Irish sending 477-letter packages

Notre Dame made a splash with recruits this week when the Fighting Irish sent out packages filled with 477 letters, called "Pots of Gold," to recruits across the country.

ESPN 300 linebacker Nyles Morgan (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) was one of the recipients. The No. 65 prospect tweeted a picture, which explained why the package consisted of 477 letters.

The note says there is one letter for every NFL draft pick to have come out of Notre Dame.

Tennessee and a few other SEC schools have been known to ship out a large number of recruiting letters to prospects, creating an arms race to see who can send the most.

When Kentucky sent ESPN 300 defensive tackle Matt Elam (Elizabethtown, Ky./John Hardin) more than 100 letters, Notre Dame responded by sending 270 letters to the No. 292-ranked prospect.

Elam saw the newest batch of packages sent out and immediately made it known that he wanted more.

That's a large part of what this recruiting tactic has created: a competition for who gets the most attention for the program. Although the Pots of Gold concept isn't new, the volume of letters contained in it is.

Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham), an uncommitted tight end prospect, was one of the latest recipients of the Pots of Gold. The No. 138-ranked prospect posted a video on YouTube showcasing all the mail he received from coaches.

Schultz believes this strategy is more than hype and that this type of recruiting can help sway prospects to Notre Dame.

"I think for most kids, getting something like this would have some impact on their decision," he said. "Only 11 kids got that, so that's pretty humbling. It lets recruits know that they're genuinely interested in getting you there. That buzz [it creates] just gives Notre Dame more positive publicity, which is always helpful for recruiting purposes."

The attention wasn't just put on uncommitted prospects, either. The staff sent one to recent commit Kolin Hill (Schertz, Texas/Samuel Clemens), a three-star linebacker.

Hill was surprised he received one of the over-the-top shipments because he's already committed to Notre Dame. He believes this is something genuine and special rather than a way to create publicity and exposure with other recruits.

"From my perspective, it makes me feel wanted and shows interest because the letters are handwritten," Hill said. "They take the time to write and design all the letters, so recruits realize that and feel special. It's just different from getting letters from every other school, because of the time and effort they put into it."