College football coaches have illustrated some strange recruiting tactics in recent months -- sending 105 letters to a recruit in a single day and shipping a personalized Mother's Day note to a prospect's mom among them -- but this one might take the cake.
An unnamed elite collegiate coach told Woodbridge (Va.) Senior High senior defensive end Da'Shawn Hand he would get to meet Michael Jackson, the nation's top football recruit told CBSSports.com columnist Bruce Feldman over the weekend (h/t Big Lead).
You know, the same Michael Jackson that died in 2009. The one with the pet monkey.
Q: What is the craziest thing that has happened to you since you've been named the nation's No. 1 recruit?
Hand: Well, I ain't gonna say any names, but one coach told me that since I'm the No. 1 player, I'm gonna get to meet Michael Jackson. I said, "Isn't he already dead?" The coach goes, "Well, all right, you can meet Tito." I was like, all right. OK, I'm done.
It was crazy, but it is what it is.
Now, Rivals.com lists 33 scholarship offers for Hand from the who's who of college football, so it's tough to decipher exactly which coach made the blunder, but we're not ruling out West Virginia's Dana Holgorsen, who's probably more of a John Denver fan. Alabama, Florida, Michigan, South Carolina and Virginia Tech are in hottest pursuit.
But, hey, everybody makes mistakes. Even Da'Shawn Hand, who told CBS Sports that his dad's advice throughout the recruiting process has been, "Never deal your full hand," which makes zero sense, since the saying is, "Never show your hand."
Anyhow, Hand makes few mistakes on the football field, where he recorded 110 tackles (40 for losses), 16 sacks and three fumble recoveries as a junior last season. He has 259 tackles and 40 sacks in his first three varsity seasons.
Clad in a Michigan jersey somewhere in Motown, Tito Jackson nods in approval.