving Saban four ESPN 150 prospects at running back and making his early tactic a successful one.
Now it looks like Jones and the Volunteers are hoping to create the same momentum.
In addition to the letters from Tennessee, Truitt said he also received letters from Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and North Carolina State. Before Monday, the most he had received at one time was 12 from Vanderbilt and 10 from West Virginia.
"It was shocking and it shows me that they think highly of me and really love me," Truitt said. "It makes me feel important to them and makes me want to work harder and keep doing what I have been doing."
Truitt said that the letters were inspirational, and each letter would say something different like "Stanton, we love you," or "Vol Nation."
"The Tennessee staff had been telling me that everything we do, we are always going to do it plus-two," Truitt said. "Every play you run, you want to get plus-two yards, take an extra two yards with the end zone. Everything you do, do it plus-two. That is why they sent me 102 letters."
The Region 8-AAAA Athlete of the year, Truitt had 1,420 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns, averaging 10.5 yards a carry. He also passed for 812 yards and nine touchdowns. Tennessee is recruiting Truitt as a slot receiver and as a cornerback.
"Tennessee just wants me to be a Vol and they will start me wherever I want to play," Truitt said. "Tennessee is pretty high up for me, and my visit two weeks ago, to see their first practice, was definitely one of the best."
Truitt said he has 18 offers at the moment, with his most recent coming Monday from Arkansas.