In the way people mention Jurassic Park, flannel shirts, and the color teal as a shorthand for, "Hey, remember the '90s!" so college football fans are probably well on their way to using gigantic piles of handwritten recruiting letters as an easy signifier for the early 2010s.
The fad hit what might have been its apex this week when Kentucky recruit Drew Barker tweeted that the new Wildcats staff had sent him a whopping 115 handwritten letters. He also provided photographic proof:
According to a review of recent snail-mail recruit spammings by SBNation -- including Ole Miss' recent overture to Clifton Garrett and Alabama's 105 letters to eventual Tide signee Alvin Kamara -- Barker's 115 letters are apparently the new "record."
It's easy to see why Kentucky would be making an intense effort to land Barker -- a 6-foot-4, 210-pound pro-style quarterback from Hebron, Ky., who is currently ranked among 247Sports' top 10 QBs in his class. Barker represents a relatively rare opportunity for the Wildcats to sign a premier talent without leaving the state borders. (To do it, the school will have to fend off the likes of South Carolina, Louisville, Tennessee and others.) It's also impossible to fault Kentucky for the aggressive approach when (as Kamara's example shows) there's a chance it pays dividends.
But still: If there's a better example of the burgeoning excess of the recruiting arms race than 115 letters sitting on a recruit's table because the other guys sent someone else 102, we haven't seen it.